Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Everything is Everything

Everything is Everything

There are very few man-made things in the world, present and/or past, that can be considered perfect. In fact, maybe only one (in my humble opinion). No, I’m not referring to the Great Pyramids, Solomon’s Temple, or my wife’s banana pudding…those are close, but not perfect. After long contemplation, I’ve decided that the only man-made object that deserves to be dubbed “perfect” is… (and I’m sure you will all agree) …the first five seasons of the Andy Griffith Show.

Okay, okay, I can hear some of you chuckling. Well, it ain’t funny. We snicker at the things we do not understand (sarcasm, sarcasm). So obviously you have never been fully exposed to the divine-like conglomeration of philosophic depth and comedic charm that is “Andy and Barney”. Fortunately, I’ve been around long enough to know that some people have to touch the fire before they believe it’s hot. Therefore, with God as my inspiration, I’m going to use an excerpt of the Andy Griffith Show to draw us closer to the Lord, and in turn to see Him draw closer to us.

Allow me to set the scene. Andy and Barney are hanging out in the Court House, waiting for some undesirable news from Gomer, the attendant at Wally’s Filling Station. Barney is in a very depressed state because it appears that he has recently been scammed out of his life savings, after buying a “lemon” of a car from a tricky, not-so-sweet old widow. The following exchange ensues…

Gomer:  (Gomer enters the Court house) Hey Andy, hey Barn!

Andy:    Did Wally check the car over?

Gomer:  He went through her with as fine a tooth comb as you can imagine.

Barney:  (in a dispirited voice) Alright, let’s have the bad news.

Gomer:  Well, he got her runnin and I brought her over here with me, but she’s gonna

need…plugs, points, barrings, valves, rings, starter switch, ignition valves, water pump, fuel pump, oil pump, clutch, clutch barrings, clutch plate, brake lining, break shoes, break drums, radiator hose, and radiator hose cuffs….and I’d give ‘er a good wash too Barn.

Unfortunately, most of us can relate to the position Barney found himself in…you know how the vehicle ownership thing goes, a beautiful car on the outside, a bucket of rust and frustration under the hood.

(Pause…can you sense the segue?)

What’s even more unfortunate is that the spiritual condition of most Christians today resembles Barn’s car. On the surface we are a classic, the text book definition of “Christ-like”, but under the hood we are rust and frustration. What happened to all that “the old things are past away, behold all things are new” stuff. I mean, I thought we were supposed to be “more than conquerors” with this “more than abundant life”. What’s the deal? Its like we get this divine overhaul at the point of salvation and then opt to replace God’s new engine with the old broke down parts. Most of us spend most of our time crying out like Paul, “What I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Rom 7:15). It’s even more obvious in the way we pray. You know, you can really assess the condition of a Christian’s walk by what they pray for…it’s a great litmus test. If your like me, you spend most of your time asking God to download spiritual pick-me-ups to help boost you out of the current hole your in.

For example,…”Lord, I need your peace. I’m just a wreck God and I need your peace to help me make it through.”

Or try this one,…”Heavenly Father, I can’t do this anymore, give me the strength I need.”

See if this sounds familiar,… “I don’t know how to handle this one God, please give me the wisdom to know what to do.”

Now don’t jump ship on me, I spend a lot of time praying these type things too. I’m not saying we are all wrong for asking God for things in a time of need…Jesus has been there, He understands. However, there’s another side of this coin that you may not have looked at yet…so…Listen up, I’ve got good news. This is for every churched-up clunker that deeply desires to be a Christian Cadillac…you ready…read this….

2 Peter 1: 3 – His divine power has given us EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.

Here’s the bottom line. What do you need Christian? What parts are you missing? What parts need to be replaced? ANSWER: God has already given you EVERYTHING necessary to be a success in this life. You have it all, because you have Him. If God is living with in you, if you are in Christ and Christ is in you, if you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit…then you already possess every power and promise you need for “life and godliness.”

So you can continue to pray and ask for peace, strength, wisdom if you so desire. The truth is you already have it! We just need to learn how to use what we already possess. Can’t you just hear the loving, long suffering voice of our Abba Father when we ask…

“Lord, I need your strength.”

”David, my spirit is within you.”

“Lord, I need patience.”

”David, my spirit is within you.”

“Lord, I need: plugs, points, barrings, valves, rings, starter switch, ignition valves, water pump, fuel pump, oil pump, clutch, clutch barrings, clutch plate, brake lining, break shoes, break drums, radiator hose, and radiator hose cuffs.”

”David, I knew that you would, that’s why I placed my spirit within you.”