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California Coast


California Coast


Just this weekend I was reminded of one of my favorite metaphors. We are all guilty of coveting. I, like any number of my brothers and sisters, tend to covet spiritual maturity. We look at someone, and we say to ourselves, "I think he/she really has it together."

I don't quite understand why this is so important to us. I guess it's like anything else. Many of us, especially the Type A variety, want to be Alpha Dog. We want to compete, and we want to win. Or we just plain want other people to know how good we are. A clever friend of mine once joked, tongue firmly in cheek, “I don’t care if you have to lie, just give me a compliment.”

These envious feelings couldn't be farther from what Jesus taught. We can all recall teachings like this: “The first shall be last;” “The greatest among you will be the servant of all;” “Power is perfected in weakness…”

But think about it: We are all lined up on the proverbial coast of California. Someone instructs us to swim to Hawaii. So we leap in. (Some of us actually think we can make it.) We will all do our best, and in the end we will swim what seems a long way. The stronger ones will swim farther. The weaker ones will swim shorter. Some may not swim at all. But in the end, if we really want to make it to Hawaii, we need a boat to pick us up, a boat named Jesus.

As a human, I wish there were some sort of formula that would help me to think differently. But there is no formula. And unfortunately the Lord has given me an entire lifetime to learn this lesson, among others. The key seems to be to fill up our hearts with the Holy Spirit and to grab every thought in our puny brains and to pound it into submission to the truth.

“Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of God but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me you who practice lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:21-23)

Someday Jesus will provide us with brains that can wrap around all His weighty thoughts. Until then, we shouldn’t overestimate our capacity (nor others’ capacity) for maturity. And lest we forget, Jesus said, “truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)


© Revolworks 2016