Friday, December 5, 2014

Need a spiritual adjustment? ................. Parables 205

(February 21, 1990)

It didn’t fit at all. The arms were too far apart. The seat tilted wrong. The back hit my back in the wrong place. Worse yet, it seemed to aggravate the aches and pains that were still there from sitting in the old one. My husband was disappointed. He felt bad that he’d selected such an inappropriate computer chair for my birthday.

So I took it back. The lady in the store graciously ordered me another and called me a day later. On my way down to try out the new chair, I went to see my chiropractor and had my back adjusted. It was more out of alignment than it had ever been. What an adjustment!

A few minutes later, I arrived at the store, hoping this chair would fit. When I saw it, I remarked it looked just like the old one. “No,” she said, “this one is less expensive. Just sit in it.”

It fit. I was happy, even though I had to come back later for my refund. So I loaded it in the car and took it home. Later, when I returned, I was told there was a mistake -- it was the same chair as before! Obviously it was not the chair that needed adjusting.

The whole episode reminded me of an old cartoon depicting a mother watching her son march with his army division. As the soldiers went by, she proudly announced, “Oh look, everyone is out of step but my Johnny.”

Last week, my back probably wouldn’t have liked any chair. I could have shopped and shopped, got upset with the people who sell or manufacture chairs and never found anything that fit right. This happens in the spiritual realm too. Consider this parallel: “I am in pain and somebody told me to read the Bible, but all it does is make me feel worse. It tells me all my faults and points out everything I do wrong. I don’t like the Christian message... It makes me feel bad about myself. I’m going to shop around....”

Sore back or sore souls, a lot of folks are tired and carrying burdens too large for them. Broken homes, loss of employment and trials of all kinds are loads that can bend anyone over in pain. They may read the words of invitation Jesus gave in Matthew 11 to all who “are weary and heavy laden”, but cannot seem to follow through on the remainder: “Come unto me... take my yoke upon you and learn of me... and you shall find rest for your souls.” For them, there is simply no rest.

God says “Is my hand shortened that it cannot save...?” Is it God’s fault that some find no peace or comfort in the Scriptures? No. He says the problem is, “Your sins have separated you from me...”

His remedy would fit our need -- but we are out of step with God. Or, like my back, our lives first need adjusting. We have to get our sin dealt with before His blessings will fit. After that, Jesus can lift any burden. He promises that “whoever comes to me, I will in no way cast out.” He never pushes us away because our load is too much for Him to bear. In fact, He took our biggest burden on Himself at Calvary. There He willingly bore the punishment we deserved and broke down the barrier that separates us from God’s richest blessings.

When we come to Him first with our sin, we find that He makes us “new creatures” with a new nature, a new way of looking at life and a new capacity to deal with its perplexities. You might say He has “adjusted” us. After that initial adjustment, we will find His Word a comfort to our sore places and His promises a balm to our burdens. Sure, it still pinches whenever we sin, but the fault is not with the Bible.

“The natural man (the person without Christ) does not receive the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual discerns all things... he has the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2).... Now that’s an adjustment!

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