Kingdom Principle: Resiliency is balance and buoyancy in a sea of tumult.
Isaiah 50:4-9a Psalm 31:9-16 Philippians 2:5-11 Matthew 26:14-27:66
Tumult is what happens when chaos sets into the hearts of humanity. People begin to fight for their perceived rights out of fear of losing their lives. (Christians have already lost their lives therefore there is to be no place for tumult to anchor.) In a sea of tumult, one who takes responsibility will be the target of hatred and disgust, and that is why Pilate washed his hands and Jesus hung on a cross. John Maxwell – teaches that a true leader will have an increase of responsibility while a decease of rights. Pilate said – I am not responsible…. Jesus said, I give up my rights. This is Law 18– the Law of Sacrifice – of Maxwell’s 21 irrefutable Laws of Leadership. For this reason alone many people do not truly want to be leaders. Unfortunately, all Christians are called to be leaders, because as Maxwell has also said – Leadership is Influence. (Law 2) If a Christian is satisfied with having zero influence, then they are quenching the Spirit, giving up on prayer and basically saying God has no purpose in my life. This person truly needs a spiritual resurrection. (last week)
Resiliency requires conviction and responsibility. Throughout the season of Lent we read of Christ’s resiliency (def), and the dedication to walk unto the Cross. This week is the Passion Week where that walk is intensified and we see others fail to keep up. Resiliency is a reward to those who see that life is not easier for some vs. others, but rather that life is gift given from above to be shared with others. This is their conviction and their responsibility. Do you believe you are resilient to opposition, trials and struggles…? If not, you may wish to deepen your conviction regarding the question of, “Who am I?” and extending your responsibility regarding the question “What is my impact?”. This clarity will enable you to fully step into your commission… In order to help you along this process, use this outline to help you look at your past to uncover the truths in your life, and answer these questions to help you share your story that reveals the King’s redemption in your life.
Resiliency is balance and buoyancy. Hope Floats & Faith Flows… Resiliency can be pictured watching Michael Phelps swim in the Olympics a few years back. It was almost as if he floated on top of the water and in perfect stride cut through the resistance of the water. (It became clear that after the Olympics Phelps did not have such resiliency in life as he did in the water) When I get in the water I can stay afloat – but only if I keep moving and it is not a pretty site. In the Kingdom of God, when we are resilient it’s like being a buoy in the choppy sea, remaining perfectly vertical to alert others of both danger and hope.
Resiliency does not deny that life is difficult – in fact it discovers that disadvantages are actually advantages. The Psalm this week – reveals the desperate struggle and need for resiliency for the soul and body to dwell in this world. To pretend like life is never difficult is to miss the joy of being an overcomer and to live in denial of death. Isaiah 50 demonstrates the cry and strength of resiliency ( servantleaders are resilient) even in the point of desperation. There is nothing that is too hard, difficult or beyond my ability, because the Sovereign LORD is my strength. Not everyone is able to live in the balance of these two… again as we showed last week – some are overwhelmed and gratify the flesh never proclaiming the promise of Ps. 31:14-16. While others mutilate the flesh in order to project the cry of Isaiah 50:4-9, while the true cry of this text is that the flesh nature has no value, and all value is from the LORD.
So how do you increase your resiliency? (From Matthew 26:14-27:66)
1. Avoid the Extremes – Both Peter and Judas expressed the extremes – Judas was caught in a “Woe is me”, and Peter was caught in “I am mightier than thee” attitude. In humility, and the Lord’s strength resiliency grows. If you are trusting in your strength it is not resiliency, it is sheer will power that allows you to press on. Resiliency for the Kingdom is to be considered a “slave” not the “slavedriver”.
2. Anticipate the Explanations – Jesus was mocked, insulted and ridiculed, in an effort to break him, so that he might explain his actions. The call of resiliency is a matter of both action and attitude, but most importantly it is a matter of having peace beyond understanding. People in general are always willing to explain what they don’t explain, they do this so that they are in control. Control is an illusion, Peace is illumination. If you desire to increase this peace in your life, the answer lies in the stewardship of relationships, resources and sufferings. Most attempts to explain an defend resiliency are undermined by others and another level of attack. (Jesus does this well 26:25,26:64, 27:11)
3. Align all your Energy (body, soul & spirit). The error of dualism or Gnostism is to view the body and soul as the flesh which is evil and must be destroyed and the spirit as good and the only positive aspect of live. And Yet, in the resurrected your whole being has been redeemed. (Now work that out with fear and trembling)Therefore be in touch with your body, soul and spirit such that there is no division in your life. Jesus is both sorrowful and troubled, yet able to overcome the need for sleep, he is able to control his tongue, and endure persecution which is both emotional and physical. Peter caved to the emotional pressure, Judas gave in to physical defeat.