“. . . teaching and preaching with so many others also, the word of the Lord.” Acts 15:35
Jesus throws everything off balance. With the crucified and resurrected Christ in our midst, everything is off balance indeed. Religion, with its rules, rituals, and regulations seek to balance our knowing God. The rigidity of religion enables us to search for God while maintaining a respectable distance from Him. But Christianity cannot be contained by the constructs of religion.
A real, raw, rugged passionate pursuit of the presence of Christ is by its very nature out of balance. Paul’s ringing declarations such as, “All I want to know is Christ and the power of His resurrection and to share in His suffering.” “God forbid that I should glory in anything other than the cross of my Lord Jesus Christ.” These and other passages are crucial to living lives that are marked by the imbalanced presence of Jesus.
You might notice times when Jesus is conspicuously absent from your life and ministry. There are two surefire ways of preserving our equilibrium and protecting ourselves from getting thrown off balance by Jesus.
The problem with immersing ourselves in the study of luxurious theology is that it has allowed us to wrap the crucified Christ up in words. By understanding the cross as a theological necessity for salvation, we've made the cross tolerable. We've marked only our minds, and eliminated any pressure for a gut-level change in our lives. The heart flat-lines, we no longer are susceptible to the pulse of God who calls us to strike out in a new direction, to come and follow and allow yourself to be radically discipled.
In every mall, reproductions of Jesus can be found. As you glance at the shiny crosses and art work, you find the more we reproduce Him, the more we forget about Him. We turn Jesus into an object of gold, bronze, silver, wood, we turn the monstrous scandal of Calvary into a dignified piece of jewelry to be worn, thereby freeing ourselves of the need to carry His cross.
Have you intellectualized or idolized the work of Jesus?