Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Sufficiency of Jesus Christ

  We live in very curious times for the child of God. We live in  an  age in which  the body of Christ has taken on and absorbed the  philosophy of the world and put  great stock in the pronouncements of psychiatry and psychology. We live in an age in which your every twitch and glitch  has been  given an acronym and a diagnosis by Christ-rejecting pill-dispensing doctors. It's a dangerous age.
    Assuming that people have always  been people, and that since Adam walked out of the garden mankind has been plagued with heartaches and sorrow one cannot  help but ask questions about previous generations. How did the body of Christ get along before all this?  How did we  survive the Inquisition, and the Black death without  Valium?  How did Susanna Wesley raise over 20 children without Prozac? How did we survive the  fires of Nero without Abilify? Could it be that Christians  did the unthinkable? Could it be that they actually relied on God and  shunned  the vain babbling of the  witch-doctory of their day as unfit for a redeemed child of God?
  When  questions like this  get asked,  usually the reaction is  quite telling. People will defend  their dependencies.  People will say things like "You don't know what you're talking about." or "You don't know what it's like." or "You've never been through a storm like mine."  Be careful with your assumptions.  But truly,  life is full of tragedy and sorrow and I haven't  borne  one tenth of the  burdens some have borne.  That's not the point. My storm versus your storm isn't the point. My heartache versus  your heartache or my craziness versus your craziness isn't the point. The point is that Jesus Christ is sufficient for ALL our needs.
  The Bible says in Isaiah 61:1 that "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted , to proclaim liberty to the captives , and the opening of the prison to them that are bound ; " That means that Jesus Christ has a ministry  to crazy people, to  broken hearts and   sons of Adam  that are mangled and marred by sin. If you choose to  deaden yourself by whatever means, then you miss out on a chance for Jesus Christ himself to minister to you.
  We all have baggage, and we  all have issues, and we also all have a choice in how to deal with them.  You can  rely on the Lord, or you can rely on something else.  Jesus Christ is either sufficient for your storm, or he isn't. The Bible says in Colossians 2 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:"   You are complete in him, which implies that , as simplistic and bumper-sticker-ish as it sounds, all you need is Jesus.  The world offers you a counterfeit in philosophy and vain deceit, and its a foolish  Christian who  trusts in the wisdom of this world when he can trust in the Author of  life itself.
  The Bible promises in Isaiah 26 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." The New Testament  reminds us in 1 Cor 15 that "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." and commands us in Eph 4  to ".. henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk , in the vanity of their mind...".
  The weaknesses of your mind  and the frailties of your flesh and  the  storms of your life  provide an excellent opportunity for God to  minister to you and to show his strength through  your life.  that's why  2 Cor 5 says "Of such an one will I glory : yet of myself I will not glory , but in mine infirmities.  For though I would desire to glory , I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear , lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak , then am I strong.  "
  I have seen the ravages of modern psychiatry destroy the minds of people in my family. I have also seen the saints of God go through unspeakable, horrific circumstances with tears, and weeping, and the power of God on their life.  With  such clear contrasts available, it has always seemed so strange to me that the same crowd who would condemn me for seeking solace in a whiskey bottle for my troubles  would  seek solace for their troubles in a pill bottle.  I wouldn't go to  a lost person for  advice on  trouble with my spirit, so why would I  trust  an unregenerate  psychiatrist or psychologist or therapist to  help me with my problems, especially when Jesus Christ has promised that he would help me?  After all the Bible says in Galatians 2 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live ; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. "
  As a word of testimony, I can tell you , without hesitation that my mind is held together  with God's help and by God's word.   Outside of  God's upholding hand, and preserving grace, I am as crazy as a bedbug and would probably destroy my entire life with foolishness.  Knowing this, and knowing that  the world offers no real help forces me to rely on God, and  allows him to minister to me.  I don't write this as someone who has no issues. I write this as a redeemed sinner whom God has helped  beyond my ability to explain. I know a thing or two about this.
  In closing, let me say that if you are trusting in some sort of medicine to make it through the day emotionally or mentally, I'm not mad at you, and I don't consider you a lesser Christian. I  just think that you are missing out on a  glorious opportunity.  I'm not telling you to go  pour your  pills down the drain.  I am just asking you to take a long, hard look at what the word of God says, and   try to align your life to it.  It's completely  worth it.

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