Managing the Unmanagable

“I’m just doing the best I can!”  This can be a commendable statement made by one who is truly making the best of a bad situation.  On the other hand, it could indicate the fear that keeps one in a bad situation.  No matter how horrible life becomes it is often not as frightening as the unknown.  One of the problems faced by contemporary Christians is the “tame” Jesus; the smiling, happy, good buddy Jesus. 

Perhaps it’s reflected in a t-shirt I saw not long ago that read, “Jesus is my Homeboy”.  Now, I don’t want to judge anyone wearing the shirt as I appreciate those who are unashamed of their faith.  But the townspeople of the land of the Gerasanes did not beg Jesus to leave their region because Jesus was too cool for them.  They begged him to leave because he had just demonstrated his unbelievable power over an army of demonic forces.   They were scared of him because a man with that much authority and power could not be controlled.  He would do whatever he wanted to do.

By” taming”  Jesus we have unintentionally turned him into our buddy instead of our Lord.  We expect Jesus to do what we want him to instead of giving him the obedient allegiance he deserves.  We wonder why we don’t walk more in victory over sin and instead have to just “do the best we can” trying to manage it.  The man formerly known as Legion could tell you.    

“I’ve got a plan Jesus,” he said.  “Let me become one of your followers.”  It was a really great plan and I’m sure the man thought it was a great idea for him to leave his old life behind and go with Jesus everywhere.  He could give testimonies and listen to Jesus teach.  He could grow in his faith and be trained to do wonderful service in the future.  Jesus said, “I’m not going to do your plan.  Here is my plan.  Go back to your family and friends and  tell them what the Lord has done for you.”  The man didn’t argue.  He didn’t continue to beg Jesus to follow the plan he had offered.  He just did what Jesus said. 

How different our lives would be if we just did what Jesus said.  We did what he tells us to do with our money, our relationships, our priorities, our principles, our . . . well, our everything.  Stop trying to manage your unmanageable life and give Jesus control.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

Comments

2 Responses to “Managing the Unmanagable”

  1. Byron, I randomly came across your blog as I was “google-ing”. (ran into your “Do-Gooder vs. Good-Doer”) and started reading your recent posts.

    I like this post and like most, would agree with you. that we need to:
    “Stop trying to manage your unmanageable life and give Jesus control.”

    However, I know this is something most Christians struggle with. We all know that we are to let Him control us, but how do we? Hod do we hear His voice, become intimate with our Savior, and Lord. Letting Him control means we trust, and know Him, right?

    I see people like Rob Bell with their talk about how “big” their Jesus is(Not very sound doctrine, sadly), Piper and Paul Washer seem to have an intimate relationship with God in a different and passionate way. So my question is how do we go beyond a soteriological relationship with God? And what does it look like? Maybe this comes with starting to understand the unlimited power that God does have?

  2. avatar Byron says:

    Josh,

    Thanks for your comment. As one who has devoted the past 33 years to following Jesus I can say (with some degree of experience) that we are always in the process of beginning. These days I am most impressed, not with the intellectuals and the academicians, but with the faith seen in the common person–the person with no theological degrees but a deep faith.

    I'm in the process of reading Mark each week through the duration of my sermon series on Mark. In yesterday's reading I noted how those who should have known Jesus best (family, pharisees, scribes, and the Twelve) demonstrate over and over how little they understand. At the same time there are three near the end of the story that Jesus commends: The scribe who was not far from the kingdom (12:28-34); the generous widow (12:41-44); and the woman who anointed his feet (14:3-9).

    I like to read the thoughts of insightful theologians but in the end I'm more impressed by the faith of the “little people”. After all, Jesus said the kingdom belongs to people like that.

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