7. The Real Me

9 12 2010

(I have been reflecting on the book, “The Bait of Satan” by John Bevere. Here is chapter 7)

I think the one line that really stood out to me in this chapter is this:

“…trials and tests locate a person” (81).

In this chapter the author goes after the Word of God and how it finds us; how it actually lives in us and reveals where we are spiritually. The author says, how I react under pressure is how the real me reacts. Trials and tests prove who we are and who we are not. Trials and tests prove who Jesus is to us, and who He is not.

God says through the prophet Isaiah, “Whoever believes in me will not act hastily” (Isaiah 28:16). We won’t be easily moved and swayed, and we won’t “live on what [we] have heard others say” (75). We will actually be founded on something solid, and rooted in the Truth.

In the middle of a test or trial of some kind, we may not be able to see everything clearly, but we ought to know some things clearly that keep us from heading for the hills; we ought to know what we won’t let go of based on what God’s Word has revealed to us. This is more than a memorized verse, it is God’s Word revealing, urging, convicting, and changing us; it is God’s Word shedding a new light on our circumstances and us grabbing that, living in it, obeying it no matter what is thrown at us. The author says,

“My heart grieves as I see how [people] are moved by trials and not God’s direction. They extol how wrong things are or how badly they and others were treated. They feel justified in their decisions. But their reasoning is only another layer of deception…” (78).

The author focuses on the life of Jesus and how uncomfortable He was making His disciples as they went from place to place, finally saying something that just completely tipped them over. In John 6:53 Jesus says that to really have life in Christ they would need to eat of His flesh and drink His blood; referring to His impending death; referring to His absolute commitment to us and our absolute need for Him. As I sit here looking at those verses I think, “Jesus, couldn’t you have said it differently? Couldn’t you have made it more palatable? Did you have to say something that you knew people would bristle at?”

Why do people bristle? We bristle because we want our way; we want things to be said in a way that makes sense to us and is comfortable/comforting for us to hear. We want things to be delivered politely, gently, inoffensively. Jesus knew how to say things that would locate people; locate true intentions and loyalties. He was perfectly comfortable with “going there.” It is interesting when you see this happening; when you see what the straw ends up being; the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

  • A few verses later (6:60) the disciples are frustrated as they toss and turn over Jesus’ words.
  • A few verses later Jesus calls them on it (6:61): “Does this offend you?”
  • And a few verses later they can’t get past it and react by leaving Jesus: “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.”

Notice that it says many. This has always astounded me because Jesus is perfect; perfect! I get why people would criticize me and walk from me, but Jesus? I don’t even get that.

The author says that their eyes were focused on their own desires and they couldn’t hear the truth in Jesus’ words. It was a test that “located” them. They had been with Christ day after day, it is just that His words weren’t sinking in. When it came to push and shove, the real nature of their commitment was revealed.

So the question is an obvious one. When it comes to push and shove, what is my real nature?  Do I know, what I know, what I know when faced with a test and trial, so that even if things get very, very murky my feet stand on solid ground? When tests and trials come, what is proven about me? How do I respond, what do I say, how to I act or react?

I took a test this morning. It is an “Inventory of Emotional/Spiritual Maturity” and here is where I landed. There are a number of categories where I behave like a mature disciple of Christ. There are a few categories where I am more like an adolescent. And there was one I definitely need to grow up in. It’s a great way to start the day, realizing once more how immature I am 🙂 By the way, if you want a similar experience, here is a link to the inventory by Peter Scazzero.

Actually, I am grateful to be told it in this way. I don’t want to live in a comfortably naive state. When I am located, I want that real me to be someone who is becoming more and more the person Christ envisions me to be.

— Teresa Klassen

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