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Hello my name is… Calling
January 24, 2021

Hello my name is… Calling

January 24, 2021

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Catch up on our series HERE

 

Hello My Name is…

(Part 3 – Inner Calling)

 

Welcome back… welcome online… In the middle of a series

2 weeks ago we started looking at Biblical examples of Identity/Calling

  • We focused on 3 examples where identity/calling were walked out
    • First of Jesus
    • Also of John the Baptist
    • And Peter the disciple as well
  • In all three we see a temptation to abandon identity/calling
    • Maybe 4 an easier path… but a calling less than God intended
      • It’s Jesus tempted in the desert… (if you are)
      • It’s John… pushed to be something he wasn’t… (are you)
      • It’s Peter after Jesus arrested… (I don’t know the man)
  • And many never start or abandon the road to identity/calling
    • B/C the road to identity & calling leads us to look at ourselves
    • It makes us look at the good… but also the not good
    • And its a road to both self-discovery… AND spiritual formation

Last week we focused in on Identity

  • Bible (Ephesians) tells us our identity is found “IN CHRIST” Jesus
    • Not in who you currently are… struggles… short comings
    • Not who you grew up as… hardships… how u were raised
    • No… your IDENTITY is found in who u are becoming in Jesus

Phil. 1:6

  • So positionally you are blameless/righteous/perfect before God
    • But for many of us… hard to understand because of our faults
  • And so we have a disconnect b/c our identity is in the now
    • But we are also working out the salvation that we already have

Phil 2:12

  • Notice it doesn’t say “Work FOR your salvation”
    • No… work OUT what is already true about you
    • Much like I know I am a father… and husband
      • I’ll work out what it looks like to be both of those b4 God

Important b/c our self-awareness directly effects relationship w/ God

Augustine

God, may I know you, may I know myself

John Calvin (opening line of his writings that shaped western church)

There is no deep knowing of God without a deep knowing of self and no deep knowing of self without a deep knowing of God.

  • Over and over teachers of the way of Jesus have said…
    • You cannot get very far down the path of transformation
    • Until you understand your identity & calling
  • Which is tricky in the world we live in today…
    • Society has given us an identity crisis
    • Where you can/should continually change who you are
    • Which is why so many people have no clue who they are

The good news is that…

Identity & Calling isn’t something we create. It’s something we receive from our Creator. You don’t make it up but discover it as you follow Jesus.

We hear all the time people praised b/c… (S)He’s a self-made (wo)man

  • Person u r becoming in Christ
    • Isn’t an accomplishment 2 brag about here on earth
    • It is a gift you receive from Heaven
  • So today lets turn to Matt. 4 – Moving on from Matt. 3 last week

Matt. 4:18-22

Notice the word “CALLED” – or Kaleo (Gk)

  • It means to call… but more than just… “Hey you! Come over here”
    • There is tons of depth to it…
    • Later is transcribed by western scholars as “Vocation”
  • This is where we get the idea of a calling from Jesus
    • And on one level our calling is just to follow Jesus
    • But that implies there is a journey we are to go on

Matt. 9:9-13

  • Who is it that Jesus calls… Jesus says its SINNERS
    • And if u are around church long… u know the word “sinner”
    • But it’s a word surprisingly rarely used by Jesus or in the NT
    • But here… its used 3 times to drive a point home
      • What’s the point… who does Jesus call? SINNERS
  • So the journey we’re called to has something to do with our sin
    • And there is one particular sinner key to this story: Matthew
    • And we believe this is the same Matthew that writes this gospel
  • But u can be sure that he has to go on a significant journey
    • To get from Matthew the Tax Collector/Sinner
    • To Matthew the author of the Good news of Jesus

So my calling: Follow Jesus… But also a 2 part journey (inward/outward)

  • Inward journey is journey where we go on from who we are…
    • To who we are (last week) “becoming in Christ”
    • It has to do with the transformation of ur identity and character
  • Outward journey is more what we think of as our vocation
    • This is what we do… it’s our work in the world
  • Both are part of our calling (we often only think only of vocation)
    • But both are part of our calling to follow Jesus
    • So this week – Inner Journey
    • Next week – Outer Journey

Inner Journey – First wall you hit on this journey is sin

And 4 many… sin is a very loaded word – for a lot of reasons

  • It could be as a child where sin was used to manipulate you
    • Where everything from playing solitaire to makeup was a sin
    • Where sin was a word to shame you and bring unhealthy fear
      • And so SIN is an abusive word to you
      • And the moment I said it… all your gaurds/walls went up
      • Take deep breath… and try to set that aside for a moment
  • But at same our culture lives in denial of what is called original sin
    • It seems like everyday new stories come out (Hollywood/Gov’t)
    • Think of Harvey Weinstein – over 80 accusations of sexual abuse
      • And there’s this shock in Hollywood that this happens
      • And its terrible/wrong/satanic… but shouldn’t be shocking
  • B/C that industry is built around immorality/power/objectification
    • Absent of God and absolute truth for relativism
    • So what else would you expect behind the scenes
    • 50 years ago Hollywood was coined “Den of Iniquity”

And its b/c this post-Christian society has bought into the lie

  • CAN HAVE THE KINGDOM OF GOD… WITHOUT THE KING
    • U can have a world of… equality/social justice/peace/integrity
      • All this without Jesus
      • All we need is the right president… congress… policies… ed
  • But the one detail that makes it all fall apart: Human Condition
    • It doesn’t matter if we line everything up perfectly in theory
    • At the end of the day the wall we all hit (society)
    • Is what theologians call sin
      • You don’t have to rack up 10 years of college debt to see
      • There’s a part of every one of us that is bent out of shape
  • We all do some things that we don’t want to do
    • Other things we don’t do that we really want to do
    • And even when we do the things we want to do
    • Often motives aren’t nearly as pure as we want others to think
      • And there is just these patterns inside of all of us…
        • Feeling/thinking/motive
        • Pain/insecurity/manipulation

And we have a mirage on the horizon of “who I am becoming in Christ”

  • I know 20 years down the road… working this out following Jesus
    • I am a transformed person living in the glory of the king
    • And YES that is how I identify… BUT
    • Between here and there I’m gonna have a lot of obstacles
    • And those obstacle are what the Bible calls sin

Now we think of sin as a religious word – Falling out of faith

  • But if you trace it back to its roots in the Garden (Gen 1-3)
      • The definition of Sin: Failure to trust God
      • Specifically: Its a failure to trust God on what is good/evil
    • To replace the wisdom and judgment of God w/ your own
      • To trade the created for the creator
      • Redefine morality for yourself and society at large
      • And then to live in your definition of morality
        • Leaving God & His Garden for your own world (logic)
        • And cutting yourself off from God leads to… DEATH
  • And the draw is intoxicating to the world… believers (even pastors)

One prominent Christian reverend wrote:

A supernatural plan of salvation, the trinity, the substitutionary theory of the atonement, and the second coming of Christ are all quite prominent in fundamentalist thinking. Such are the views of the fundamentalist and they reveal that he is oppose[d] to theological adaption to social and cultural change… Amid change all around he is willing to preserve certain ancient ideas even though they are contrary to science.

  • It was later revealed that he had multiple affairs on his wife
    • The goal of the enemy: Get you away from God (out of garden)
    • To a place where you and your logic becomes God
    • Which will sabotage the journey God has called you on
      • And the Devil did it/does it by you redefining good/evil
      • The deadiest weapon of the enemy isnt some atrocious sin
      • Its empowering you to think u know better than God

Theologian Cornelius Plantinga – defines sin as…

The reason for the disturbance of shalom

Shalom is a Hebrew word – Used originally for life in the Garden of Eden

  • It literally means peace… but so much more in original language
    • It’s peace – health… wholeness… joy without limit
    • And when we sin we cause the disturbance of our own Shalom

Richard Rohr (Love & Hate)

Sins are fixations that prevent the energy of life, God’s love, from flowing freely. (They are) self-built blockades that cut us off from God and hence from our own authentic potential.

  • Sin (behavior/way of thinking) cuts you off from God…
    • It blocks your intimacy with the Father
    • And desturbs your relationship with Him
  • Think of when you cross ways with… friend – spouse – family
    • There is a blockage of relationship – mentally/emotionally
    • There is a even spiritual distance that is created
  • That is what sin is… we have to think of sin first and foremost
    • Not as a legal category BUT a relational category
      • God is your Father… and it creates a wall b/w you and God
      • And because of that also b/w you and your full potential
      • B/C life how the Father intended it comes thru relationship

Story: Jesus compares sin to illness we need healed of

And what it means to be saved – Sozo in the Greek (saved or healed)

  • In English we have saved & healed… in Greek its one word for both
    • To be saved is to be healed… to be healed is to be saved
    • And so often we forget in the NT – It is the exact same idea
  • And in the context of Jesus… the disease to be healed from is sin
    • So regardless of if you believe in sin or not
    • It is a sickness that grows inside of you with the goal to kill you
    • And yes we need 2 be saved… but means we need to be healed
  • So to follow Jesus we HAVE TO go on a journey of self-discovery
    • But b/c of that.. at some point we have to deal with our sin
    • And by our sin – I DON’T JUST MEAN BEHAVIOR

Early church gave 4 stages of sin we must work thru

1 – Gross sins (Paul’s list of sins in NT)

  • These are things like murder/theft/adultery/idolatry
    • Things that most people… even in post xian world say is wrong
    • Things you have to be pretty messed up to be okay with

2 – Deliberate sins (socially acceptable – not the way of Jesus)

  • Example – Living with someone you aren’t married to yet
    • In our world… this is socially acceptable
    • But it is not the way of Jesus
    • It disrupts the shalom of your life with God
  • Example – Materialism… cussing… what we watch on Netflix/HBO
    • These are things totally cool in society
    • Yet they are not the way of Jesus

3 – Unconscious sins (Following Jesus… reveals things not aware of yet)

  • Blind spots… internal over external… relational over behavioral
    • Have 2 do w/ patterns of thinking & feeling
      • How we relate to others
    • One Example: Lets say the gross sin – murder
      • Deliberate sin – Losing ur temper & yelling at spouse/kids
      • Unconscious sin – worked through that
        • But you are still burning with anger on the inside
        • Keep mouth shut… but inside there’s hate/contempt
  • Just as sins of commission (what u do) – sins of omission (don’t do)
    • Also issues of motivation: doing right things for wrong reasons
  • With unconscious sin – God slowly walks with us & reveals this 2 us
    • These are blind spots we haven’t seen b/c we don’t want to
    • And because they are internal… we can hide or stuff them

4 – Trust structures (Mindset not relying on God but self 4 wellbeing)

  • These are our emotional programs for happiness
    • It’s the way we cope with sadness in life
    • It’s the way we get our happiness
  • Tricky because they aren’t sinful… but we use them to replace God
    • Because we look to them for a sense of security
    • But every on of these can/will be ripped out from our feet
    • Then who are you… the only eternal thing we have is Jesus

 

Notice: Only first two layers have to do with behavior

If all you deal with is behavior… best case you will become a Pharisee

  • Pharisees were really well behaved… very self-righteous
    • But Jesus was just as bothered by self-righteousness as any sin
    • And never going beyond behavior leads u to self-righteousness
  • Once u get to layers 3/4 – You deal w/ what’s called “shadow side”
    • That’s not specifically language from the NT…
    • Tricky to define

Pete Scazzero (emotional healthy spirituality)

The accumulation of untamed emotions, less-than-pure motives and thoughts that, while largely unconscious, strongly influence and shape your behaviors. It is the damaged but mostly hidden version of who u are

  • Its like we all have a light we project to the world
    • But there is a shadow side to that as well
    • And Paul talks about this as well – Calls it ur “Flesh vs Spirit”

    Rom. 8:5-11

     

    Talking about: Inner journey/confronting sin/Sozo

    So the Spirit (Light Side/New You)

    • Spirit: Mind governed by life/peace (shalom) – Think back 2 garden
      • This is the new you… found “In Christ Jesus” (last week)
      • This is who you are now “Old things past away, all things new”
    • And if you are in Christ – You now identify with who u r becoming
      • But that is all dependent on how your mind is governed
      • Because when you accept Jesus into your heart
        • He free’d your soul… but you still have to deal w/ ur mind
        • Which still struggles with reality before Jesus

    And that reality is called the Flesh (Shadow Side/Old You)

    • Flesh: (Gk – Sarx) is how we are born
      • And that reality is a dead reality
      • It is not who you are now… “You are in Christ” not “In yourself”
    • Yet it is easy in this fight for our mind… or what governs our mind
      • To identify not with the “In Christ” you
      • But identify with the ”Before Christ” you
    • And to believe the dead version of you… is the real you
      • And just like a shadow can seem bigger than ur real self
        • Your shadow side can seem bigger than your light side
      • But that’s not reality… even though it seems there is evidence
        • Its why fleshly desires may seem stronger than Godly ones
        • Those desires r only a shadow of how ur mind use to think
          • Old habits… patterns… bloodlines… thought patters

    If you have relationship with Jesus… all of this is dead

    • And its a false reality – But you have to face it… be healed of it…
      • Look at those weaknesses in your life
      • Process them and see where they came from
        • To remind u they have no bearing on who u are becoming
    • And then stop trying to do CPR on old/dead ways of thinking
      • Stop trying to live in old habits/relationships/thought processes
      • And even when they scream for you attention
      • Our journey calls us 2 identify them for what they r… a shadow
        • And I won’t react/respond how I use to respond
        • Because I am a NEW CREATION in Christ Jesus
        • And I identify not with who I was but who I am becoming

    2 Cor. 10:5

    That happens by understanding: You are not your sin

    Your identity is as a Son or Daughter of our loving heavenly Father

    • And in that we know our identity NOT rooted in what I do/don’t do
      • Or my personality… my insecurities… disappointments… fear
      • It is only in Jesus and who he is creating me to be
    • And only in that safe understanding will we find
      • Freedom to deal with hard/uncomfortable parts of the journey
      • The good – bad – ugly

    Reason this is so critical: U can’t change what u refuse 2 acknowledge

    Freud (wrong about quite a few things… One thing he was spot on)

    The things about ourselves we refuse to acknowledge actually have the most power/authority over our life.

    • We think that by no dealing w/ sin… it will just go away
      • But in reality – It makes a bad problem worse
      • And not only does it hurt u… it hurts the people u love the most
    • Ignorance is bliss might work in the short term
      • But in the long term – it’s a ticking time bomb that will go off
      • So the sooner you deal with shadow side
        • The less damage it has the potential to do to everyone
    • The time to deal with your sin… mindset… is now
      • Its why Jesus said: Come – Take up your cross – follow me
      • The cross that splits come & follow: Always a symbol for death
      • What needs to die is… mindsets/sin that tries to hold u captive
        • Because on the other side of death is resurrection
        • On the other side of the cross is the empty tomb

    This is the invitation of Jesus – To go on an inner journey (inner healing)

    • Starting to get old enough to see: Most important thing in life
      • Is the person that you become
    • It’s the difference b/w resume virtues & eulogy virtues
      • Resume virtues are what u put on a resume
      • Our culture is built around resume virtues (not wrong/bad)
    • But eulogy virtues are what people will say at ur funeral
      • And usually it has little/nothing to do with
      • 401k/IRA/Salary/how high a position u had

    It’s the person that you became that really matters in the end

    • It’s the eulogy virtues spoken about you
      • The main thing from ur life – Is who u become following Jesus
    • And u can’t save yourself… Self-help won’t get u to destination
      • Which is the beauty of Jesus… come and follow me
        • He will save you
        • He will heal you
        • Come/die.. and he will give you life to the full

     

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