A Holy Troublemaker

Christians were never meant to be normal. We’ve always been holy troublemakers, we’ve always been creators of uncertainty, agents of dimension that’s incompatible with the status quo; we do not accept the world as it is, but we insist on the world becoming the way that God wants it to be. And the Kingdom of God is different from the patterns of this world.”

Jacques Ellul

I was living in the gritty Mission district in San Francisco, I remember sitting in my favorite coffee shop at the corner of Clarion Alley and Mission reading Ellul’s “Meaning of the City.” I have to admit, I was profoundly undone.  Here I sat with my ‘latte,’ in the presence of a “genius,” reading a man who was describing the city that I was living in.  It was a bit much. It devastated me, but in a very good way.

Jacques Ellul describes the condition of city-darkness.  His contention was that there are people who are actively, (but often passively,) in a rebellious opposition to whatever God is doing.  There is an “organization of unbelief” that always resists the Holy Spirit, and it has become especially embedded into places we call the City.

Ellul recognized that there is an opposition force.  There are now those who have been drastically connected to the radical presence of God. There can’t ever be real normalcy here.  We are saints, (whether we like it or not.)  We are solidly “light.”  And then we start reflecting that into a profound darkness, which cares for nothing at all– even hating the grace of God– things can get vicious.

We stand in an awesome place (whether we understand or not.)  We are in the truest sense revolutionaries.  We stand by grace in this place.  The light is always breaking holy-troublemakersinto the lives of those who are living against Him.  This is most uncomfortable– like falling into a raspberry patch naked, with all its stickers and scratches. Hardly pleasant.

We are “the troublemakers.”  What we believe turns the world upside down (really, upside right.)  We have become obstacles to those in darkness. We are altered, and as believers the change is dramatically authentic.  There is simply nothing outside of His power that can do this.

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot be in God’s kingdom.”   John 3:3, NCV

This critical thought describes the essential work that must happen before we can enter into it.  God’s kingdom is now our dream and our destiny.  It fuels us, and energizes us far beyond any work we can do.  We are now living people, residing in the “land of the dead.”  We must expect problems, but exult in a real existence.

U

ybic, Bryan

 

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Very Close to the Kingdom

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Jesus, looking at the man, loved him and said, “There is one more thing you need to do. Go and sell everything you have, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me.”  Mark 10:21

We must understand exactly how deeply that Jesus Christ loves us.  There is no diminishment, no reluctance in how He He handles each of us.  But in Mark 10 we see that there was a man whom Jesus picked out.  He was special because of the special work that was being done in him.

This man in particular became the focus of His concentrated love.  It drills into his heart with an intensity, a laser beam of happy holiness that penetrated and exploded inside.  However– the love of Jesus wants this man to take things deeper.  It’s funny but God loves us so much, that He refuses to leave us alone.

Obedience to Jesus becomes the step in which this man must take.  He hears the words, and evaluates the next step for himself.  Jesus tells him, that he must sell everything, and he must take every penny and give it to the poor.  Perhaps you think there should be gradients in grace?  But there are none.  We must make the stand, alone.

He was very sad to hear Jesus say this, and he left sorrowfully, because he was rich. Mark 10:22

For me, there is a disconnect someplace.  I think he was so close, and that he had a whole lot working for him.  And he turns away, unable, or unwilling to do was Jesus had ordered.  This young man was not far from the Kingdom of God– so close, and yet so far.

There was pain in his heart.  But he knew what he was doing.  The unique love that Jesus had for him should’ve acted as an anesthetic, and eased him through this pain of letting loose of his possessions, his credit, his wealth.  The love of God must always take us to a place far beyond ourself.

It is necessary for us to know exactly how deeply Jesus loves us.  That love is the only thing that will enable us to step out of our closest attachments.  His love is necessary for us to accept the things that are closest to our hearts that we must sacrifice.  Perhaps that is the word that sums all of this up–sacrifice. We must give up the things which are closest to us.  Only this can touch us where we are most tenderest.

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ybic, Bryan

kyrie elesion.

Hail, Hail the Gangs All Here!

“One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes.”

Luke 9:1-3, NLT

The first step these men took is to come to Jesus.  His closeness is essential and critical.  The very next step involves our relationship with 12 others.  We never work alone, but with others who have also come to Jesus.

Jesus intends to impart vast power to His disciples.  He might of sold this “power” and funded His ministry.  (That is certainly what I would have done in His place.)  But Jesus has no intentions of setting up ‘franchises.’ He has come to make disciples.

The terrible enemies are in control, both demons and diseases.  They have inflicted the human race with strange forms of darkness for centuries.  The seriousness of what is at stake can be understood by Jesus’ response of giving out, “complete” power.  I believe that this is what it is going to take.

This disciples are not just messengers, but healers.  They fully intend to intervene into the lives of those who are not healthy.  They transmit Jesus’ touch to heal everyone who is needy.  The implications are clear; Jesus is touching, even if His disciples are the ones’ reaching out.

He reaches us in our weakness

There are specific instructions which Jesus commands, and we see in subsequent verses, that there is a basic structure to the disciples life.  We do things that must align to a standard that Jesus established.  We must do it, before we can make it.

The idea of taking with us money or food isn’t permitted.  Leave your comfortable clothes at home in your closet.  This seems to be time for us to “strip” our minds, and desires from those things that might snag us.  The athlete of ancient Greece would strip himself of clothing, to run an exceptional race, with no hindrances and nothing to trip him up.

At Brokenbelievers, I would like to think that we are hungry for Him.  Remember that He who feeds us has drawn really close is to us.  There are many readers of this blog who are well educated and competent to succeed on whatever level they choose.  But they must first and foremost be disciples of the Lord Jesus.  That means we are those who chose to be under His direction.

^

ybic, Bryan

Check out my other sites: http://www.psalmslife.com and http://www.crossquotes.org. Thanks!