to sing “O’Victory in Jesus…” and then not surrender all doesn’t seem to me to go together? Oh, how we have lost the words of Jesus as he taught us to live… We pick and choose the scriptures that meet or “fit” what we want, and then we do abandon…oh, yes! we abandon his command to deny ourselves, pick of the cross, and follow him. I remember when I was first saved in Mannheim, Germany – everyone warned us – when you return to the USA, be careful not to become an American Christian! They were so right! Isn’t it a beautiful song? “..all to Jesus I surrender…” Yes, Victory in surrender<><
Why does “abandon” need to be a part of your discipling curriculum?
We are not physical beings having temporary spiritual experiences. We are spiritual beings having a temporary physical experience. But we mistake what we see and hear for reality. Three times in his second book, Peter describes followers of Jesus as “strangers in this world.”
Jesus clued us in to life behind the matrix. He said things like:
“Love your enemies.” (To apply this, ask: “OK, who are my enemies and how do I treat them?”)
“Give to everyone who asks you.” (To apply this, ask: “How do I respond to panhandlers?”)
“Sell your possessions and give to the poor.” (I haven’t done that yet – have you?)
In conclusion, he advises: “Stop judging by mere appearances.”
Somehow, we’ve sanitized the Jesus of the Bible. We’ve reduced the business of being His follower down to saying a three sentence prayer while we continue living life as usual. I regularly confuse spiritual reality with appearances and most people I know do too.
I love the scene where Toto pulls back the curtain on the great and wonderful Oz – this blog is a concerted effort to do that, helping us to “stop judging by mere appearances.” We have been led to believe all kinds of things that are what the Bible calls “vain imaginations.” Jesus called them “old wineskins.” Isaiah saw them in a vision as dry bones.
No one can be your personal Holy Spirit, but we can help one another question assumptions. Why do you live the way you live? What in your life can you really not do without? How do you begin looking and smelling like Jesus in a world as complicated as ours? There may be no easy answers, but we can help one another look behind the curtain. We do that as we practice abandon and particularly as we practice it recklessly.