Monthly Archives: February 2011

Losing Control (eighth in a series)

The process of losing control always involves a kind of death and resurrection. The theme of dying and rising to new life runs throughout the New Testament. For instance, when Jesus tells Nicodemus he must be born again (John 3:3), Jesus means Nicodemus must put an end to the way he’s always lived his life and allow the Holy Spirit to raise up in him a new kind of life. When a person is “born again” it is the resurrected life of Jesus that takes up residence within him or her. They begin to live in and through Jesus. The apostle Paul puts it this way in his letter to the Galatians: …It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me… (2:20, RSV). Continue reading

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Losing Control (seventh in a series)

So, was it will power God was looking for in Jesus? Determination to get the job done? I don’t think so. Jesus did not fast in order to see how long he could go without food. Instead he was seeking to empty himself of anything that distracted him from God’s voice and direction. The giving up of food was just a tool in the process of letting go of his own, and anyone else’s, expectations of him. Fasting didn’t prepare him for the ultimate sacrifice God would require of him. Fasting allowed him to be still and attentive so that God could prepare him. Continue reading

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Losing Control (sixth in a series)

There is no grace or Sabbath rest (the peace which passes all understanding) when we’re operating under will power. Instead, we end up with a continual sense that there is yet one more thing that has to be done and the nagging fear that our work will not reflect favorably on us. But in his second letter to the Corinthians Paul gives us the Lord’s perspective on our service in God’s name: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (12:9) Continue reading

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