Because I am who I am

Relationships are odd things.

And the verses this morning reminded me of something: complacency kills.

That “relationship” is a two-way living “active” reality always:

”Jesus said to his disciples, “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But at the judgement it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades. “Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”” Luke 10:13-16

This relationship He and I have – that I value so highly – that I tend so faithfully – that I prize above all else …

Just what does that mean in reality? What are these “deeds of power” – and have I been shown them? And what is this Chorazin … Bethsaida … Capernaum all about? Because that was then, and this is now.

And then He whispered gently: “Are you not a place in which I rest, live and breathe? Are you not one in whom I dwell always? Are you now denying that you are “My home turf”, Paul?”

Because if I am denying all of that – then what does that say about this “relationship” I prize? What does that say about the reality of my relationship with my Lord and Father?

Am I not simply a “temple goer” sitting here each morning and luxuriating in the “feel good factor”? Only to “switch off” and be someone else the rest of each day?

And just what does it mean to “not switch off”? Must I be an “evangelist” … a “God nerd” … a “bible basher” … a walking talking preaching teaching screeching mini-me of Jesus? Or perhaps a walking example of grace and truth … a giver of love … a disciple with all the time in the world for others … the personification of true love for – and fellowship with – all?

Is that not a tall order? Is that not – maybe – just following the rules and regulations again. Being a cardboard cut-out kind of “christian”? Performing for others?

Because it seems to me that “being real” is the best I can do.

Being the me who understands I cannot earn my way to anything worthwhile, the me who understands I cannot buy love, the me who knows I will never appeal to everyone, the me who is “me” – and is loved simply because of that fact.

Is that not the greatest “deed of power” He could ever show me?

That the deed most great is to know that I am loved/saved/forgiven/empowered/saved/(fill in whatever words work for you) not because of what I ought to be doing/thinking/believing/saying/(fill in whatever words work for you) …

I am saved because I am who I am. No more and no less. What greater deed of power could my Lord and Father show me?

Yet …

If I am not changed by that deed of power – if I still choose to be a scaredy cat – if I still rely solely on my version of me – if I am not changed by that freedom resting in Him and He in me …

Is that not “woe to me.”

And a personal gripe – this “the judgement” malarkey I see anguished over: when is the second coming, when will I be taken up to heaven, when will (my personal list of) non-believing people (I have already judged to be sinners ripe for hell) be cast out and left behind …?

Why do we prefer to have that moment over the horizon and out of sight? Why is it not in this moment and the next – all day every day – week after week – month after month? Why do we think we have a calendar of eternity – and why on earth would we even want to?

Complacency kills.

That is not “God given knowledge”. That is just plain ordinary man-made fact.

For if I am not changed by the freedom to be who I am resting in I Am – a “deed of power” for this moment and the next – then just what earthly reason (let alone heavenly reason) is there for this “relationship” I claim to have?


15 thoughts on “Because I am who I am

  1. A deep one this morning, I am who I am. Have a wonderful weekend with grandchildren on your knees, or in your bed, or both. BTW, I will be blessed with a new great- grandson Tuesday morning and another on the 20th at noon. Amazing!!! I am old.

    • Levi, thank you. I have read this one several times – not sure if your diary is overflowing with visits – or that your family have better control over pregnancy and birth than I ever knew possible. I await your clarification with anticipation!! 😄

      And we have a first birthday party tomorrow. Loads of fun, loads of family, and another reason to celebrate. Still a generation behind you – and just enjoying each day as it comes!!

      • Paul, I am afraid my kids have little control over pregnancies. Lol. We have 5 children, 13 grandchildren, 1 great and 2 to be born within the next couple of weeks. Just incredible since I will be 62 in just a few days. But I must say, we are young enough to be very involved with them all and I’m thankful we can. We have loads of fun. I could talk a long time about them as I’m sure you could. Just left a steak dinner with our oldest grandson whose birthday is today. Have fun, there isn’t anything any better. 😀

  2. Paul I find myself in the same position often. I say to Carolyn. If I don’t believe God’s word every tittle and dot then why mess with it. Lets go live like the lost and act and think and say what I want. After all it doesn’t matter. I am just going to die and come back a butterfly or something. Worse yet just rot in that hole in the ground for eternity.

    I have never in my sixty some years been abel to act and live a perfect life without mistakes and failures . I garden and relate to God through doing so. God is making a garden of eden out of my life,first he will have to plow it up before he can plant. So I am in the planting and growing stage not quite a garden of eden yet. I have learned, (not perfected) to trust solely on God for all things great and small. Failures and accomplishments. I give him all glory for all things in my life.

    Weather I believe or act like it God is in control of all things. Good and bad alike. God does what he wants when he wants how he wants. This doesn’t anger me or frustrate me. Its just the facts.

    I think of hell and judgment also. Not near as often as I used to. I know now where I am going when I die. So hell has no worries for me. I do fear God though not because he might send me to Hell but because of his Sovereignty. He has authority over all things.

    As for consistentley in my walk. I am about as dysfunctional as they come. God allows for that in me. None of my short comings are intentional for the most part. I do swear sometimes if something really tweaks me. I always feel bad about it. Proof the Holy Spirit is in me. Why else would it bother me. The most significant thing that has happened to me is losing My father five years ago and now my daughter in a tragic accident .

    This put things in perspective for me. Surprisingly it showed me God’s love and sovereignty in my life. I was not in control and he didn’t want me to be. Basically I am a small speck in the scheme of God’s awesome plan. A loved and honored speck but a speck none the less.

    This further released me from the burden of carrying my grief and troubles and short coming’s around like a badge of honor. God either loved me or he didn’t He would take care of me or he wouldn’t. This put me into a position of just living a care free worry free life fully trusting God in all things. It empowered me to help others see that God has already provided and put in place all I need. HIM. My job believe and trust.This makes my relationship with God so much more awesome.

    Much love Tom

    I love your heart. God loves you so much brother Paul so much. He has given you great wisdom.

    • “I am about as dysfunctional as they come.” and “This makes my relationship with God so much more awesome.”

      I wonder… whether we must finally realise we are all “dysfunctional” – but in a very unique way and so Loved for what we are – and then we are realise the “awesome”.

      Tom – I read your love and am in awe. Thank you.

  3. Lots of great thoughts and questions…He is all about transforming us. I don’t think that leaves any room for us to be complacent- if we are truly seeking relationship with Him. Someone once said that we are constantly moving- either towards God or away from God. It made me think about every little thing I did… was it hindering my walk, or was it bringing me closer to Him. Thanks for sharing these awesome talks of yours! Hope you have a wonderful weekend 🙂

  4. Great thoughts that have my little brain all a buzz…

    I think God likes us just being “us” flaws and all, aiming to do better but keeping it real. I’m far from a saint but like to think I make an effort to evolve into the person God would have me to be. I like to think he uses my flaws/failures as teachable lessons for me and everyone else exposed to them as such…

    God loves us, abides in us, balances us and cuts us some slack. He is sovereign yet merciful. The more I know/grow the less I think about being “left behind” and hell. No interest in condemning others, just trying to keep my own ducks in the yard, let alone in a row!
    No one knows the hour, can’t change it, not sure that I care (!?) just trying to maximize the gift of life for as long as I’m blessed to do so.

    No answers but peaceful just the same…

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