The slides from today – manschool 2019 4
When you get knocked off your high horse and find yourself face down in the dirt, the natural question is “Why? Why God did this happen?”. If we dig enough into our lives, I think some of the reason of “why” can become evident. Some answers, in this life, may never be explained. We live in a fallen, broken world. We are all in the process of dying, all being “destroyed”. Stuff happens. Folks die. Accidents happen all the time. Cancer appears. Young folks have brain ruptures. The world has gone mad and we can make no sense of it — unless — we have an eternal focus.
I want to encourage you — this week, today — to dive into 2 Corinthians 4. It’s not long … just 18 verses. You have the time. Or do you? Which kingdom will you serve? Do you have the time to read this sacred text? Do you have the time to seek the hidden treasure that is God’s Word?
Dig into it these 18 verses. Word by word. Underline the key texts. Write in the margins of your Bible. Dig, ponder, question, talk to God as you read it, “What is it LORD you are trying to show me in this text?” Pay attention to the words “therefore” or “because” or “so”. Those words lead to something. They point you to the Way.
Back to the eternal focus. Paul is pointing us to the secret of not losing heart in the face of all the crushing defeat we face in this broken world. The secret (more in this in the coming weeks) is having an eternal focus. I can make NO sense of some of the tragedies I hear about (and have lived myself) from so many. None. But what I can make sense of is God and that He is good and that I can trust Him – even when this life makes no sense.
I claim I want to believe my eternal destination is secure – that I have a “Deposit Guaranty”. But in practice (not what I say), I live with compulsion and with anxiety and with a drivenness. I get so focused on the opportunities and responsibilities and needs and desires I have. I say one thing, I live another. I have lost sight of what is to come. I don’t have an eternal focus, I have a “here” focus, “me” focus. And if I live with a here & me focus, I will quickly find myself back up on my high horse, God will be back up on the shelf and my ability to make it through each day will come only from my own internal stamina and drive. It’ll all be up to me to secure my destination, to achieve all this world has for “me” and one of two things will happen, I will get sucked into the darkness that comes from a “me-centered” lifestyle — or — with mercy and grace, God will, once again, knock me off my horse into the dirt.
So, why would I say dirt is a beautiful thing? Because without a face down plant into the humility of dirt, I’d be heading down a path of destruction. I’ve never met a man whose life is all about him who also doesn’t have a train wreck of destruction in his wake. He may be “all that” but he’s a tyrant to his wife and he drives his kids to perfection. He craves the attention and is fed by his own glory.
“Lord, knock me off my high horse and never let me get back up up there”.
Yes I am worn out, exhausted, depleted, beaten to a pulp, can’t catch a breath or catch a break. Yes, my hope fades, my encouragement wanes and my bucket leaks. Thank God! These are hopeful because they point me back to God. Trying to make this life on your own, on your own strength will exhaust you. It can’t be done. I must be renewed day by day and that renewal can only come from the LORD.
Click on the slides. Take the “test” in there when we invert those questions (starting about 1/2 way through the deck). Ask yourself, in truth, where you are in this. If you find yourself hopeless and spiritually empty, follow the train of thought in those slides and see where it takes you.
… and read 2 Corinthians 4 !!!