Meanderings of a Minister

What Are You Doing?
August 8, 2013, 9:24 pm
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For many people, this is a simple phrase used to greet each other.  Unlike “How are you doing?” they actually do want an answer.  They may say this to a friend on the phone to make sure they are not interrupting anything.  They may ask as they arrive on a visit to make sure they are okay invading their home turf. 

I was asked this question recently, but not by someone with a desire to avoid interrupting my day.  I was asked this question as a way of stopping me in my tracks and getting me to think about what I am actually doing and how that lines up with my walk with Christ.  “What are you doing?”  Actually, the question was asked a bit differently by a long dead author, Oswald Chambers, when he wrote in My Utmost for His Highest, “If the Son of God is born into my mortal flesh, is His holy innocence and simplicity and oneness with the Father getting a chance to manifest itself in me?”[1]

I had to think long and hard about Jesus manifesting His innocence in me because I know that I am anything but innocent.  I struggle with the same sins as everyone else, but probably more because I have more opportunities to express a Christlike attitude (or not).  I believe what Oswald Chambers was asking in the first part of the question was, “Does your life reflect the holiness of God?  The willingness to be different than others?”  As I thought about this question, I thought about the fact that having a daily quiet time with the Lord is different than much of the rest of the world.  The lost cannot understand the things of God and those things are considered foolish to them (see 1 Corinthians 2:14), so that makes me holy in this area of life.  I tithe, or give 10% of my income to my local church.  This makes me different than about 92% of those who identify themselves as Christians.  I give above and beyond the tithe with offerings.  That makes me different than about another 2 to 3% of “Christians”.  I attend church faithfully.  That makes me different than 75 to 80% of the population of our area.  So, the answer to the question is that I do allow Christ’s holiness to be manifested in me.

Just about the time you may be thinking I am bragging, or I might begin to feel pretty proud of myself, I realize pride is not part of the holiness of Christ, Who humbled Himself to give up the glory of Heaven to be born of a virgin, to teach twelve clueless men, to obey God unto death and even a death where He would be exposed shamefully, treated cruelly, and executed mercilessly.  On top of that, He did it because of the Father’s love for the world He had created (see Phil 2, and John 3:16).  In addition to that, I read James and realize I don’t control my tongue (chapter 3) , have disagreements with people because I want my way (chapter 4), and don’t always live out what I know the Bible to be telling me (1:22). I realize that I don’t control my food input, media input, time management, … the list goes on and on.

Is His simplicity getting a chance to manifest itself in me?  Hardly!  My wife and I are in the process of adopting a young child.  Simple does not explain any part of our lives right now.  In addition, I am attempting to work on another degree, be involved in the church, family, community, Pancake Day, Chamber of Commerce, school system, etc.  Simple does not seem to have a place with me.  I have been so busy this Summer, that the people of my church have languished to the point that many of them have put church attendance and meaningful Bible study on hold.

Lastly, is His oneness with the Father being manifested in me?  No.  Sadly, no.  For a lot of the previous reasons.  As I think about this reality in my life, I am challenged to look for ways to submit myself again and anew to my Savior.  While I cannot speak for anyone else, I wonder how many other people feel these same pressures and long to be and do differently.  Will we?  Or will we simply do what we have always done and hope things turn out differently?

What are you doing?

[1] Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year (Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications, 1986).


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