Posts Tagged ‘control’

Recently I was rereading a favorite novel written by James A. Michener in 1949 called “The Fires of Spring”. I’ve been troubled by the following passage since:

“… She sat still and intent. Suddenly her right arm shot out quicker than David’s eye could follow. She had caught a fly. Methodically she ripped off its wings and placed the flightless creature upon her barren table. Then, with a finger of spit, she drew a wide circle about the dismembered fly. Composed and calm, she watched the fly as it stumbled about the table top. As long as the fly stayed within its circle, which was ample, the mad woman followed it patiently, with her great eyes rolling this way or that. But when the fly once touched the forbidden line, the old woman’s face clouded in anger. Then she raised her right hand and with a brutal spatulate finger crushed the fly.

Then, like a spider, she waited until another fly came into her ken. Flashingly she would snatch it from the air. Wingless the fly would wander across the surface of his restricted world. It was free until it transgressed the line. Then the horrible forefinger ended all feeble wanderings.”

The reason this disturbs me is it’s such a clear description of what we’ve been taught about God. How many times have you been warned to “stay under God’s covering” or “obedience is God’s love language”? Which is another way of saying God loves you when you’re following the rules. You’ve probably learned God has favorites and other forms of blessing theology as well. (If you follow this link please read the 5th post first, then up the page from there.)

In the story we can easily see the woman is mad yet somehow we accept this same behavior from God because He can do whatever He wants. Jesus tells us, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” Let that sink in for a minute. Is He letting Phillip know what he’s been taught is all wrong? Did Christ ever treat anyone like the fly? I guess He did get angry one time in the temple but wasn’t that anger directed at those who were profiting from folks being taught to obey or else?

Jesus came to prove God’s love for you, to show you no matter who you are or what you do, His love doesn’t change. He wants you to know Him, really know Him and it breaks His heart when we picture Him anything like the lady in the story. The truth is God gave us wings and all of creation to enjoy and explore. Please don’t let others remove your wings because of their need for control.

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Religion answers the question with “I think so”, then asks how can I manipulate Him to love me more than He does everyone else.

Faith answers the question with “yes!”, then asks how can I know Him more.

The world needs more people giving us something to think about and less people telling us what to think.

If love is the answer (and it certainly is) then trust is the vital result. To put it simply, knowing that you are truly loved births the ability to trust God regardless of the circumstances surrounding you. Love begets trust which leads to security bringing peace and freedom while keeping fear, worry, control, distraction and the need to conform at bay.

God’s message to us is not complicated. Through His birth and life among us He declared; I’m here, I’m real and I love you. In His death and resurrection He affirmed; I’m still here, I’m very real and I love you more than you can imagine. The implications of this should impact every aspect of our lives yet how often do we live with a “see You in Heaven” attitude or allow fear to control our lives as though He isn’t real and lack trust as though we are unloved?

The theology of blessings diminishes God. It puts man in charge. If I do this, think that or adhere to this set of rules and behaviors God will be obligated to bless me. Intimacy with God and those He’s placed around us suffers immensely when we allow this principle in our lives. Keeping up the facade of God’s special blessing will wear you out. We are not in control!

Dialogue is twice as good as a monologue.

Accountability, Apostle, authority and anointed. If you find yourself in a religious environment that uses these words frequently I encourage you to make a change. These words are very often used to wield power and control, something Jesus never wanted for Himself and certainly not for others to have over us. That’s not who He is or what He wants in fact what He wants is nothing more than to love us as the individuals He made us to be, to be loved in return and to literally walk through each and every day with us, good times and bad. Jesus is calling us into fellowship not forcing us to followship.

Anointed literally means rubbed with oil. Scripture figuratively uses the term to strictly reference the Holy Spirit’s interaction in, around, through and upon a person. Anointing is not intended to bring glory to an individual or to indicate superiority.

Paul’s list of qualifications for the office of apostle is extremely narrow while the definition of the word itself is broad enough to include all who love Jesus. This doesn’t add up to a privileged position in the church between God and His people.