vulnerable

here is the piece I read at the start about grace … Scan0129

here are the slides from this morning … Goliath 17 – Addiction (final) 2

and here is Glorious Day …

Keep this song on your list.  Look at the passion in the kids.  Listen to the words.  See the rejoicing.  “You called me out of the grave!!”   Amen!  Too many of us are walking around beaten and weighed down by this world and our mistakes.  Read the grace piece attached at the top of this post.  See those kids dancing and smiling and praising God.  “I’ve made so many mistakes”.  Yep, me too.  But Christ has called you out of that grave of mistakes into forgiveness and freedom and restoration.  Act like it.  Smile like it.  Engage people today like you own the most wonderful gift of all … because YOU do!

As soon as I feel vulnerable and weak and unable, I cover up and mask what is really true about me.  Saul covered up David’s vulnerabilities with armor.  Adam & Eve covered up.

It’s exactly what we do.  We can’t possibly go out into the world just as we are.  We feel vulnerable in our true self, so we cover up.  “I don’t want people to see me.  I am afraid of what they’ll think if they see me, so I’m going to hide me.  I don’t want to be vulnerable, so I cover up.  I don’t want people to know I’m afraid now, craving attention now, how insecure I am in this moment, how angry I am.  If I can have a drink before I go, I can cover up my insecurity.”

I mask the fact that I have vulnerabilities in my heart.

Before the fall, Adam & Eve had intimacy with God, peace with God and a place with God.  Sin entered, and they were isolated from God and they had no peace.  They had a place with men and hostility with men.

If we step out of peace and intimacy with God, we’ll instantly find what they found – comparison and compulsion.  And that’s where all of us in this room are, to some degree, today – a life driven by comparison and compulsion.  We all have the tendencies toward compulsive behavior.

Vulnerability isn’t all bad.  David took off his armor and went into battle vulnerable but in intimacy with God.  He may have been exposed but he was not alone.  He didn’t try to hide his vulnerability but, instead, he leaned into the ability of God.

When I am vulnerable, what do I do?  If I feel angry, tired, weak, that I am less than everyone thinks I am, unsure, tired from being overconfident all the time – what do you do?

We have to find God in the unmasked middle.

When I feel vulnerable, I have two choices …

Option 1 – cover up and get some drug to help me cope.

Option 2 – run to Jesus.  “I’m not going to cover or cope, I’m running to Jesus”

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There is great freedom in vulnerability, great freedom of letting go of being in control, posing as a man who has it all figured out, pretending you’ve got all the answers.  There is beauty in saying, “I don’t know” or “I don’t understand” or “this situation scares me” or especially, “I need help”.  We raise our hands in worship (some of us do!) but how about simply raising one hand the next time you are lost and saying, “I need some help”.

You won’t make in this life doing it alone.  You need tribe/community.  You need Father.  It is beautiful and, in fact, strong to admit you need help.  “In my weakness, I am strong”.

When we drop the pose and fall to our knees for the Father, we are admitting we are vulnerable and in that, we find great joy that Jesus embraces us just as we are.  Through that settled peace, we feel His acceptance and we are infused with His life.  And then, we can live out the Gospel exchanging out weakness for His strength.

Only when I am willing to be vulnerable can I truly see that He is ABLE!

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I am locked tight on God face to face…

As she so beautifully sings…

“Don’t look to the right or the left, keep your eyes on Me.  You will not be shaken, You will not be moved.  When the storm rages, I won’t be afraid, because I am locked tight on You face to face.  Your voice I will follow, Your eyes I will see.  I’ll come a little closer.  Come close to me because You are my anchor in the wind and the waves.  You are my steadfast and I won’t be afraid cause even in the darkest night, I will honor Your name.  If my heart and flesh fail me,  You are my strength…”

let it go…worship the Lord…

College kids worship the Lord.  They are too young to know that it isn’t civilized to let it go and worship.  So…they worship.  They are unencumbered, they are free.  We adults, on the other hand are too introspective, too self-absorbed, too hurt, too wounded, too bound-up and therefore, too tame.  We have made religion all about being safe, wealthy, “blessed”, riskless, predictable, manageable.  We’ve made it all about “me”.

Where on earth did we get that notion from?  Look at Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Joseph, Esther, Daniel – all of them snatched from comfort and safety and the life they knew and thrust into radical dependence of God.  Where did we come to believe that a life of faith was supposed to be predictable and safe?  What’s the cost of that belief?  Everything.

We talked this morning about the Love of God – Oh how He loves us.  God did not give it all through His Son on the Cross this Friday so you can be a “nice guy” or a “good, dutiful Christian businessman”.  He gave it all for reason…for His love of you.  He loves you.  Radically.

And so, worship Him.  Just freaking worship Him.  If only for one reason and one reason alone, because He loves you.

Kari Jobe was in Opelika last week and as she started the concert she called those that wanted to come up front.  The college students rushed to the front and just let go in worshipping the Father.  They are too young to know this wasn’t civilized.  I want that.  From now on, I want that.  Who cares?  Who am I trying to impress with my civility?  He loves me.  He gave it all for me.  I get to wake up every day and just worship and celebrate Him and feel His love and pleasure with me.  I am a Masterpiece.  His is the Voice I am going to listen to.  He alone is worthy of praise.

So we closed with this song.  Pray these words over you today and the days to come as we prepare for Good Friday and beyond.  We stood this morning at our close.  Some of us “sort of” danced.  Many of us lifted our hands and let these words drench us with His love.  Personalize these words…

“I am your church.  I am your son.  I am gathered here to meet with you.  I lift my eyes.  I lay my heart before you expectant here for you to move.  With my hands to the heaven alive in your presence oh God when you come.  So pour out your Spirit.  I love to be near you oh God when you come.  You are the way, the truth and the life I live for.  Oh how I long to know you more.  Come like a rushing wind.  Come light my fire again.  Come like a burning flame.  Have your way in me.  Have your way.”

rock it out.  turn it up.  don’t hold back.  just worship.  just worship…