Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Not falling for it anymore

My 6 1/2 year old daughter was talking back to both Diego and Dora this morning. She used to mimic them; now she talks back. Really, it's constructive criticism. ;) "Why don't you just go around the mountain?" "Hey, you can't just reach up and grab that jaguar out of the tree!" (In case you're not familiar with "Go, Diego, Go" and "Dora the Explorer," they are usually off on some sort of mission to rescue someone or help someone out in some way, and they face several "obstacles" along the way).

I wasn't in the room this morning to actually see the Dora episode, but apparently Dora had a mountain in front of her with some obstacles on it that she had to conquer in order to move on to the next step. And apparently Dora didn't see what my daughter saw - that she could just go around the mountain!

Although I want my girl to never grow up (I want her to stay 6 and innocent forever!), I'm also happy to see her not-so-innocent mind at work like this. She's not simply following what people show her, but she sees other solutions. At least in this case, anyway. She's not falling for the "lie" that Dora's and Diego's writers presented to her. :)

I'm also happy when I see my brothers and sisters in Christ stop falling for the lies of religion that are taught in churches these days. I look back on my Christian life and I see all the religious and fleshly things I tried to do and maintain in order to have victory in my Christian life. You could say I tried to climb many mountains when all I really had to do was go around them. I'm talking about the mountains known as rules, laws, conditions, etc. All of these things have the appearance of godliness. "If I can just get myself to live by this rule or law, then I'll have victory in Jesus!" But victory in Jesus not by rules and laws. It's a gift that we walk in. "The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Cor 15:56-57).

I fully understand that there is a natural order of things in this world. "Rules" and "laws" that are unchangeable, such as "if I don't brush my teeth, they'll eventually fall out." "If I don't water my plants, they'll die." "If I drink too much, my liver will be damaged." "My children can't raise themselves." "You reap what you sow."

But what I'm talking about is: The next time someone tries to teach you a law or rule to follow in order to achieve victory in your Christian life, remind yourself that sin's strength is the law! And remind yourself that the victory is given to us through the Person, Jesus. If you want victory over the flesh, it's not achieved by following fleshly rules and commands. It's by walking in the Life of Jesus that indwells us.

Dora, with the help of her viewers cheering her on and shouting "SALTO!" ("JUMP!") when the giant Easter eggs come rolling down the mountain right towards her, always seems to magically find victory! Hmm. But in the real world, if she were to keep putting herself in those situations, eventually one of those giant Easter eggs would... Ok, I wont to go there! (And where in the 'real world' would you find a mountain with giant Easter eggs rolling down it, anyway!).

The flesh may seem to provide strength and victory, for a time. The flesh may even become very disciplined and take on the appearance of a dedicated, victorious Christian lifestyle. But in the long run, the flesh's adherence to rules and laws is simply no match for the world, the flesh and the devil. Eventually, the pressure builds up and the steam needs release. Eventually, the earthen vessel cracks. Eventually, the horse and pony show ends. Eventually, the plastic smile wears off. Eventually, the volcano erupts.

This is why I continue to give myself over to grace. I give myself over to the Person, Jesus, who loved me and gave Himself for me. The life I live in the flesh, I live by faith in this Person - this real, live Person, who is in me and is one with me (1 Cor 6:17). Thanks be to Jesus, whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light. Thanks be to God, who doesn't ask earthen vessels to perform in their own power - which is no power at all - but who comes to live in the earthen vessels to show the world that the all-surpassing power is HIS! Thanks be to God, who doesn't ask us to put on a show for Him or for the world, or a fake smile or attitude, but who Himself works in us mightily (Col 1:29) and who Himself continues to perform in us the good work that He Himself began! (Phil 1:6).
1 Thess 5:23-24
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

No comments:

Post a Comment