“The Matter Between Our Ears”

Posted: January 1, 2012 in Articles

Hello, 2012. Wow. It seems like just the other day it was 2011. My…how time flies. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year. I also hope 2011 was everything you had hoped it would be. If it wasn’t, rest easy my friend. It’s in the past and there is nothing we can do about it. It’s time to hit it again…a new year and new opportunities. I’m so glad I serve a God that makes all things new. Let’s get on with it…start the year off right…set the tone…and get folks talking.

I’m a sports guy. As a coach, leader, and strategist, I love to dive deep into the nuances and strategy of the game. The chess matches that occur between racing teams, dugouts, and sidelines are often as interesting, exciting, and enjoyable as the action itself. However, we sometimes get so caught up in the strategy and “out-smarting” the other guy, that we actually over analyze and out think ourselves. Admittedly, I catch myself doing this more often than I would like. One of my favorite movie lines comes from the movie “Major League”.  It’s top of the ninth…two outs…two strikes on the batter and Ricky Vaughn (played by Charlie Sheen) is standing on the mound, staring down a monster of a homerun hitter, and thinking about what pitch to throw. The screen then switches over to his coach and in a gruff and crusty voice the coach says, “Forget about the curve ball, Ricky. Give him the heater.”  What I hear in that is, ”Don’t think…just throw.”  If you are ever around a ball field with one of my little league pitchers on the mound, you will hear that phrase being preached…over and over.  It’s amazing how often our minds and the amount of knowledge, intellect, and skill we acquire get in the way.

Jesus Christ said, “Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Luke 18:17 (MSG) Why do we have such a hard accepting the simple message of grace, unconditional love, and salvation? The word “simple” is not used to denote easy. Rather, it means uncomplicated. I interpret the words Christ spoke about God’s kingdom to say that unless we accept the message of grace, love, salvation, and eternal life at face value, without clouding it up with the world’s analytical, scholarly, or intellectual insight, we will miss the point entirely and could very well find ourselves on the outside looking in. I don’t know about you but being on the outside of anything related to the God of heaven and earth is NOT where I want to be. As we go through life, the filter we see the things through is impacted by our experiences, knowledge, etc…Children, on the other hand, do not have those filters. They don’t look at anything beyond its face value…its simplicity. Isn’t it funny the more knowledge and experience we acquire, the less we are able to accept the most simple, basic, and transparent concepts.

Think about it. What were the academic resumes of the twelve…those first men that Christ chose to change the world by spreading the Message of salvation? Using today’s language, I don’t think there were many legal scholars or PhD’s. There is no doubt they were bright, gifted, and intelligent. Perhaps not by the world’s standards…or even the church’s…but the apostles accepted and understood the Good News Message at its core essence and were able to share it in a way that not only spoke to the hearts of people and changed lives forever, but they wowed the elite with their boldness and oratory skills (Acts 4:13 NLT). Don’t get me wrong. Getting an education and obtaining knowledge are essential….and Biblical. If you have any doubt, read through the book of Proverbs. But again I ask the question, “Why did He choose the twelve men that He did and not the scholarly elite? I’ll let you think about that one as it is a question that can be discussed at length…but it is a question for another time.

There are those that tout a belief in the reality of heaven, grace, unconditional love, salvation, absolute truth, an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and loving God, and an all sufficient Savior who hung on a cross and died for the sins of humanity, past-present-future, is a naïve, narrow-minded, uneducated, and simpleton perspective and point of view. The world tell us that things that sound “too good to be true”…usually are. However, we are clearly told in God’s word that it will take a childlike faith in order to enter heaven. (Matthew 18:3)  And if we will humble ourselves and seek His wisdom , and not our own, He will reveal a message of grace, forgiveness, freedom, salvation, and eternal life that truly is…“just that simple.” Remember, everything comes from the Lord. That includes knowledge, wisdom, and perspective. When we are praying, it would serve us well to pray that God will provide us the right amount of each. Until next time, keep it real…and Armor Up.

Don’t forget to visit www.servantwarriorministries.org

The above article was published in the January 2012 Power Source Magazine, www.powersourcemagazine.com, and can be viewed HERE.

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