Monday, March 31, 2008

What God wants from me?

Nothing. That’s right. Nothing. That realization itself will save us from a lot of trouble. This is very contrary to the way the world operates. All of us expects something from each other. In other words, the concept of ‘unconditional’ anything is out of the picture in a human realm. I love my wife and expect her to love me back. I love my kids and expecting them to love me as well. That’s just the way we are.

So over the years many of us program that pattern into our brain and assume God too works in the same way but the opposite is true. God expect nothing from us! If that wasn't the case, he would never say ‘apart from me you can do nothing’. That tells me He doesn’t expect anything from me. He also said, we must die. If I expect something from someone, I would never tell them to ‘die’ because I know once they are dead they can’t do anything for me. I want them to live so that they can do something for me. But the way God works is very different.

Since He has no expectation from us, He will never be disappointed by us as well. Remember, disappointment is the result of an unfulfilled expectation. Why wouldn’t He expect anything from us?

1. He knows us.
2. He is not a man.
3. He Himself is self sufficient.

Bible also tells us that we are His ‘workmanship’, means we are a piece of art. We are created by God, the artist. Now, if we think, an artist does not expect the art (paint, sculpture etc) to do anything for him. All work is done by the artist according to His creativity, timing etc. All the art needs to do is to ‘stay there’, just don’t run away. It is the artist who begins the work, and does all the work until He is satisfied. The art has to sit there and enjoy/endure the touching, chipping, carving, welding, flipping, curving etc.

Many people worry if they become passive or lazy in this process. If we take the art as an example, the art itself is not lazy / passive as long as it is in the hands of the artist. It is continually progressing to a finishing product. Bible assures us that 'he who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion'.

I have heard many people saying that they do this and do that to glorify God. But God is saying He is glorified when we stop doing and start trusting. (Without faith it is impossible to please God).

Does the art know what the finished work will look like? Not necessarily. But remember we are in the hands of a well known artist. Does the art know how or when the artist is going to do some chipping or shaping which is more likely a painful process? Not necessarily. But again, remember we are in the hands of a world class artist. He is reliable and perfect. He knows what He is doing. He doesn't expect us to know all the details. He doesn't even expect us to 'help' Him in the process. Let Him drive. Leave that driving wheel to Him and sit in the passenger seat and enjoy the ride.

"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." The kernel of wheat has to die to produce many seeds. In other words, it has to lose its life.

"Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." We have to 'lose' our life so that we can find true life in Him. It is Him who does the living. It is Him who does all the work and He expect us to do nothing. This is not just theoretical or theological, it has to be practical. It is possible to appropriate this truth into our daily life, which in essence the Bible calls, 'walking by faith'. I know it can be very scary to lose something which we hold tight. But it's worth losing it, so we will find true life in Him!

4 comments:

Joel Brueseke said...

Amen! All God wants from you is... YOU!

And indeed, before He could have us, we had to die, because what we were and what we could produce, was not acceptable.

He then raised us up together with Himself and now He is our life and He is the artist of our life. He got what He wanted - us - and now He is at work in us, producing something we could never produce.

All the commands are something we couldn't keep. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. Do unto others as you would have them to do you. Do not bear false witness. Turn the other cheek. Whoever says, "You fool!" shall be in danger of hell fire. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off. Visit those in prison. Feed the hungry. The list goes on.

Sure, we can do some of these things, but we can hardly sustain a life of perfectly following the whole list. And so as you say, we had to die. And we had to receive His life and trust Him as the Artist who does all His work in us as He sees fit and in His timing.

Great stuff! It's good news!

Nicole said...

Great Post!

That just seems like the core of Father's heart for us, He wants us 'only'. We don't or can't do anything to win his approval and acceptance, because we already have it. It already is established inside us where he lives in our hearts! I love that Bino! The realization of that fact is overwhelming, and so edifying.

Joel. Powerful thoughts brother! It is so easy to run back to all of the commands and think about 'all' of the stuff we need to be doing to win God. We just can't do it all! It’s impossible!

And when did having a relationship with God become all about the commands and laws anyway? That doesn't seem like a relationship to me but only seems like relationships between ranks in the military. SCARY! I don't even know if I would even call those relationships, but harsh acquaintances...

Good stuff!

In Freedom, Nicole!

Bino Manjasseril said...

Joel,
We dying is a thrilling concept if we think. I mean, that totally eliminates our part in God's doings through us. Our doing is not acceptable even if it is 'good'.
The plan of salvation and sanctification is amazing!

Bino Manjasseril said...

Nicole,

We are already in His hands as a piece of art and now it is up to Him to use it the way He wants. We can't put our strength into us. It would be like we trying to breath ourselves even if there is a breathing machine connected to us (I think I heard it from Stev McVey). It won't work.
If I try to grab that steering wheel it makes disruption to the driving experience so I better sit back and relax. But I am still moving! I am not idle!

As far as the commands go, actually who is following (obeying) the traffic laws if the driver is Jesus? He Himself! Isn't that amazing?

Another example would be the herds of sheep following the shepherd. The sheep do not necessarily know where they are lead by the shepherd, but they simply follow Him by listening to his voice. Their motivation is trust!