Summary: Do we know who we are? With all of our hang-ups, challenges, gifts, warts and all, “THIS IS US!” Understanding our identity is essential for our health.
This Is US!
Pt. 5 - Chillin'
“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.” That was the declaration of the Ralph Ellison who was the author of the Invisible Man. Do you know who you are? If you do not, then it isn't Jesus' fault because He climbs a mountain, sits down and takes considerable time to tell us who we are supposed to be. He says this is us . . . blessed, square pegs & spotlights, grown ups and last week extras!
“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. “Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have! “You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and Money both. “If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (Message)
Jesus. . . knowing that we will face life and the daily concerns of health care, grocery bills, house payments, car repairs, college tuition, stock markets, retirement and the incessant cry from society to compete with neighbors we don't even really know . . . Tries to make it very clear that we don't have to become consumed or trapped by the rat race. We are in fact supposed to be care free!
This is US . . . Chillin!
He tells us to be care free when it comes to fashion, food, finances. How can He possibly tell us to live like that? How can He tell us to not worry. Not to fret. Not to lay in bed at night worried about making ends meet. How dare He tell me to relax! Doesn't He know the pressure I am under? And now He has the audacity to tell me I am supposed to live care free and worry free. How is that even possible? Thankfully, He gives us the answer towards the end.
We can chill because of two reasons:
1. He says we can be care free because we are cared for!
If we were fatherless, then we could not fearless. But because we have a Father watching over us we can rest in His care. We know He cares for birds but forget that He cares for us. Too many of us know He cares for the person 3 rows up and fail to realize or live like He cares about us! Some of us just need to stop for a moment and come to grips with the implications of the insight Jesus gives us in this passage. God cares about us. Let that sink in. The King of the universe knows us and cares. He is moved by our pain. He is motivated by our lack. He is for us! He is compassionate towards us. Talk about a perspective and outlook changer. Jesus even tells us that God will do His best by us. Knowing that I am cared for allows me to chill! I don't have do this as if I am alone. I have an involved, compassionate Father. I have a parter investing in me! I have backup. I have a wingman. Too many of this know this as head knowledge but then we live/worry/fret/fear as if we are in this all by ourselves. Our stress level may be an accurate indication of our solo level. If we knew we weren't alone in this fight, then would we be as overwhelmed and anxious?