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Tuesday, November 08, 2016

the Four Loves- the True Ox

“Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who live on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the powerless, who crush the poor, who say to their husbands, “Bring something so that we may drink!”” 

We have seen the baespel (i made that word up, so yeah, you’re seeing it right) of the Ox of Comfort.  We’ve heard her bells tinkling in our own lives.  Inviting us to what she promises will be greener pastures.  Bulling open gates which should not be opened and luring us out of fences which keep us safe with promises of freedom and ease and indulgence.  We’ve heard (see what i did there?) her lies, “God is not good.  God is harsh.  God is a hard man, a severe God, reaping where He does not sow, gathering where he does not scatter seed.  We need to find our own joy.  Our own freedom.  Our own comfort.  Fear not, he’s forgiven you, all things are open to you (yes, Satan quotes scripture)”  It wouldn’t be called temptation if it weren’t tempting.  We believe this long lashed ox.  We join her herd (that’s what i did there) and trample others in our desire, our supposed need, our LUST to get what we want, what we feel God in his wrath, indifference or weakness refused to, cared not to or could not provide.  

“Oh wretched man that i am!  Who will save me from this body of death?”  How do we fight this bull?  How do we turn this ox?

Glad you asked, here’s my guaranteed two step program to beating temptation.  

Step One: turn around.

Step Two: do you see Jesus?  If No, repeat step one because you didn’t actually do it.  If Yes, then fall down at his feet and worship him!

i’m not kidding.  That’s it.  As Rev. Tim Keller says, petition is how you see your world.  Confession is how you see yourself.  And Adoration is what informs and shapes them both!  When we adore ourselves and our idol, God is cruel, God is small, God is absent.  God’s gifts aren’t good.  Before it confesses and before it petitions, the Lord’s prayer starts wth Adoration because you need to see Him first as he is!  You need to know to whom you are speaking.  Whom you are following.  You need to see by His light!  The Bible doesn’t ask you to blindly trust, it says, “Taste and see that I AM good!”  It asks you to turn and trust because you DO know him!  Some will call it repentance for that’s what the word means, to turn.  Some will call it abiding ( thanks Eric! ) for you would have to be with Jesus, the better Adam in order to see the danger and turn anyway.  For you like Eve, on your own, would dive right into that cow and sink your teeth into a filet.  Blood still in it.  But our husband, our truer Adam, unlike our first one, which we are obviously no better than, stops us, turns us, guides us back to himself.  Which came first?  Who cares?  Rejoice that He does it!  Rejoice in him!  The true Ox.  The true Bull.  The true Servant who loves to the point of sacrificing himself for the One he loves!  The true Heifer who takes away our sins!  The true yoke mate who pulls oh so much harder than we do and bears all the weight!  See HIM!  Know HIM!  Seriously.  Know him in the biblical sense!  The baespel draws us away by making us doubt God, doubt Jesus, doubt His love and compassion and devotion to us.  Our idols tell us lies about Him first before they make their counter offers because otherwise it would be ludicrous to think this stinking, fly infested cow has something our loving Father does not.  Could give us something our loving husband would not.  Would give us something better than obedience to our Master will.  Yes, it may feel like a life of fences, goads and suffering servitude at times, maybe even the whole time…

But take a look at the towering bull who was slain and lives in the yoke with you.  Lean on him, he’s strong enough to bear the yoke and you as well.

" For in that which he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted." Heb 2

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