Flesh

(A Conversation…)

Disappointment GuiltYou can’t do that.

What?

You can’t disappoint God.

What do you mean I can’t disappoint God?

Just what I said.

Well I don’t think He’s too pleased!

I didn’t say you can’t displease Him.  That’s a different conversation.  I said you can’t disappoint Him.

Okay, why do you say that?

Because to be able to disappoint Him, you’d have to be able to surprise Him.  And whatever else He is, He is not surprised.

He knew this would happen?

Yep.

He let this happen?

He gave you a choice.  And you made it happen.  But none of it caught Him by surprise.

(Silence… wheels turning…) [click to continue…]

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(The Squeeze, Part 2)

In the previous post I introduced the idea of the squeeze – that when life comes calling or the world comes knocking and we get squeezed, whatever is on the inside comes flying out.  Specifically, when life or the world squeezes, two things quickly become evident – what’s in your character (your decisions) and what’s in your heart (your desires).

That why Peter addresses this encouragement to a group of Christ followers who were living life in The Squeeze:

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good (1 Peter 2:1-3, NIV).

When Our Flesh Demands Relief

People who are hurting instinctively crave relief.

NOW!

Like Job, the tendency is to move from “Lord I’m trusting you for deliverance” to “Lord stop it now or explain yourself!

When we stubbornly hold onto the demand for God to change things, five kinds of behavior emerge. [click to continue…]

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Maybe I’m weird (okay who said that?).  But this video fascinates me, and I can watch it over and over.

Maybe it’s the technology involved in capturing the motion.  Or…

Maybe it’s because it illustrates an important truth I learned years ago:

Q. – Squeeze an orange until something gives, and what comes out? 

A. – Orange juice.

Q. – Why does orange juice come out?

A. – Because orange juice is what’s inside.

Q. – So what comes out of you when you get squeezed?

A. – Whatever is inside.

The Squeeze.  Can you relate?  The truth is, sometimes the world or the devil or life-in-general comes calling, and there ain’t room enough in this here peel for the both of us.  Something’s gotta give. 

And out it comes… whatever is on the inside.

That’s why I just smile whenever I hear somebody blurt out something, then hurriedly say, “Oh… I didn’t mean to say that.”  [click to continue…]

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hide-behind-crossI’ve been noticing something in me that I don’t like.  It’s been around ever since somebody first said “no” to me and I ignored her or him.  But lately it’s been strutting around with a vengeance, so I thought I’d expose the big puke for the world to see.  So take that, flesh.

I first noticed it in particular when I started reading Watchman Nee’s classic, The Spiritual Man.  While I read some really good stuff, I find my mind racing with a torrent of thoughts.  Crazy thoughts.  Rebellious thoughts.  Ugly, fleshly thoughts.

I find it raging sometimes in church when I’m supposed to be the spiritual leader pointing toward Christ and instead I feel this compelling urge to point to me.

I notice it, strangely enough, when I’m with the people I love the most and I’m feeling a flood of emotions that are anything but loving. [click to continue…]

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