A couple years ago I was attending a much quieter church than the one I go to now. The worship wasn't really my speed, but the pastor was great and I really enjoyed his sermons. I took notes on one such sermon, and that piece of paper still hangs on my fridge. It lays out in black and white how our vision for our life differs from God's, and the results that stem from choosing either way.
Series: "Getting Unstuck" February 19, 2006
Text: 1 Corinthians 1:18-27
1 Corinthians 1:18-27 (New International Version)
Christ the Wisdom and Power of God
18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."[a]
20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
Notes I took:
Common element of all stuckness is "Me".( What's in it for me?)
We all have a "picture" of how we think our life should be.
Life will never fulfill our self-focused fantasy. If we don't fix our perspective on what is important, we will be in for one disappointment after another.
We begin to get "unstuck" when we have a conversion from "me" at the center to God at the center. This requires us taking our picture of how we thought our life should be and laying it down at the feet of Jesus. Asking God for his perfect and pleasing will for our lives, which does not (ouch) make us the center of attention and praise. It puts the glory where it is deserved, and gives us the freedom to live as we are supposed to: not as little emperors but as a loving family and servants of our wonderful God.
Me at the Center + + + God at the Center
disappointing +++ fulfilling
fantasy +++ vision
immature +++ mature
bondage +++ freedom
When life is getting painful( often a sense of being left or rejected), there is a cross coming. Crosses in our lives are places where we die to ourselves (sin nature). On the other side of every cross is a resurrection, and in that resurrection there is remarkable joy. We, as followers of Jesus, are called to daily face crosses in our lives. We are to die to self each and every day. It is not easy, and the flesh part screams "what about me?". I know I am warped by the worlds' way of thinking. It is a daily struggle to remember who it is really about. If I find myself upset, or have my feelings offended, more than likely it is because I am not looking at my situation in light of God's perspective. I so easily take it all on my shoulders, when in reality, God has offered to carry it for me. Everything. I just have to give it to him. Denying "self" is exactly what satan doesn't want me to do. If I walk around with the knowledge that I am taken care of, and I don't have to worry about myself, then I have time to focus on what I am supposed to be doing. Loving God. Loving people. Finding out what joy is. Learning by experience to let God have every part of my life. This is freedom. To let God be God. To get unstuck off of ourselves, and instead stick together! To love and be loved, and to let the ugly die and the beauty that is Christ take over.
20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.