Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat!

Following You isn’t that strenuous, as long as You don’t ask me to step out of the boat.
But You do.
(from A Heart Exposed by Steven James)

It’s true.

You are a God who sets my feet in broad places, then continues to extend the boundaries as You push me beyond human logic, tempting me to trust You with my mustard seed-sized faith.

Your conduct is baffling. Nonsensical even, as You make mud pies from saliva and serve up a slice of sight to blind eyes.

Your forthright approach taunts folks with tales of “sleeping” daughters You raise from the dead.

You instruct people to leave Your presence, daring them to believe for a healing to come “along the way.”

You command tombs to be opened and call forth dead men, reuniting family and friends.

You drive demons into pigs, setting crazed men free and whole.

Blind men wash in pools of water and receive their sight.

Proud lepers dunk in dirty rivers to have their skin made clean and soft.

You clear a temple with a whip, overturning tables and religious expectations as You invite children to sing the wonders of Your praises.

Former prostitutes and pagans support Your ministry.

Simple fishermen and scorned tax collectors are gathered to become the leaders of Your Church.

What is the point of these strange tactics?

Why must faith give birth alongside the stench of stable’s manure and mix with blood running down Calvary’s crossbeams?

Why are places like this the places where miracles are found?

Why can’t You take a safer route, a more practical approach to Christian living?

Why can’t You be content to let Your children simply enjoy the boat ride?

And why, oh why, do I struggle so against the wonders of Your ways?

With pharisaical heart, I ponder Your offer, then turn again toward the known and familiar, clinging futilely to religion without power.

And all the while, Your voice keeps calling me to step out of the boat . . .

But I prefer to let the waves rock me to sleep as I close my eyes and dream of miracles.





To Set the World Aright

Jesus’ disciples went out and “turned the world upside down” in order to set the world aright. But all the orthodox folks of the day stared at them with consternation and frustration, and perhaps a healthy dose of fear, as they faced off with men whose faith proved to be unstoppable.

Some things never change.

Today, we still face off with the ways of God, scratching our heads in bewilderment as we try to make sense of a kingdom so backward to our way of life.

God’s kingdom winds through a maze of oxymoron-ish twists as it calls us to lay down our life in order to live it to the full. With baffling truths, we are challenged to experience things in a manner that runs counter-culture to the world in which we live.

It is better to give than to get.
Humility is where true power lies.
Persecution brings favor and blessing.
The greatest fulfillment is found when you give up your own desires.
A willingness to surrender everything reaps the largest of rewards.
Our strength is greatest when Another bears the load.
And grace is found along a bloody trail leading through suffering and death.

No wonder we humans are confounded by Spirit rules.

In a show of sovereign strength, Jesus lays down His life for His enemies. God in flesh, overcoming flesh to declare the splendor of Spirit reign. The ultimate upset as mercy triumphs over judgment in the blackest of human souls, and Spirit descends to take up residence within the likes of you and me.

Spilled blood becomes the bedrock of heavenly kingdom as Majestic King rises with healing in His hands, embracing all who dare to believe in this love amazing and full.

With human mind, I cannot grasp the why’s and how’s of Savior’s ways, and yet I trust in them. After all,

If I could wrap my mind around you, then I know you would most certainly be too small to wrap new life around me. (excerpt from Steven James’s A Heart Exposed)

And so I continue to cling to what I cannot fathom and simply say “yes” to the wonder of it all. Come, Lord Jesus, and set my world aright . . . even if it means You must first turn some things upside down in me.