Monday, November 17, 2014

Helicopter Living

“Peter…said to Jesus, ‘But Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ‘…what is that to you? You follow Me.’ —John 21:21-22 It’s amazing that Jesus had the profound ability to know everything, yet He was limited by His humanity. How those two factors blended into the personality of Jesus, I have no idea. But I do know that in God’s plan, He meant for Jesus to be human, that He might be able to relate to us. Hebrews 4:15 reminds us that “we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” In His humanity, Jesus chose to submit to the will of His Father. He calls us to do the same- to let go of control and submit to His plan and will for those we love. One of my favorite writers, Oswald Chambers, addressed this issue of submission: “One of the hardest lessons to learn comes from our stubborn refusal to refrain from interfering in other people’s lives. It takes a long time to realize the danger of being an amateur providence, that is, interfering with God’s plan for others. You see someone suffering and say, “He will not suffer, and I will make sure that he doesn’t.” You put your hand right in front of God’s permissive will to stop it, and then God says, “What is that to you?” Is there stagnation in your spiritual life? Don’t allow it to continue, but get into God’s presence and find out the reason for it. You will possibly find it is because you have been interfering in the life of another— proposing things you had no right to propose, or advising when you had no right to advise. When you do have to give advice to another person, God will advise through you with the direct understanding of His Spirit. Your part is to maintain the right relationship with God so that His discernment can come through you continually for the purpose of blessing someone else.Most of us live only within the level of consciousness— consciously serving and consciously devoted to God. This shows immaturity and the fact that we’re not yet living the real Christian life. Maturity is produced in the life of a child of God on the unconscious level, until we become so totally surrendered to God that we are not even aware of being used by Him. When we are consciously aware of being used as broken bread and poured-out wine, we have yet another level to reach— a level where all awareness of ourselves and of what God is doing through us is completely eliminated. A saint is never consciously a saint— a saint is consciously dependent on God.” We become “helicopters” when we hover over our kids, employees, friends or parents and become what Oswald called “amateur providences.” We attempt to control so that people or circumstances will turn out the way we desire. We control so that what they do will look good on our resume. We hover over people and when we see a problem, we quickly land the helicopter and fix the situation to our liking. What’s the motivation for all of this? It’s our old friend PRIDE and when pride rules, it demands results and I can only control the results when I take control. Thankfully, Jesus would have none of that. His life was ruled by HUMILITY. Phillipians 2:6-8 reminds us that Jesus … “who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of man. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” He came to do the will of the Father and left the details in His Father’s hands. We tend to grab the details and determine that a problem for someone we love needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Our motives are right but our hearts are interfering in God’s plan. He knows what’s best. He knows whether pain or relief is necessary. He knows what course is best. He has a better plan. Yes, we’re called to reach out and love, but not control. Our role is to land the helicopter and focus our dependence on Christ. We’re at our best when we let go of control and latch on to His Spirit. Then we’ll be used as God intends… …and have our feet back down on the ground. By Eric Joseph Staples ©

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