Doing The Impossible
I want to be like Jesus. I don't mean I just want to be kind and compassionate, I mean I want to do what Jesus did, speak the way he spoke. I can only speak for myself, for I am no man's judge. I can only look at my own life and summarize whether there is evidence of the creator dwelling in me. I have been reflecting, lately. I have been reading about Jesus, reading the stories over and over of what he did, how he did it, what he said, how people responded....and I must admit, I find myself lacking.
Now, I am not saying I feel condemnation or judgement when I read these things. On the contrary, I find myself yearning to do those things Jesus says I can do, to say what he says I can say, to walk in the power he says I can walk in because I love him that much. I find myself desperate, in fact, to be just like him.
I think there is a conception among many of us that we are not called to be exactly like Jesus, because, well, he did outlandish, supernatural things...and we are just human. I believe that to be a lie of the enemy, though. I believe it to be a lie because Jesus specifically tells his disciples that he is calling them to do what he did in his ministry, that he is giving them all of his authority to heal the sick, raise the dead, even drive away evil spirits. He tells us we have all the power available to us to be just like him.
I want to be like Jesus.
I believe all the way to my toes that being like Jesus means doing the supernatural. He says, in the book of Mark, chapter sixteen, exactly what signs will follow those who believe....
"And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name, they will drive out demons, they will speak in new tongues, they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all. They will place their hands on sick people and they will get well."
I don't see any way around this, friends. I read these words of Jesus and I realize with perfect clarity, that I am called to these things...because I believe. I don't have all the answers, that 's for sure. I don't understand everything I have seen in my life...but I do believe. I believe that if Jesus says I can do it, then I can do it. Perhaps, I hold back. Perhaps I let fear weigh me down and keep me from walking in the power of his spirit. Perhaps I fear the very power I crave.
The church is full of hypocrisy. There are plenty of people who have and still are abusing the power available to them. They play on the frailty of humanity instead of feeling the burden of it. I have seen plenty of hypocrisy in my lifetime. I have seen how man's emotional state can get out of hand and create experiences that are not of God. Those experiences do not, however, make God's power any less real or tangible. It is my responsibility to humble myself and pray; to fast, to seek God...to pour myself out as an offering. Then, when that time has come, God will pour that power out in me, not because I have attained a holier state but because I have lowered myself, reduced myself, so that he can be greater. My pride has to go. My selfishness has to go. My backup plan has to go. There can be no other answer, if I am to be like Jesus. He must be first and last.
I believe God wants to stir up the power within us and fill us with more. I believe that the power he offers is for the building of his kingdom and the glory of his name. To think, he offers us this power so readily. In his name, we can offer real freedom to so many, see so many set free. I am so grateful for Jesus. I am so grateful for his example that I can follow. We are called to the supernatural, to reach for what it not possible except with God. He is our power, our authority, and with him we can do the impossible.
"Forgive us, Lord, for holding back. Forgive us for our foolish pride that says we can't be like you. We can, because you say we can, and that is enough. Fill us with your power, so that your hope can be evident to those around us. This world needs the freedom you offer. Captives need to be set free. The sick need to be healed. You offer more than just escape from death. You offer freedom in this life from strife, from the bondage of humanity. May we find the courage, to be like you, so that others will know the freedom that comes to those who believe."