Think Before you Jump

Growing up as a child and a young believer in Jesus Christ, I spent a lot of time moving away from the cross and diving right into the benefits. Not to say I didn’t appreciate what Jesus did on the cross but it became background noise to the list of things I wanted from God. That’s until life slapped me in the face and I was in need of an anchor, something to keep me sane in the midst of trouble. It sounds so typical of me or any believer to have a thirst of substance when things go wrong. Kind of like Job, we know that he was a good man but we see a different side of him as the trouble piles up on him. When the storm passes, life goes on until the next crisis and up goes the bat signal. We do this back and forth with Jesus in a cycle that seems to never end. In the valleys, we get caught up in living in this world and taking part in all of it. Sometimes willingly and others unwillingly but never the least we “go along”. We forgot a lot of things, very important things and we don’t realize the switching that goes on in our hearts. This world tells us what’s important, what we need, who loves us and where our loyalties should lay. The world gives us tangible things that we need, good things and then takes the credit and glory for giving it to us. The world gives and takes in a manner the re-enforces a certain thinking that is already present in us but is defeated through Christ.

Picture it this way, Jesus is feeding the 5,000 fish and loaves which was being multiplied from the few fishes that was there. Then half way through a fisherman rolls up who has benefited from a miracle earlier with a boat load of fish. He stops one of the disciples or one of the people who had just heard Jesus preach. The fisherman offers them food at a price but says it’s more than what Jesus is willing to give them. He plays on their basic need to eat, he plays on Jesus controlling how much they get, and what He is doing is making the main thing different from the main thing of Jesus being God and caring for His sheep. The fisherman never mentions that it was because of Jesus that he has so much fish and when he is out, he is out. So the fisherman slowly lowers his quantity and increases the price. So we forget the main thing and replace Jesus with counterfeits who are out to steal God’s glory. But it only works because we forget. We forget to think about the main thing, we forget to daily remind ourselves of what actually happened on that Calvary hill and what it means to us.

1 Samuel 12:22 For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own.”

“Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.”

In our daily grind we lie to ourselves and the enemy helps us lie to ourselves. It’s the same old lie from the Garden of Eden. “Do as God say?” or “Did God really say that? He just don’t want you to be like him”. It’s the lie that everything is about us the individual and that God is hiding all the good stuff from us. So we run to the fisherman but we are saved for the sake of God’s great name. God can’t reject himself or allow His name to be defamed by anyone. God will not reject the people that He has purposed to save for the glory of His name. Our salvation isn’t all about us. God is the center of His universe and He loves us and was pleased to make us his own possession. The process of making us his own brings glory to God and it’s a glory He will not share with anyone or anything. So what does that say about the fisherman? The fisherman who steals God’s glory, who tries to pass off God’s blessings as something he is giving out. What also happens to those who give God’s glory to the fisherman? Those who stop going back to Jesus for more fish and loaves and are now turning to a thief? Regardless if people are being blessed, God’s glory is being defamed. We willingly separate ourselves from God because of a lie and the grumble of our stomachs. We stop thinking about what the main thing is…

“John 10:1 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.”


Main Thing:

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

We flock to the other fishermen in our lives searching for worth, our value, our true potential, our portion, what’s our due, and our glory. We stop thinking about this verse and fall for the lie and false promises of the fishermen who are in fact stealing God’s glory and repackaging it. At our very lowest point in life, which we are still not very far from, God loved us enough to die. But not just die, to become a man and face every single temptation, setback, disappointment, frustration, relationship issues, problems at work, being misunderstood, taken for granted, talked about, and anything else we go through that we swear no one would understand the struggle. Jesus lived that and He did it without running to the fisherman. Impossible? Maybe but He showed us how and then redeemed us back to God so we could have the relationship that He had during his life on earth. We look at our worldly status and position and conclude that God doesn’t care enough to make our lives comfortable on earth. When someone says that Jesus didn’t live a comfortable life, it is met with “I’m not Jesus” or “good for him” or maybe even “He is God”. At this point we have forgotten the main thing. God the Father seeks to conform us into the image of His Son, in order that Jesus will be the first born among many brothers and sisters. We are given the mind of Christ and are encouraged to imitate Him. We don’t want the life Christ lived because it’s too hard as it is a life of faith, depending on God for everything. The life that depends on the fisherman is something that we can control. Our forgetfulness of the main thing isn’t one of forgetting the milk or turning out the kitchen light. Our forgetfulness of the main thing is the main weapon we use to dethrone God day in and day out when what He wants rubs us the wrong way. When what we truly desire runs right into what God hates; we forget and try to change what God has already said. We must let the ugly beauty of the cross have its way with our hearts. The foolishness of God must consume us and overthrow our faulty wisdom as well as our trust in the fishermen of this world.

The most arrogant and prideful thing that we could ever do is shrug our shoulders at Jesus dying for us.   The most irresponsible thing and evil thing we could do is act like the solving of our current materialistic needs is more proof of God’s love for us. What would it be like to have God chasing you down, not to adopt you and love you but to pour out wrath on you? Thanks to Jesus we will never know but we do know what it would look like, a false trial, being beaten, and crucified.

“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

We think these things and are too much of a coward to admit how easily we worship other gods alongside Jesus Christ. We love to play on the line and dance in the gray areas of being a friend or foe. We justify it by keeping a score sheet of all the things we want that God has yet to give us. We throw in His face what other man is doing or what fishermen are doing for us like a cheating wife. And yet knowing all of this Christ still went to the grave for us. He rose to completely save us and to give us what we need most, which is eternal life. Why did I say eternal life? I say that because of how Jesus himself describes this abundant life.

“John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent”

Think about this and comprehend the implications of having a relationship with the only true God and the Son. Who would be afraid if they had the most powerful nation, army, king, etc. at their fingertips? So why do we always act as if all hope is always lost? The lengths that He would go to have been proven, the speed dial number has been given, and all we have to do is know Him because we have been granted that right by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. So think before you jump.

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