We do what we WANT to do.  That is the truth of it.  We do what we want to do.  We don’t do what we don’t want to do and we do what we want to do.  I have become a master of holding on to things that I call “values” and “beliefs” but not allowing them to be manifest my life except in ways that coincide with my personal desires.  The short way of saying that is I am a hypocrite.  There is no way around it.  I hate it, but there is no denying the truth. 

It is no use comparing myself to someone else.  Saying, “well sure I’m a hypocrite but not as big a hypocrite as that guy over there!” is just a waste of breath.

I need deep soul reality and I need for that reality to be made manifest in WHAT I DO EVERYDAY.  Let me clarify even further.  Going to church, being involved in church activity, singing in the worship service, for me these things DO NOT QUALIFY as holiness, righteousness, or any sign that I am on the right track.  I can do all of these and be completely lifeless on the inside.  For me personally these things have militated against  soul reality.  They have been my hypocritical hiding place, my shield, my mask held up to fool myself and everybody else (but mostly myself) into believing I am doing ok.  Ministry was my way of pacifying my own guilt at my lack of Christ-like character escaping a real investigation of the contents of my inner man.    

I have decided that I cannot settle for less than a complete renewal of mind.  The way I react to my wife and my friends, the way I act when confronted with a situation, the emotional states of my heart at all times, the way I FEEL not just what I do; all of these must be changed.  I must BE and not just do.  I want to BE like Christ and I want that inner reality to flow out of me through my actions, my eyes, my words, my facial expressions.  These changes only happen by the power of the Holy Spirit at work on the inside of me.

Here is the thing.  I am completely ok with this looking ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like the modern Christian subculture characterizes it.  I heard someone say the other day that Christians are thought of in the outside world as looking and acting just like Ned Flanders from the Simpsons.  If we do we have totally failed. 

I want to look like Bono.  No really.  He is a Christian and I think in some ways the kind of Christian I want to be.  Sure he cusses, drinks, smokes, and gets it wrong a lot of the time, but who doesn’t.  I’d rather be a cussing, drinking, smoking Christ-like person than have a clean mouth, a blood alcohol level of 0.00, and clean lungs and be nothing like Jesus on the inside.  Not only that but Bono can speak credibly to the world and they stop and listen.  Ned Flanders can’t do that.  I tell you it isn’t the clothes or the songs that gives him that right.  It is the passion of his heart for the poor and suffering in Africa and the Billions, that right Billions with a B, of dollars that he has been able to mobilize to meeting the needs of those people.  That is Christ-likeness and the world responds.  I am NOT advocating drinking, smoking, or cussing!  I am just saying that THOSE things are not what makes a person like Jesus or not like Jesus.  Caring about what Jesus cares about and being driven by that compassion to ACT THAT is what makes us like Jesus, and that is how I want to be.

We do what we want to do and I want to WANT to do WHAT JESUS WANTS TO DO!  I long for the day when my desires are aligned with His.  All of my desires, and my friends that day is coming, slowly but surely, that day is coming

Come Holy Spirit take from what is Jesus and give it to me.

Amen

 

 

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