Friday, February 22, 2013

Under Control

1 Corinthians 6:12-20

 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!  Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."

We all have idols in our lives. Things that we put in the place of God. We worship them. We are willing to sin in order to have them. We are, in fact, idol factories. Take away one, and more often then not, you will replace it with another. It is a lot easier to point out other people's idols than our own. I bring up this because as I read through this passage, and contemplated what I was going to to write about it, I came to a realization about an idol that plagued the Corinthian church. And no. Not Sex. Control. The Corinthians were just like me. Control Freaks. (You can read about my control issues here.)  They wanted to be in complete control of their surroundings with absolutely no personal accountability. Ask any control freak and they will tell you (if they are self aware) that the harder they try to control the world around them, the less they want to be under control. 

Here is what I'm talking about... what God continues to convict me of: 

- We already know from the earlier parts of Paul's letter that the Corinthian church had issues of division and quarreling. And isn't it true that we argue and alienate because we think we know best? We want everyone to live according to our standards  and our directions. Paul told the church that "the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men" (1 Cor. 1:25). He wants them to know that no matter what they think of others or how they think the church should be run, sovereignty belongs to God alone. 

- We also are being told that for all their desire to tell others what to do, the members of this church don't want anyone to tell them whats up! One commentator suggested the the phrase "All things are lawful for me" was a sort of motto for Corinthian culture. You may know this idea better as "YOLO". These are the words the Corinthian world lived by. NO ONE is my master! I do what I want! All things are lawful for me! But Paul comes back to remind the church "I will not be dominated by anything" and "your bodies are members of Christ". When we live according to our desires we give in to the lie they will satisfy. Then we make our wants our gods, and we are slaves to them rather than being our own masters.  

- For me it looks like this: I know how everyone else should live their life.  It would glorify  the Lord and bring them closer to Him if they would read, pray and do the work that needs to get done today. But I'm so tired and lonely. I think it would make me happy to sit on the couch, binge on Netflix and Oreos and check out Pinterst for oh... about 6 hours. I'm not saying all those things are bad. But they will end one day. And in the moment I am turning to them to satisfy my need for meaning. Only God is everything I need all the time. 

Ok wrapping it up. I see in myself and the Corinthian church a desire to have life on my terms. I know what's best. I know how things should go, but please. OH PLEASE! Do. Not. Try to tell me how to live my life.  I will judge the world, but only God will judge me. And you know what? Even then I will give in to whatever desire wants to control me. "You are not your own, for you were bought with a price." The price is the blood of Christ. Shed so that my sin, my stubborn lack of self-control, could be made right before the Holy One. "So glorify God in your body" He paid for my life. He brought me into right relationship with Himself. He promises to be the thing that will satisfy me FOREVER! May I live my life turning from the sins that ensnare me and freely seeking His all-satisfying face... for my good and His glory. 

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