Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
Close to the Edge
by Erik Momsen
Many years ago while studying theology I took a seven day guided retreat, leaving behind a young wife and a six month old son. There was little to do but eat and sleep, think and pray. By the third night I had had the same disturbing dream three times. In the dream I repeatedly beat our Staffordshire bullterrier. The message of the dream came to life a year or two later when my little boy put his hands over his head thinking I was going to strike him. I was baffled by his reaction. I was not even frustrated or angered by him at that moment but he had interpreted my sudden movement as a threat. I was deeply saddened. He was reading the anger and frustration in my soul and the Spirit was warning me.
While on that same retreat I took numerous walks through the hills around Queenstown. Looking over the plains I saw a vehicle, with it's dust plume, traveling at what seemed like reckless speed. At that instant I saw in my mind the vehicle losing control with devastating results. A word from the Spirit dropped into my heart. Our lives are just like that. Close to the edge.
Over the years I have seen many people lose control. The very fabric of our lives unravels and the pain and destruction is huge. I constantly thank the Lord that I know that this is an ever present possibility for any person. Myself included. The consistent answer to this condition of heart and mind is the presence of Jesus in our lives. Many people are churchgoers but have lost Jesus along the way. We live our lives as if Jesus said to us, "Come, let me follow you” and not "COME AND FOLLOW ME."
WHY DON’T WE FOLLOW HIM?
Pain and brokenness - Many live out of the wounds and scars of life's battles. These scars disfigure our inner image that was originally made in God’s Image. We then project this brokenness onto the world and in turn hurt others. The phrase of the decade is "Hurting people hurt people".
i) Jesus asks us, the broken, "Do you want to get well?" (John 5:6). We are not convinced the surgery is worth the healing. Leave me where I am, I‘m fine. But we are not. We lose hope that things could be different. They can.
ii) Jesus will ask us to "forgive those who have sinned against us" (Matthew 6:12). This might be as painful as the original wound but without it the infection of the original wound is still present, covered only by an attempt to forget and be strong. This is not the answer. Our healing lies in understanding that the offender is a drowning soul on his way to hell but for the grace of Jesus.
iii) Jesus will tell us "Take heart, daughter, ... your faith has healed you". Matthew 9:22
Faith is not faith in your own faith. Faith is not grinding your teeth and saying "I know I can, I’m sure I can". Faith is a growing understanding and relationship with Jesus. Faith is knowing who Jesus is and having no other place to go.
Self sufficiency - The Pharisees had created for themselves a religious system that ensured that they would be right with God. So they thought. Jesus described them as "whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean". Matthew 23:27
God hates self sufficiency. Paul tells us;
"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness'. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9
One of the great lies is "God helps those who help themselves"
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble". Psalm 46:1
Our self sufficiency comes from our education, money and status. These things can be a blessing but very often come between us and Jesus.
Foolishness, lack of understanding and spiritual blindness - being able to follow Jesus is a miracle. It is a divine appointment. It is not something you decide, but your response to the invitation of the living God. Too often people are kept from even seeing the invitation of God because of the activity of the evil one (2 Corinthians 4:4) or personal sin (Romans 1:19-32).
Even those who know and love Jesus are hindered by little knowledge of the Word of God and His nature.
WE NEED A CLEAR PICTURE OF JESUS so as to stay on track. When we forget the face of Jesus we are drawn into sin and destruction. It is only by His constant presence in our lives by His Spirit and Word that we are sustained.
Date Added: 2013-07-04
Go to Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen