Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Staking Our Claim

Re-Posted from "Meditations of a Charismatic Calvinist Who Does Not Speak in Tongues"

One thing that prospectors do is stake claims.  The rest of us have a tendency to do the same thing.  We stake claims to various things as belonging to ourselves.  Yet can we really stake a claim to anything when everything we have comes from God (Job 1:21; Matthew 6:25-34)?  Also, as C. S. Lewis points out in "The Screwtape Letters," there are various senses of the word "my".  It can range from "my God" to "my country," "my church," "my wife," and all the way down to "my boots."  According to Lewis, Satan's strategy is to reduce everything to the level of "my boots."  Something that belongs to me that I can do whatever I feel like with. Sometimes we can be very spiritual about this.  We can speak of "my ministry" (as opposed to other people's ministries), "my Bible study group" (as opposed to other people's Bible study groups), "my church" (as opposed to other congregations) or "my denomination" (even if the differences between it and other denominations are Biblically minor).  Therefore we can promote our ends while claiming to be spiritual. 

Yet God takes the opposite approach.  He says we should put other people before ourselves (Philippians 2:1-4; Romans 12:9-21).  He even set the example by giving up His rights in order to redeem us (Philippians 2:5-11; Romans 5:6-8; John 3:16).  And if we have been redeemed, we not only belong to God because of His creating us (Psalms 139:13-16), but also because He has redeemed us (1 Corinthians 6:20).  Therefore we should stop staking claims to things, but offer everything we have, including ourselves (Romans 12:1,2), to live for Him.

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