Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Becoming a "Cross-eyed Guy"
I recently launched a new men’s group on Monday nights at Northshore Baptist Church in Bothell called “Cross-eyed Guys.” We are studying the temptations that men face and learning how to apply the power of the cross to our lives. (It is still open and you can email me if your are interested in joining us.)
What happens in the physical realm when we become “cross-eyed?” Basically two things: we look a little bit foolish (see photo on the left) and we see double.
The foolish looking part of this is something that the Apostle Paul said would happen. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (I Corinthians 1:18) When you think about it objectively, it does sound foolish, that millions of lives throughout history would be radically changed by the Roman execution of a Jewish rabbi nearly 2,000 years ago in Palestine.
Contrary to the physical realm, spiritually when we see double we begin to see clearly. We rightly see ourselves crucified, buried and raised with Him reigning in heaven as He is seated at the Father’s right hand today. (Romans 6:4-6, Galatians 2:20, Colossians 3:1-4, Ephesians 2:6)
So how does being a “cross-eyed guy” impact how I am going to see my past? The very things that cause me the greatest guilt or shame can now become the things that generate my deepest gratitude and praise. The broken road I may have had to walk to get where I am today is now the blessed road. The unfortunate tragedies are not random accidents or things to become bitter over but the very tools that God used for my deliverance as well as for my equipping to help others. Just as the cross of Christ, a humiliating scandal from the human perspective, becomes the surprising means for my deliverance and His and my future glory.
Joseph was a “cross-eyed guy” (See Genesis 50:20) as was Paul (see Philippians 3: 7-12). You and I can become one, too. It’s not too late. It just takes practice to increasingly “see” our life in this way. This is a progressive thing we need to work at.
How would becoming “cross-eyed” impact my present? I would live with the immediate, conscious awareness the “He loved me and gave Himself for me.” I would experience more joy in my “belovedness” and see my life as a blood-bought gift from my Heavenly Father and not some random right gained from the advantages of human evolution. I would walk with the awareness of Christ’s Spirit in me, flowing through me to those around me. I would have more divinely inspired confidence to reach out and touch others in His name trusting that He (not me) would make a difference in each encounter.
What if I could rest my future in the fact that “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain?” I would face my future with a hopeful expectation and less fear of growing older and dreading the inevitability of my death?
I am learning to become a “cross-eyed guy.” But I am aware that everything in this Christ-rejecting culture is pushing me away from the clarity of this double vision. I often find myself seduced to see my past as only painful and random wanderings, my present as lonely and futile and my future as vague and uncertain.
But the truth is that in my past He was there all along working “all things” together to bring me to His cross for my deliverance. The reality is that in the present I am never alone and He is using me to display His resurrection life even when I am quite unaware of it. And regarding the future, because of His cross, I can rest in the peaceful assurance of His faithfulness to fulfill His promises throughout eternity—and there is nothing foolish about that!
Because of the Cross,
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