I’ve Gotta Be Me

I try to pray my prayer list every other morning.  The other mornings I pray free style.  I try to make it fellowship, relationship, communion.  I try to let my spirit take control.  I try to just talk to God and let God talk to me. On those mornings I begin by telling God who He is.  Like this:

You are love, joy, peace, and righteousness

You are grace and mercy and forgiveness and cleansing.  (Here I sometimes always spend time asking for Him to forgive me of specific things.  Because I need forgiving.)

You are power and authority.  (Here I can get wrapped up in thinking about Him as creator of all things.  That He commands all things.  That my times are in His hands.)

You are wisdom, provision, health and healing, direction and purpose, favor.  (My success is in His hands.  All I have, all I am is because of Him.)

Sometimes I get through this list and go back through it, saying ‘I am’ instead of ‘You are’.  No arrogance in that.  It is only in Him (and Him in me) that I can say that I am peace, joy , and love.  It’s only in Him that I have power and authority.  I John 4:17 says that ‘As He is so are we in this world.’  This reminds me of one of my favorite Bible passages.

Jesus came to Nazareth to the synagogue and read from the prophet Isaiah.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me,
because He has anointed Me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim deliverance to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then He rolled up the scroll, returned it to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him, and He began by saying, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”  Luke 4: 18-21

I wonder why Jesus said ‘this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’  instead of ‘I’m the one, you guys.’  I wonder if it was because He was looking forward to the days when countless millions would also have the Spirit of the Lord, who would, in Christ, proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

There it is, that ‘in Christ’ thing.  How can we have this power and authority?  How can we be peace and joy and grace?  How can we be ‘in Christ’?

Paul wrote this:

I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.  Galatians 2:20

Was Paul delusional?  Was he practicing self delusion?  Was he playing psychological tricks with himself?  No, I think Paul really believed that He had to become less so that Jesus could become more, that Paul had to die so that Christ could live in him.

  So there’s the answer.  I must be less so that Christ can be more.  I must die so that Christ can live in me.  There’s only one problem.  I kind of like me.  I don’t want Jesus to save souls.  I want to save souls.  I don’t want to sit here and type the words the Holy Spirit gives me.  I want to type the words I come up with.  And I don’t want God to get the credit.  I want get the credit.

Sammy Davis Jr. had a hit record way back in the sixties.  I Gotta Be Me.

So there it is.  I don’t Gotta be me but I Wanna be me.  And that won’t work.  If I let me hang around then the bad stuff that’s in me will come out at the most inopportune moments.  And the Jesus in me will not have ascendancy.  And Jesus will not be seen in me.

And therein lies the problem.

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About Angus Lewis

My wife and I lived our whole lives in Arkansas until ten years ago. We moved to the Kansas City area in 2011 (a job change). That was the reason for the 'From a Far Country' title. Our children and grandchildren were in Arkansas. Six months ago we sold our house and bought one in Sherwood, Arkansas and my wife moved back down here. Two weeks ago I retired and moved back too. (I'm probably going to try to find something part time to keep me out of trouble.) So maybe the 'From a Far Country' title is not so much of a fit anymore. But I think I'll stick with it. I'm still not home. Not yet. The Bible says we are all strangers and pilgrims here. Our real home is with God and some day we'll be there. We'll be home.
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