Now there’s a word being thrown around a lot lately. The word narcissist means excessive self-admiration and self-centeredness. I doubt a week goes by that I don’t hear someone use that word in reference to someone they know. At one time in my life, before I had ever heard of this word, I would have said God WAS a narcissist. Why? Because I was being broken of my own self-centeredness! I was believing many lies about myself and I was angry. I believed my feelings did not matter to anyone and I could never have what I wanted. I can remember cleaning house years and years ago as a young wife and thinking about the verse that says, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35) I cried out to God, “Does it ALWAYS have to be about you and your way!” That’s right; I have one of those relationships with God that allows me to be honest and real. This makes some people a little uncomfortable.
Since that time I have understood more about “taking up my cross and following him.” God isn’t like a dysfunctional earthly father that says, “Children are to be seen and not heard. Sit down and shut up.” God cares deeply about my heart, my desires and my needs. HE is not a narcissist. He also knows that HIS WORD is truth and that when a person dies to self that they will find true life in HIM. John 6:32 says, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” The other thing I have come to understand is my oneness WITH HIM. Scripture says I am in HIM and HE is in me! (I Cor. 6:17, II Tim. 2:13, John 14:20)
Another word that I’d like to talk about is grace. I love the word grace! According to the dictionary grace is defined as kindness, mercy, blessing or unmerited favor. Another way to define Grace is Jesus. I love one of my friend’s e-mail address which is “graceisaperson.” I’ve also heard grace definied as the enabling power of God to be all that HE created me to be and to do all HE created me to do. I like that definition.
God’s word says: IN HIM WE MOVE AND BREATHE AND HAVE OUR BEING. (Acts 17:28) He also loves joining WITH US in life because HE’S all about relationship. HE WANTS our cooperation and our engagement WITH HIM in our lives. I believe even in our salvation that we enter into God’s family THROUGH faith. Did God give us the faith we needed to say yes to Jesus? YES! BUT we also participated in that faith by choosing. When were we transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light (Col. 2:13)? Well, there’s a big debate about that these days. Some say this happened at salvation, other’s say it has happened already for the entire world at the cross but some people just don’t know it yet. When you study Romans that makes sense. However, as I watch people come to a saving faith in Jesus and as I pray about what I will believe in regards to this debate; I cannot help but see a distinct difference when that transfer takes place. I don’t see a person becoming enlightened as to what has already taken place. I see a change. I see a new creation. I see a death of the old self. I also see a REAL struggle in a person who is hearing the gospel, under conviction and deciding for themselves what they will believe. When they make that decision I see a new birth right before my eyes. So many things can be said in so many different ways. In our ministry we teach about our co-crucifixtion and our co-ressurection WITH Christ. We also teach from Ephesians 2 that we are seated with HIM right now in Heavenly Places. How am I in heaven right now, yet I am sitting in my living room writing this blog? As we explain to our counselee’s, God is not a time creature. He can see the entire parade at the same time from the sky scraper in heaven. He can see Adam and Eve, Noah, Jesus on earth, us today and all of us seated together in Heaven discussing our love for HIM. So could it be? Now think about this….Could it be that it’s not an either or but an AND? We were transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light (Col. 1:13) and placed IN CHRIST before the foundation of the earth AND when we accept HIM? I never want to feel like I have the corner market on truth and I am right about everything. There is so much false accusations going around the “church” these days it’s discouraging. Could it be that those who teach a little differently than us could be used to reach certain people? And could it be that the way Father has led me to believe is so I can reach certain people who will connect with me?
Our flesh ALWAYS wants to be right and ALWAYS wants to figure things out. We can’t forget the verse that tells us God’s ways are not our ways and HIS thoughts are not our thoughts. I am okay with that! I am okay with the fact that God is smarter than me. And I trust that HE can lead me to where I need to be in the understanding of HIS word. My hope and desire is that I can be confident in where I stand and allow other’s to be confident in where they stand and rejoice that they too are being used to further the kingdom of God.