Friday, December 11, 2015

Ideal to Real

I was praying about what to read and write about today since I finished all the Scriptures from last Sunday when I wrote yesterday’s post.  In that prayer time, I started to think about this passage: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4 NIV)

I know that my teaching can seem “pie in the sky” or “too idealistic” at times.  Ok, maybe it seems that way a lot of the time.  That’s because I like to focus on God’s ideal for our lives.  Whenever we look at God’s ideal, it may be drastically different from what we consider “real.”  That’s because God’s picture is so different from our current reality, that we think it is impossible to experience what God want’s for our lives.  But the truth is that nothing is impossible with God.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Philippians 2:5-7 NIV)

Moving from our current “real” lives to God’s “ideal” takes time and effort, though.  We need to trust that God has our best interest in mind and that God knows best.  We need to be humble enough to listen to what God has to say and strong enough to follow through on what God asks.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death-- even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:8 NIV)

When I think about what lengths God was willing to go to for me, though, my part pales in comparison.  Nothing I need to do is as hard as what He did for me.  So, I get on the path.  I start the process.  I walk.

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11 NIV)

Yes, I speak of the ideal quite a lot.  But that’s because the ideal IS God’s real.  It’s the real life God wants for us, too.  God wants a relationship with us.  God wants to walk with us.  God wants us to walk together, too.  God’s picture really is perfect and available to us, too.  We just need to have the humility to listen to Him and then walk.

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Philippians 2:12-13 NIV)

How about you?  Are you seeking God here and now?  Are you willing to let God’s ideal become your real?