I promised myself I would post this at some juncture this week, so here goes.
Does anyone remember what temperature it was at the beginning of the year? I don’t know how to transition into what I need to say, but the first week of 2011, it was about 20 degrees at six o’clock one evening. I went on a run three times that week, the 40, and the 48 South twice. That nomenclature has to do with where I turned around. But anyway, the second of those three times, I ran because I felt like I was a boiling pot of water and the pressure was building. It was a Tuesday and I was in charge of the festivities of Z-360 that week. In fact, I was going to be all by myself and preaching. I hadn’t come up with a game yet, but that was only one of my worries.
As I ran, I thought over a particularly crazy and ridiculous situation I had caused about a week earlier. An instance where, as always, I proved once again to myself at least that I shouldn’t be trusted in public. The episode that proved my handicapping madness was seared on my memory like a cattleman’s brand. I kept thinking, ‘I’m broken; I need fixing.’ My message that I was going to preach was about stress management from a biblical perspective. See my posts from that first year of blogging to get the jest of what I was going to say. This run was my ‘effective stress management’ ie giving it up.
Earlier that week, I had had a conversation about predestination from the viewpoint of Calvinism, which by the way is not the same as what Paul was talking about in Romans 8, but try telling a 5 point Calvinist that. As I struggled with how to articulate my understanding of the matter, during my run, I began to declare this epitaph, which quickly became like a chanted montra.
What is a master, like an expert? It is someone who has knowledge and skill in a particular field. A master carpenter has skill in carpentry and has power over wood. Power. Authority over. A master designer has power over the design. God is a master designer, THE Master Designer; He has power over His design. We are created in His image (Gen 1:28), therefore, we have choice because He has choice. We didn’t choose Him, but He chose us, because He is the Master Designer.
Then my mind turned to my episode of madness, my time outside my element. I remembered Colossians 3:15, which is “let the peace of God rule in your hearts.” The question came and I voiced it: Why does the peace of God rule in hearts and not minds? It is a part of the image of God we bear, yet we were and are deceived. Therefore, we are to renew our minds whereby we are transformed, cured. 2 Corithians 10:4-5 talks about the weapons of our warfare for casting down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. The obedience of Christ as in Philippians 2:8. Humility, He humbled Himself, just as in 1 Peter 5:7, the context is humility. Col 3:16 ‘may the word of God dwell in you richly.’ The word of Christ. Romans 12:2 spoke of proving the will of God after being transformed. The word of Christ transforms the mind. The Word. The WORD…guards your heart and your mind
At this point, my pace is quickening and my breathing is labored, but the words are still coming out of me, as if I have no regard for oxygen at all. My thoughts voiced then and typed now had flown unbroken, fluidly, but then came this montra, this chant that I repeated over and over. The cure is in the Word, no ‘IN the Word IS the Cure. I am Yours, Master me. I am Yours, Master me. In the Word is the cure. IN THE WORD IS THE CURE!! I AM YOURS; MASTER ME!!
In that moment, everything else seemed so very small, infinitismal even. I knew without thinking what the game the following night was going to be. I knew beyond a doubt that I had rediscovered something that had been staring me in the face all along. It was the key to so much. Surrender and the Word, both scary in themselves, yet so very much a part of those of us ‘predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son’. We cannot be conformed to something without being around it, remember Romans 12:2, and we can’t be around ‘His Son’ apart from the Word. In so conforming, we must also surrender our old way of life, the pattern of this world, the pride and blasphemy of rebelling. The war in our minds between deception and truth hinges upon surrendering and being mastered, as well as being washed again and again by the Word, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
JA Menter 3
“In the Word is the cure; I am Yours, master me. I AM YOURS; MASTER ME!”