Off the wall
A very long journey
The list goes on and on. So why do we believe it?
It is true. Right. It works. It beats any other alternative I have tried.
If it weren’t for tough love the church may not have started. After all Peter denied Christ 3 times. But after Christ was resurrected, Peter marched into society preaching with a vengeance all the while enduring major persecution.
Moses would never have led the Israelites out of Egypt unless God had not been tough on him. It took him 40 years in the desert for God to prepare him for one of the greatest miracles ever. Which was harder? Getting Pharaoh to release them or dealing with their constant complaining and stubbornness?
The story of Joshua intrigues me. Not only did God place him in the footsteps of Moses ( a hard act to follow) he had to listen to the Angel of God’s Army tell him to march around the walls of Jericho 6-7 days carrying the Ark of the Covenant, and on the 7th day march around 7 times and then shout. And God said, “For you Joshua, he will split Rock.” And God did. The walls came tumbling down. The ground shook and split. But…can you imagine Joshua having to tell the Israelite fighting army such a crackpot story?
Noah was the town joke. He built this very large boat because it was really going to rain; a lot.
Abraham had to tell Sarai she would have a baby. Forget that she was wayyyyyy too old.
Oh and the guys who got thrown into the fire and didn’t burn or even smell like smoke?
Daniel, poor prophet. Who would believe he survived being thrown in a dingy dungeon with grown, large mouthed hungry lions for 24 hours?
And then of course there is Paul. The hated Jewish Pharisee created a story of an overnight conversion after beating and killing Christians. God politely hit him on the head and blinded him for 3 days to get his attention. SURE. RIGHT. Likely story.
I wouldn’t call any of these somewhat bizarre, crazy unbelievable stories easy. The suffering endured trying to get people to hear and understand how Jesus walked on water, healed the sick on the spot and that he died and went to hell and woke up on Sunday morning. And to think he didn’t even have a headache after 72 hours of changing the world.
This is what you call, “tough love.” And in our society and day we don’t know what that means.
You get slapped upside the head with who knows what and someone tries to tell you you’ve got it all wrong. You are omitting the real issues; your focus is off the target, you aren’t listening.
Then when you get crammed into a wall unable to move you wonder why.
God loves us. What we so often miss is his training or classes includes losing friends, family, finances, health and your dog. Believe me I know because I have been through all of that.
We think we know better than God how to fix ourselves, others or the immense falling apart we are experiencing. It is trifle to speak of but so true that God will not force us to do anything. Maybe that would be easiest for us but then we wouldn’t have learned his teaching of how to empty ourselves of self. Pride steps in and we begin teaching God.
“God, I can do this. I know I can fix all of this.”
That is a lie from the pit of hell with self-sufficiency written all over it.
And for your information if you think that, believe that and have the utter ignorant audacity to tell God, believe me he will move out of your way. He will allow you to use your independent, self-reliant stupidity to fall flat on your face over and over if that is what it takes. He is patient.
Take into account the Christian who has the nerve to tell you the truth especially if it isn’t what you want to hear. This is a sign of their love for you and your circumstances because doing so is at the risk of losing you. It is a God-given trait to tell the truth because it means that person is more interested in your soul than being a part of your life. In other words it is like God trying to save us from our own personal hell while keeping us out of hell.
That my friends, is tough love so get used to it.
And now; some articles from some blogging friends: