Avoiding Jesus

11/16/2011

Avoiding Jesus

Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. – John 7:17

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Coach John Wooden from UCLA used to say, “Never mistake activity for achievement.” This is wonderful advice in just about any context. The Wizard of Westwood, whose teams won ten national championships, reminds us that being busy does not necessarily mean that one is accomplishing anything.

Sunday Pastor Geoff Davis ended his sermon with a bombshell: He suggested that sometimes we busy ourselves with things—even “good” things—for the purpose of avoiding Jesus.

Ouch.

It’s true, isn’t it? If the work we do appears to have a “kingdom purpose,” we can content ourselves with the knowledge that we are being good and faithful servants. John Ortberg once told a story about sitting on an airplane with his laptop as he was working on a book about Christian faith. Ortberg’s books have inspired millions of people and he really felt like writing—especially because there were people on either side of him, including a restless child. He sent off all kinds of signals that he didn’t want to be disturbed, but a conversation started that went something like this:

“Whatchadoin?”

“Writing.”

Whatcha writing?”

“A book.”

“What’s it about?”

Jesus taught that when we choose to do the will of God, we will know whether His teaching is true or not. We avoid this choice by doing things like trying to write a Christian book while God’s will is that we be kind to the child next to us. We avoid this choice by turning our attention to the many idols in our lives. We avoid this choice by drinking in watered-down theology that might taste okay but does not deeply convict us of the Truth.

The radical, transforming teachings of Jesus call to us like a cell phone that goes off during a meeting. You might be successful in muting the ringtone for a minute but He will call again and again. He won’t give up because He loves you that much. Yet we seek to avoid the one true thing in a world of untruths because, in the words of the quitting disciples in John 6, “this teaching is hard.” We have other things to do, other choices to make and Satan is using our busyness to conduct his business: keeping us separated from God. Sin causes separation from God but avoiding Jesusin the first place accomplishes the same purpose, doesn’t it?

Are you avoiding Jesus today? It’s so easy that you won’t even realize you’re doing it. You might need a family member or friend to point it out to you or it might take whole lot of prayer. But there comes a time when we must step away from the trough and get some real food.

Hard teaching?Perhaps.But eventually the fugitive gets tired of running and lies down. You might pretend that the will of God does not apply to every choice you make today, but the Truth will find you eventually.

And the truth will set you free.

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“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32

 

 

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There are 3 comments

12/1/11 Kent, Your Grain of Rice hit home. I am sorry to say that involvement in church activities sometime is busy work that can keep us from the real truth of Jesus. I am guilty of that at times. Thanx again. Claire

Claire Lincoln
December 01, 2011 - 20:39

Janice,

Good food for thought! Thanks :-)

kent
November 28, 2011 - 23:30

KENT, I WENT TO 3 STORES TO FIND THANKSGIVING NAPKINS AND
NO ONE SOLD THEM, EVERY THING ON THE SHELVES WAS CHRISTMAS
ITEMS.. I ASKED THE CHECKOUT CLERK IF ANYONE WAS "THANKFUL "
ANYMORE TO CELEBRATE THANKSGIVING AND SHE REPLIED "GEE, NO ONE EVEN CELEBRATES THE BIRTH OF JESUS ANYMORE AT CHRISTMAS SO WHY SHOULD THEY BE THANKFUL AT THANKSGIVING ? WHAT A STATEMANT OF TRUTH !! I COMMENDED HER ON HER HONESTY AND COURAGE TO MENTION THE NAME OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR IN PUBLIC AND EVEN IN THE WORK PLACE.. WE SHOULD ALL HAVE THE SAME COURAGE TO SPEAK OUT LIKE SHE DID. REALLY ENJOY
YOUR MESSAGES, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND THANKS FOR
SHARING.. JAN

JANICE RAINEY
November 18, 2011 - 12:15
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