I've been thinking that God's kingdom is rather upside down and backwards. For one thing, up is down in His kingdom. The rich are poor and the poor are rich. The foolish confound the wise. And the one who wants to be great must be servant of all. We are advised to love our enemies and rejoice when they persecute, revile and slander us. We are to work to accumulate rewards in heaven and are not to worry about food or clothing…getting ahead. Now how does that fit with the social norm of being upwardly mobile?
Maybe it is we who are upside down? And maybe backwards?
Ya, the bit about backwards! There was a time when I was asking God why I seemed completely unmotivated—to do anything! I had no energy, and energy I learned comes from joy. I was unable to feel enough joy to motivate myself to do what I needed and wanted to do. How can I be a believer, have Jesus resident in my life, He who is the origin of joy, and not be able to experience enough of it to be able to function, at least to a minimal level? This is serious in light of Nehemiah 8:10, which says that the joy of the Lord is my strength. Not much strength...and the dip stick on my joy tank was reading mighty low! His response to my question was quick. I had no sooner asked than the following verse came to mind.
"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV).
Well, if that Scripture is true, I am in some way not accessing or availing myself of resources that I already have. His grace is sufficient, yet I certainly seem unable to boast about or glory in my infirmity! How can I be grateful to God for my infirmities? What needs to be different?
"The focus." What? Say again, God!
God speaks without words and explains: "Your equation is backwards! My equation reads: Weakness + abiding in My joy = strength. Your equation reads: Strength + abiding in My power = joy.
“You think I should flood your body with strength first, then your life would demonstrate the power of God and you could go about serving others, and that would produce joy. However, that would actually enable your flawed humanity!”
“The belief that you must earn love and belonging is not the truth, but that is your foundation! If I gave you strength and power first, you would have the energy to continue to perform and do good works. You would think and feel that you were demonstrating the power of God, but you would do so from a foundational belief that love and belonging must be earned. Yes, good would happen, but you would also reproduce that foundation in others and perpetuate the erroneous belief that love and belonging go to those who serve Me." Pause for a “Selah” moment.
"I want to give you a new foundation, one built on truth. You were first conceived in My mind—I loved you then and you belonged to me then—only later were you conceived in your mother's womb! I have given you love and belonging from the moment I conceived you in my mind! Nothing you can do will ever make Me love you more—or less!”
This whole business of thinking God thoughts and living God values can turn your life upside down and really mess with your mind! It feels to me like God could make some big changes real fast. He has pulled up all the tent pegs, thrown all the feathers and fur out of the nest and sticks are poking me. I’ve read that eagles make the nest uncomfortable like that just before they make the young fly on their own. Change is in the wind. I have a suspicion some flying lessons are about to be scheduled; it’s a little unsettling! Exciting, but unsettling nonetheless.
How has God messed you up lately? Share with us by dropping a note in the comment box.
Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity, Highly Sensitive
and The Sassy Pants Series http://sassypantsco.blogspot.com