Tuesday, November 20, 2012

drudge dread

My Utmost for His Highest delivered food for thought in stating this:

Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. Walking on water is easy to someone with impulsive boldness, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is something altogether different. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, but he “followed Him at a distance” on dry land (Mark 14:54). We do not need the grace of God to withstand crises—human nature and pride are sufficient for us to face the stress and strain magnificently. But it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, going through drudgery, and living an ordinary, unnoticed, and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God—but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people—and this is not learned in five minutes.
I am only in the more recent months of my life by the grace of God acknowledging and truly beginning to understand these ideas of both “carrying your cross daily” and “living a quiet life in the Lord.”
Carrying your cross daily seems like an oxymoron. If it is the cross of being crucified with Christ, it seems as though this should be done once. It is difficult to get up for being crucified on a daily basis. Not to mention the logistics of it being most likely an impossibility to die every day. I usually think of dying just the once. So the carrying of one’s cross as Jesus commands is not as simple as that which would be required to rise to an isolated incident of death to self. The old axiom, “the difficulty with living sacrifices is that they often try to crawl off the altar” is entirely applicably inserted here.
Secondly, this idea that going to work, paying your bills, kissing your wife, repenting for a crappy attitude, driving the speed limit, unloading the dishwasher, wiping up a child’s snot, straightening the slipcovers on the couch, and mowing the lawn all require the grace of God to do in faith is difficult to remember. We all would likely agree that we would need God to season our words if we were to try to preach the Gospel to a loved one who is lost. We would depend on Him fully for the success of the endeavor. However, we are far too often self-reliant in assuming that we can go unnoticed in the drudgery without His Spirit to assist.
That is not to say that the point is simply to endure well. As Chambers rightly points out, many of us are capable of rising up on occassion if only out of self-motivation. Pride and fear are entirely capable guides. We can accomplish much on compulsion alone. We get done what we want to get done more often than not. Come hell or high water; we rise up.
The obedience of faith in Christ required of one consecrated to God can prepare us BOTH for exceptional moments and enable us to endure lackluster Mondays. If we are only faithful when the situation requires more of us than what we often are, it is doubtful that our faith can sustain us where faith alone can save us. You cannot take a vacation from faith and be counted faithful. We are not more in Him in moments of grandeur than we are in moments of despair.
This is not an implied guilt trip over your daily failure to see God’s grace alive and active in your life. This is me pointing very clearly to your failure with respect to this fact. 
You fail at this, daily.
God requires you to believe in the exceptional Christ in the ordinary disappointments and drudgeries of daily life. 

This Christ was faithful where you failed. 
He was perfect where you fell short. 
He conquered what has defeated you daily.
This is not about doing something awesome for God. 
This is about an awesome God Who has done everything for us. 

This is about knowing Him in His sufferings so that we might know Him in His victory.
To know Jesus is to know all of Him in both.
We desire to know Him in dancing and abandon Him when enters the dirge.
We do not want a Gospel in the dirt.
We want the Gospel set on mountain tops.
Jesus is as much God in your duties as He is in your delights.
Remember Him who took upon Himself disappointments He did not have to endure so that you could endure disappointment right alongside Him. The Savior who washes feet as well as conscience. A God for the valleys as well as the mountains.

1 comment:

  1. from someone whose life is nothing more than very ordinary, thanks for this.