Edge God In Podcast Week 7 of 2017: What’s Your “Precious?”
2 Peter 2:19: “A man is enslaved to whatever has mastered him.”
Luke 5:5: Jesus said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch (Jesus invites us to go past our comfort zone, always beckoning us to trust Him beyond our limits)…“Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I WILL let down my nets.”
Galatians 5:1: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened by the yoke of slavery (“the RING”).
Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings invites us all into a powerful reflection on 4 entrapments in life:
Questions for Reflection:
What’s your precious? The fetish that renders you under its spell? Your “RING” that blinds you to the things of God and catapults you into worldly distraction?
- Power? Power over people and circumstances create a block of God’s power in and through us. God has given us His power to overcome: 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God did not give us a Spirit of timidity but of power, love and self-control.” When the need for power overrides our ability to surrender and trust God to act we render ourselves enslaved to that which we want power over: “
- Power over people’s responses to us
- Power over circumstances
- Power of over our future and our past
Solution: Surrender your will to God’s will. Before transitions in your day pause and invite God’s will and power into your situation: Dear God I give you permission to guide what I say and do so that you are glorified in this situation. What do you want me to say? How would you have me respond? What forward action step do you want me to take next? “Now listen you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city…carry on business and make money.’ Why, you don’t even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-17
- Possessions? Jesus invites us to guard ourselves against every form of greed, for our lives do not consist in the abundance of our possessions (Luke 12:15). As was the case with Frodo when he possessed the “Ring” his attitude towards people around him flipped from humble, gentle responses to anger, fear and threat. When we attached ourselves to anything but God we become imprisoned by desire and want which fuels selfish ambitions and envy (James 3:13-16). People before things is an indication of aligning ourselves with the wisdom that comes from heaven which is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere (James 3:17-18).
Questions for reflection:
- Reflect on the possessions in your life that you have put before people.
- Invite the Holy Spirit into your attachments. What have you given yourself over to? We can have attachments to different kinds of possessions…what is your “precious” that possesses you? You know you have an attachment when the thought of losing it causes your heart to race and your mind to ruminate with fear of losing that which you possess. When I lost my hair and breasts in the midst of advanced cancer I realized I had formed an attachment to my appearance it had become a possession of mine that I linked my worth and value to…have only 1 attachment and you will be free: Your heart to God. Have only 1 expectation in life: to be loved and adored by God.
- Popularity? Jesus was not confined by status or the opinions of other people. Why are we? What should it matter if the whole world should come against you if your heart is in fellowship with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords? What will you profit if you gain the entire world’s attention and forfeit your soul? As Mother Teresa so brilliantly captured: “God didn’t put me here to be successful, He put me here to be faithful.” Reflect on John 15:18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.”
Questions for reflection:
- How often do you check your social media to see how many likes you receive on a post or picture?
- Do you give more authority to God’s opinion of you or people around you?
- How do you respond when someone insults you or criticizes you?
- Position? Reflect on: “The last will be first and the first will be last.” Matthew 20:16 and Matthew 20:26-28: “Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and t give his life as a ransom for many.”
Questions for reflection:
- When has it been difficult for you to be last? Overlooked?
- What does it feel like for you to serve someone else over your own gain in life?
- Have you ever prayed for the success of others over your own?
- How have you responded when someone else has gotten something you wanted? A promotion? A better grade? A position of rank or status? Explore praying for the grace (and it IS A GRACE) to rejoice with other people’s success over your own…when you master this you will reach a new level of internal freedom over the ring of position.