Monday, November 1, 2010

Hating Others?

I am currently studying the names of God. This week, the study is on God's name Adonai.

Adonai means Lord and Master. These verses from Luke 4 were a part of my study that keep ringing in my spirit:
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

So WHAT does that mean Lord? If you are my Master, I have to hate everyone else? I have to abandon all the key relationships in my life, that YOU have given me?

I love God. I know He loves me, not in a sing-song Sunday school way, but a real, no kidding, serious, rubber meets the road kind of Love. I want to draw into His presence daily, pursue Him, learn from Him, receive from Him, walk with Him. That's great, as a Christian, that is what having a relationship with God looks like.

But wait! There's more!

When Jesus says that we are to hate those nearest and dearest to us so we can be His disciple, that seems SUPER strange to me. After all, He provided those special people in our lives. He put us together with them, knowing the challenges, the victories, the pain and the joy we would encounter together on this path of life.

I wish my life would accommodate an in-depth study on this verse, but it doesn't. I did read it in several versions and the New Living Translation said that we are to hate them in comparison to Christ in order to be His disciple.

Ok, so that doesn't sound SO bad after all, does it? What does that look like in a practical sense?

I know missionaries and their families who have lost their marriages, children to rebellion and drugs, and their lives or body parts to horrible diseases. People who have sacrificed so much and yet continue to serve God in whatever way He leads them. They have loved Him more than their marriage, their family, their bodies, and served Him.

My missionary friends have served with all their hearts, lived through hell, relationally, emotionally, and physically. Is it any wonder that when we as humans are asked to walk out a supernatural call of God that our humanity crumbles sometimes? The ensuing judgment by the Body of Christ for not keeping an appropriate "balance" is tragic.

Does this mean there is an excuse to not attend diligently to my marriage or to my family and friends? That I am to shut myself into my room, neck deep in Bibles, Concordances, Lexicons, throwing food in my kids vicinity when they make too much noise to concentrate? Do I hide away from my husband, nose in Bible, pursuing God irregardless of his needs?

NO, I am sure that is NOT what God is talking about.

However, I am prayerfully meditating on His Word in this case because I want to KNOW if there is anything in my world that I love or need more than Christ. Mostly because I know that without Him, I will ultimately end up with nothing.

My memorization verse for the week is Psalm 16:2, "I say to the LORD, You are my Lord (Adonai), apart from You I have no good thing." (No, I did not type that from memory - working on it still!)
I have come to the conclusion that to be His disciple, my love for Him must compare to none other. When I compare my love for my family and friends, it is as if  I hate them in comparison to my passion for Christ.

I have sung this song with passion and zeal for several years of my adult life, I am pondering it deeper now.
What I love about this particular youtube video is the real ministry and worship taking place. Do they or I REALLY mean "We will abandon it all, for the sake of the call?"

Yes, I believe we do.

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Who am I?

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I have been married to my best friend for over 29 years and our children are 16, 15 and 12 years old. I have struggled with infertility, suffered the loss of a baby by miscarriage, and endured multiple career paths. I have experienced a crisis of faith that shook me to the core and lost dear friends to tragic death. I have a personal relationship with Jesus which is essential to surviving and even thriving in my circumstances. I hope you will be blessed by my heart and words. Thank you for being here..