Nailing Someone: Attaching One to a pole and crossbeam with an expectation of their impending judgment

A person can be nailed to a tree of condemnation for nothing less than making it necessary for Christ to die. Christ is the One who makes our judgment known and also our peace. The reality is that He is the only one who faced undeserved rejection by sinners and unjust punishment on behalf of sinners.

So, if all this is true, then I have lost my permit to nail people. I’m not the One they sent to the grave that belonged to them. Therefore, I do not have a legally binding beef with them since I am not Christ. Rather, I must recognize that what was His great “beef” has been dealt with.

It is presumptuous and even dishonoring to His name (meaning Savior) for me to try to resurrect the penalty for others that once also belonged to me. I do not make myself more righteous by doing this, nor do I make myself feel better. I merely teach myself to forget that all my sins hung on that cross with Him too!

I know, trust me, that doesn’t function very often for me either! I get upset with people for hurting me, for killing my sense of pride, for annoying me, but though my complaints against others vary, they remain on this plain of disbelief. With each one I lift up in my heart I make an idol of a form of self-imposed justice that I don’t find at the cross.

I judge, ridicule and grow impatient with people for any other reason but for the one reason they were provided with the cross of our Savior: They are guilty before God. Rather than desiring them to turn from being their own master so that they may be fully reconciled to Christ, I desire to rule over them myself!

In my head I know that the cross has the center ground. But when my heart engages life it doesn’t acknowledge this. You see, I deceive myself. I tell myself it’s important, it just doesn’t warrant center.

And who might warrant that position, you ask? Well, funny thing…ya see…I have to admit…I do.

Pure and simple: No one holds center stage in my world (or in any other world, for that matter) except me.

It’s sad. But then, maybe that’s the reason I find it so necessary to ridicule and so difficult to forgive the faults and misdemeanors I see.

If the cross was the apex of my world, it would be the cornerstone of my thinking and the bridge of my relationships. In fact, if I really understood what the world, true thinking and relationships meant, I would realize that these things have no meaning without the death and resurrection of Christ.

Clearly I need a reality check. Instead of me trying to check reality and make it sound, reality should be the one checking me!

 

So what’s this thing He’s got for precedence? I thought being God was enough!

Do you ever wonder why God wants so much precedence in your life; why He’s so picky; why He’s so intent on getting you to stop living except that you are living for Him?

I know, crazy isn’t it? But maybe we should let Him answer that. Maybe we should tune our hearts in to hear His heart: To learn what makes His heart beat differently. What might He say to our many challenges if only we would put them before Him and be willing to receive His response? He might say something you don’t expect. He might warm your heart. He might do something with your heart so that it can be warmed.

Regardless, He speaks. Here’s what He says to me. (In your heart language it might be a little different, but the message is still the same.)

 

My heart wants you. In all the aspects of who you are I want to be a part. I want no broken pieces that aren’t Mine to hold; no bits of stained-glass beauty that aren’t for My eyes to enjoy.

Your life was meant to be Mine to shape; if you forsake this design, you not only forsake Me, you forsake yourself. My child, you don’t know what you’re doing it. You don’t know how to handle or fix yourself. That wasn’t supposed to be your responsibility.

Let Me do the job. I am your Expert; the One you are to run to with all your personal matters. I created the job–the delight–of caring for you; I won’t yield it up to anyone else. You must force Me to step aside or I will make My presence and My love fully known to you. I will develop My love-seed in the soil of your heart and make you the supporter of its produce alone.

You will love Me and My words will be life to you. But don’t expect to do this yourself; I will do it to you. And you will rejoice when you see it. Just you wait!!

 

Where did God get that crazy idea from — I can take care of my self!

It can be painful to realize that we need other people. We don’t like having to admit that we don’t have it altogether all by ourselves. Worse, living like we don’t need them and even, we are better off remaining in the exclusive club of “me”, seems to be absolutely necessary in the world we live in. It seems to be unsafe to chance enlarging our boundaries from self-care to mutual-care.

Agh! I’m so afraid of that. What if that other person can’t come through for me? Or more frightening, what if it’s revealed that I am not fully capable of coming through for them?

Is this what relationships are about: being willing to fall on our faces in front of those we’ve committed ourselves to love?

Oh, I’m afraid I really don’t like that! I would rather pretend that love was something else. That it were only good-intentioned feelings when I do not want or know how to act. And that it were solely confined to actions that I could fulfill and feel at ease though my heart were cold.

But, love appears to be neither wholly good-intentioned feelings or wholly actions but rather, both good-intentioned feelings and actions. When I look at the love God talks about I see an onslaught of care and other-centeredness that makes me cry “that’s just not me!” The love He models lays down the self that it might lift up another. It is not an merely an element of who one is, it is supposed to be representative of one’s whole being.

But, the last time I checked, love and I don’t know each other that well (and that was two minutes ago, in case you thought it might be time to check again!). I don’t know what to do with that.

Oh! When I hit that place of desperation, would that I could see that as the whole of the matter on my side, and not just as a plaintive introduction! Unless God teaches me and enfolds me in love, no one is going to know love because of me.

I’m slowly learning to accept the the truth about God’s undefiled love and my defiled self. What a huge grace it is! The more I learn about love, the more I recognize that being filled with and characterized by love must be a grace-dominated thing. There’s just no other way to attempt such a steep assent into His ways!