Let’s face it life on this planet can sometimes be pure drudgery. Many of the things that we do each and every day are repeats of same or similar things that we did yesterday and the day before. Most of us really do live lives of quiet desperation. I don’t mean desperation in that there is no hope (more on that in a minute).
What I do mean is desperation in that we do things that many times don’t seem to add up as far as making any impact on the world we live in. After all, even famous people who do great big things see those things result from many little things that don’t seem to make much of a difference until they were some together and the end result is seen.
I work from home. Most of my day is spent on teleconferences in meetings. When I’m not doing that I’m monitoring the workload of my team or completing administrative work that my company seems to need in order to keep functioning. Most of the time the things that I mess with appear to have no real purpose. And most of the time I’m not given their purpose if they have one. All that usually happens is something is needed and it’s needed quickly by someone for some reason. And there is no time to really discuss why it’s needed because it’s already due by the time we get the assignment.
Most of my day’s are also spent eating sitting in my office, walking some on my treadmill desk, then going up stairs exhausted to eat dinner to lie down and read a bit and then fall asleep. The next day repeats itself. So it really does seem and feel like desperation.
I wish I could say that Jesus makes all the difference and that in spite of my life repeating over and over and over again (or so it seems) that I’m getting better and better in every way, every day. But that just isn’t the case.
“We can put it this way–the man who has faith is the man who is no longer looking at himself and no longer looking to himself. He no longer looks at anything he once was. He does not look at what he is now. He does not even look at what he hopes to be as the result of his own efforts. He looks entirely to the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work, and rests on that alone. He stops saying, ‘Ah yes, I used to commit terrible sins but now I have done this and that.’ If he goes on saying that, he has not got faith. Faith speaks in an entirely different manner and makes a man say, ‘Yes I have sinned grievously, I have lived a life of sin, yet I know that I am a child of God because I am not resting on any righteousness of my own; my righteousness is in Jesus Christ and God has put that to my account.’” ~ D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
“There is no better test as to whether a man is really preaching the New Testament gospel of salvation than the fact that some people might misunderstand it and misinterpret it to mean that it really amounts to this–that because you are saved by grace alone it does not matter at all what you do, that you can go on sinning as much as you like because it will abound all the more to the glory of grace. That is a very good test of gospel preaching. If my preaching and presentation of the gospel of salvation does not expose it to that misunderstanding, then it is not the gospel.” ~ D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
I’ve often said, “you don’t have to BE a new creation, you ARE a new creation”. Well, as well, you are not what you do, you are what Jesus has done for you.
Those old enough to remember Ross Perot’s presidential campaign remember his Vice Presidential pick opened a debate with “Who am I? Why am I here?”
Do you sometimes wonder why you are here? I do.
There are several reasons for this in my case.
At work I am a cog in a huge wheel in a multi-national country that is so large it fits the Tommy Lee Jones comment in the fugitive: “that company is a monster!”
As well, I seem to make no difference in the lives of others, mainly because my job consumes so much of my time that I have very little left over to spend outside work pursuing any relationships. My wife is in the same boat by the way.
Most my time is spent sleeping, walking on a treadmill, working, eating and then sleeping again. When I finish at work I am sometimes so beat up that I haven’t the energy to do much of anything. Blogging here is a miracle actually when you consider my time and energy demands.
So I have often prayed out loud, “God either take me home, or give me something with some meaning to do while I am here!”
The apostle Paul would not abide Pharisees. And he was one! He knew their kind and made no bones about what should be done.
Aside from what he said in Galatians, here are some very powerful words.
“So don’t put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ.
Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They’re a lot of hot air, that’s all they are. They’re completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.
So, then, if with Christ you’ve put all that pretentious and infantile religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? “Don’t touch this! Don’t taste that! Don’t go near this!” Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are worth that kind of attention? Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic. But they’re just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important.”
So, don’t let them do that to you!
Question: Are you being manipulated by a legalist? Are you the one doing the manipulation? What will you do about it?