Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Josh-ua: Friends Series

Work has been busy, busy in this little Cary office, but I'm coming to a break. A break. As in, "We were on a break!!," which can only mean it's time for some Friends. So grab that Central Perk cup of coffee, and let's talk a while. Oh so many Friends references in one little sentence! Makin' myself proud.

I have always liked the few episodes where Rachel tries her very best to catch the eyes of the recently divorced Josh-ua. If you've seen the episode, you can appreciate the way that was written. Rachel overemphasizes the name Joshua in an attempt to make him sound quite sophisticated. Yet, during the course of the few episodes, Rachel appeared anything but sophisticated. You may remember the instance where she wrapped her arm around him like they were walking down the wedding aisle. You may laugh thinking about the time she tried to impress him by tying the cherry stem in a knot with her tongue. There's also the time she threw an entire "Bon Voyage" party for Emily just to have a reason to invite Joshua over. The final straw is when Rachel squeezes into her high school cheerleading uniform and cuts a few cartwheels across the apartment floor only to cut her lip by falling. The party unfolds like a nightmare, and we laugh it off - but really we've been there. Working hard! 

This is going to be a bit of a stretch, but work with me here. Just like Rachel worked so very hard to get the attention and affection of Joshua, do we not do the same thing with our God? We read our Bibles daily, memorize Scripture, and serve our church faithfully in an attempt, on some level, to gain the affections of our Father. We think aren't doing "enough" and continuously want to do more in order to satisfy a god (ourselves) that bases righteousness on works. What a rut this can be- and a great cycle it becomes when we just don't know when to say no and become exhausted. We will be exhausted when we attempt to gain the attention and affection of God on our own efforts/our own works. 

Rachel worked so hard to be someone other than her self, so that Joshua would turn and look her way; she wanted him to see her as a potential girlfriend. Yet, that's not what Joshua desired of her. He wanted Rachel. He wanted her to be completely herself. No fighting for his attention. No attempts of showing off. Just Rachel.

God doesn't want us to work hard in the sense of gaining His favor. His favor is towards us because of the righteousness of Christ. He is the author and initiator of salvation. He knew of our need and provided Christ as the One to save us. His love towards us is because Christ's righteousness rests on us. - Not anything we have done ourselves (Eph. 2:8). It is not of our own doing, as Paul said. Yes, the Lord desires for us to be devoted to Him. However, that devotion is out of response to our fear of Him and love towards Him and not out of what we can do to win Him over. He wants us. Just us - and our reliance upon Him.

"It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God- but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people.."

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