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Sunday, March 10, 2013

"Why Not Me?"



Typically, Christians--and others--tend to ask the all-consuming question, "Why me?", when their circumstances become more difficult than what they think they should be.  We have been told, for years, it is perfectly fine to ask God, "Why me?".  Was there a time, in history, where asking God, "Why me?" was taboo?  I do not believe any question we might ask God is ever off-limits.  He already knows our thoughts so asking Him is no different from thinking it. 

You have searched me, Lord and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar. 
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. 
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Psalm 139:1-6 

The words David chose to describe our LORD's relationship to him and to us--knows, perceives, discerns these things about us, you are familiar with all my ways--can be so reassuring and intimate.  On the other hand, for some, this might be unnerving if they are not living in a right relationship with their LORD.  But for me, this is comforting, as I realize that God knows all these things about me and yet...He still loves me!  That's unconditional love, 1 Corinthians 13 love, agape love! God is all-knowing and He not only knows our thoughts, our ways, our words, before we think, say or do them, but He knows--intimately--our frustrations, disappointments, and even our pain.



 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,
Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses,
but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
 
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and
find grace to help us in our time of need. 
Hebrews 4:14-16


Honestly, in my opinion, "Why Me?" reveals a self-focused, self-absorbed, self-righteous attitude, or a victim mentality, if you willThis is where the vast majority of us live, every day.  Some how we have been convinced that we have certain rights and we deserve a certain level of comfort and a life of ease.  Yes, our Declaration of Independence states we do have certain rights, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These rights are more focused on the physical This focus on our physical pleasure, robs us of our ability to live abundant lives, spiritually-rich, full lives, which God has promised.  God's view of our rights tend to be more spiritually focused and based, instead of physically and/or temporal. But do not be deceived, the spiritual influences the physical, as well.

Abundant life, right now; we don't have to wait until we get to Heaven.  Abundant life, in the midst of the difficult circumstances. Abundant life, full and overflowing, in the midst of pain and suffering.  Hard to grasp...huh?


 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 10:10


It is not an accident that God chose to contrast the "thief", Satan, and what he does, with Himself and what He does.  Steal, kill, destroy vs. life, more abundantly!  Again, this abundant life, is for the here and now...not just the sweet by-and-by.

 What does God really say about our rights...to a life of comfort and ease?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20a
You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit who is in you. You have received the Holy Spirit from God. So you do not belong to yourselves, because you were bought by God for a price.

Luke 9:24
"Those who want to save their lives will give up true life. But those who give up their lives for me will have true life."

Matthew 5:11 
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me."





He tells us on multiple occasions, we will suffer in this life.  Why, then, are we so quick to demand "our rights" to a life of ease, as a believer?

I want to change my mindset from one of a victim to one of a victor! 

"Why Not Me?" reveals a life that recognizes this is no longer my life, but it is His...24/7/365 or 366! It is completely surrendered to my LORD...even when it hurts.  This attitude is an empowering attitude and grants the believer the ability to bask in the knowledge that our God loves us, and that His love for us will not take us where His strength cannot keep us.  

The Bible is vividly clear on this teaching, so why do we so often allow the Enemy to deceive us into thinking the exact opposite?   


This was the same strategy Satan used in the garden of Eden with Eve and it is the same strategy he uses on you and me, today, IF we let him.
 
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”  The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”  “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  Genesis 3:1-4

First comes the Deceiver's strategy...and God tells us straight out,"he is more crafty than any of the wild animals"...to plant doubt about what God really said (Genesis 2:6,7). "Did God really say?" Then Satan misquotes what God said by including all the trees in the garden as being off limits for food.  This caused Eve to add to what she knew God had said, originally, "you must not touch it".  God never told them 'not to touch' the tree, only not to eat of it.  Satan's response, "You will not certainly die" to Eve's addition planted another seed of doubt in Eve's mind and gave him the foothold he needed for the planting of the victim-seed; the only reason God told you this is to prevent you from being like Him, knowing good and evil.  God is withholding this knowledge from you, which is your right to know.  You are...a victim!

A 'Why not me?' mindset grants the believer a different perspective on their current circumstances.  Instead of feeling like God is against them or Satan is working overtime, it gives a freedom to develop God's perspective on their circumstances.  When we can grasp that all of life's circumstances are truly His grace, then we view our circumstances as opportunities to draw closer to our Heavenly Father, trusting Him more and more.  This is part of the process whereby we are growing into His likeness. 

Jesus never succumbed to a victim mentality.  Oh, He struggled with the temporal physical (death on the cross) and the emotional (separation from God when He became sin for us) sufferings of His life, but He never demanded His rights and He certainly could have, especially, since He was and is equal with God. 


However, if we do not know the promises God has made us, we cannot quote them back to Satan accurately when he tries to plant those seeds of doubt.  You can be assured he will do his best to secure a stronghold in our lives by causing doubts and by trying to make us believe we are a victim and not a victor.   By 'renewing our minds', as Paul exhorts us to do in Romans 12:2, we can develop a mindset that is the same as Christ's himself.  

Asking "Why not me?", when life's circumstances become challenging, will help us be ready to receive all God has planned for us, even in the hard times. 



"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.
On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
We demolish arguments 
and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,
and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.  2 Corinthians 10:3-6.