Dare, dared, and double-dog dared! How many have heard those words as kids? Probably more times than you care to remember. The origins of kids daring each other to knock pieces of wood, or blocks and other objects of their shoulders as a test of bravado and “courage”.
I can never even think of the phrase with out semi-fond memories of growing up. I say semi because they are fond memories but I know at those moments my blood angrily boiled hot enough to fry an egg and if looks could have killed, that heat would have laser beamed straight out of me and torched some teenaged boys.. but again… what are brothers for?
I ALWAYS, always think of the one who I have always had a rather strained relationship with, and even now we still get on each others nerves to the point that we are not “friends” on social media, but I love him and I know he loves me and pray always for him and I know a little secret… those very attributes that make him “hard to deal with” now will be the very same attribute’s that flipped over for the work of the Lord will be used to make him quite a formidable warrior for the kingdom.
He is just so tenacious and unyielding in his determination that he never backs down… sometimes good.. not so good much when used to initiate a chilling challenge of “I DARE YOU….” and he had that way about him, that after an hour of listening to “I dare you” having the ante upped to a “double-dog dare” with the way he could wrinkle his nose up and take a superior tone and end with the final insult of “And if you don’t you’re a sissy!” That always did the trick, why it was the challenge of all challenges to be called a sissy, especially if you ARE a girl, is beyond me but proof of the acceptance of the dare had to come and usually produce a good ruckus that would end up with more of Mom’s whatnot’s destroyed and having conveniently just disappeared unnoticed by us whenever we were asked about their whereabouts.
Everyone has played that as a kid, but you know sometimes we play that as adults and we go through life, and especially Kingdom life with these enormous chips on our shoulders and just emanate “Go ahead.. knock it off.. I DARE YOU!”
Not picking on people, I have had enough chips on my own shoulders over the years that all I needed was for them to materialize into the tortilla variety, add a good dip and I’d been a walking fiesta.
But in the Kingdom our fight comes, after we have lost a tad of that “salvation glow”, when the world is all beautiful and all church people are great happy people and reality sets in and you discover that sometimes under all that pretty sparkle, your brothers and sisters are still HUMAN and are quite capable of hurting you, belittling you, and most of all disappointing you because their spirituality has been completed OVER magnified in OUR eyes and the shocking fact that not all will be supportive and not all will welcome you, and not all will ACCEPT the calling of your life.
Bring on the chips… loading down our shoulders with the burden of “proving” ourselves to people who can not be convinced of anything unless the Lord convinces them and even then they have to open often closed minds.
God does not put that on our shoulders, satan can not even be blamed, but the truth is WE place our own chips and WE are the only ones who can successfully knock them off and keep them off. We know that judgment must begin at God’s house and keeping that in mind:
1 CORINTHIANS 4:31 “For if we judge ourselves, WE SHOULD NOT BE JUDGED”.
Our problem is that we get all caught up on who doesn’t like us, or take us seriously, or outright persecutes us and for many we just decide “Fine, you don’t like me, I don’t care” and for some, the superiority boat brings in a whole load, due to callings, titles, and positions. And when people DECIDE that for some reason the office, the position makes them somehow superior to the flock or other members of the flock, and the authority is twisted into something used to strangle rather than to free, and refuse instruction simply because “chippers” think they are beyond that need or that they are superior to the ones God sends it through, WE ALL are in major trouble.
We will NEVER quit learning and we ALL need to grow and when stubbornness and pride comes in the only option left is for us to be pulled down from off that high horse and our feet put back on solid ground to be taught again the things we thought we knew so well.
We can go through that process or we can choose a WISER less painful process, realize, recognize, and remove. If we do self inventory, and surely we can admit things to OURSELVES, recognize what our “problem” is and through God’s word find the remedy for that and remove those chips from our own shoulders.
God wants meekness and humility in His church and He will not work contrary to this and I think sometimes the work is hindered by attitudes especially between the sexes and the secret to this may be not necessarily in the opening of the closed mind but in the ACCEPTANCE of that unfavorable opinion of us by someone’s and just go on and do the work we have been called to do.
What if so and so does not like us, what if blah-blah thinks you are a pagan heretic? What if they want to think they know so much about YOU when you and most of God knows the truth that they are wrong in their thoughts toward you.
NOW What if God placed you in that spot, in that place, for a specific work or specifically for a word or a prayer for SOMEONE ELSE who has no knowledge and no bearing of the static in the air?
Are you going to disobey God and hold onto that chip because so and so is staring you down? Let ’em stare! John & Jane Doe have their own chips to deal with, you just worry about taking care of yours!
What if everyone knocked off their chips and just SUBMITTED one mind, one accord to the Lord and to the good of the kingdom? What if TITLES were forgotten during prayer times, what if you didn’t get all macho when someone suggests a different thought? What if it didn’t boil your blood and turn your eyes to laser beams when you wrongfully take things as a “CHALLENGE” to “YOUR AUTHORITY”.
Looks different doesn’t it, some people would rather drive over a cliff than stop and ask for directions and these attitudes ARE NOT of God. These are the reasons that the body is deathly sick and “falling off” to nothing.
In the upper room when the Holy Ghost came down, I am sure NO ONE was declaring their titles or arguing about THEIR SUPERIOR relationship to the Lord, (though some had wanted dibs earlier) Peter wasn’t proclaiming that he is the greatest, Mary wasn’t shouting that she saw him first, they were gathered ONE mind seeking God for His glory and His kingdom.
The sick did not care who prayed, they just wanted to be healed, those tormented by devils didn’t care how relief came, only that it would come because the Holy Ghost coming through ANY of His chosen vessels would send the tormentors away, those spiritually starved did not care who thought what about who, all they knew was that without that “food” they would perish. Those dying of thirst did not care where the water originated only that it was given.
That is the thing, all these chips, all these grudges, all these challenges of superiority only matter to those who hold them. The only people hurt are those we are called to minister to and we have let down our jobs, we have let down the kingdom and we’d better not let down God.
So even if someone hates you and you know they think you’re a bad joke, chin it up and DO what GOD has you there to do. If we humble ourselves God will do the rest, it really is like the power/gentleness of the Lord I am always referring back to, HE KNEW what He Is, He really did not need anyone’s approval and affirmation as PROOF.
He went on and ministered to those He was sent to and we have to get to that point that we just do our jobs for the Lord and if we know that something about us “irks” someone else, just try to ACCEPT it and go on and whether you are right or they are right or if everyone is half right, is not going to matter one bit when the souls are tallied and we are told that more should have been won.
And vice versa when you are tempted to just revel in the fact that someone does have a problem with you and you make sure to point out all the things that they disapprove of (in their opinion of you) all you are doing is further daring them to knock that chip off in challenge to “knock your block off” and proves nothing other than a dire need for spiritual maturity and if we can’t deal with people you can see, we will never successfully battle spiritual bullies we can’t see.
1 CORINTHIANS 8:2(c) ” Knowledge puffeth up (becomes prideful and arrogant) but charity (love) edifieth (builds up).”
So are we building up or are we tearing down? I love to use Paul’s writings because I think he spans it all, he was a cruel church persecutor, who detested all followers of Christ and then once his eyes were opened to the truth, God used him as a voice on virtually ANY subject we can stumble through or find ourselves tangled up in.
What I LOVE most about Paul is that he never heralded himself as better than those he ministered too and he said as far as the “sinners” he was one their chief! He never lost sight of who he was and who he had been and the fact that without Christ he was nothing and yet, God used him to give us most of the New Testament and hope, and courage, and insight into a better way of thinking, he had chips he had to knock off and I know this from verses that he speaks of NOT doing the things he wanted to do and doing the things he did not necessarily want to do, and DYING to his flesh, every single day.
And when it came to pulling attitudes, whether it be callings or power tripping, Paul whose calling and gifts are without dispute, CHOOSE submission:
1 CORINTHIANS 9:12-27 ” If others be partakers of this power (authority) over you, are we not rather ( even more)? Nevertheless we have not used this power (authority); But suffer (endure) all things, Lest we HINDER the gospel of Christ.
Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? And they which wait (serve) at the altar are partakers with the altar?
Even so hath the Lord ordained (commanded) that they which preach the gospel SHOULD LIVE OF THE GOSPEL.
But I have used none of these things; neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were (would be) better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorifying void.
For though I preach the gospel, I HAVE NOTHING TO GLORY OF IT; for NECESSITY is laid upon me; yea, WOE IS UNTO ME, IF I PREACH NOT THE GOSPEL!
For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, a dispensation (stewardship) of the gospel is committed (entrusted) to me. What is my reward then? Verily that when I preach the gospel, I may make (present) the gospel of Christ without charge (preached for free), that I ABUSE NOT MY POWER (authority) in the gospel.
For though I be free from all men, YET HAVE I MADE MYSELF SERVANT UNTO ALL, THAT I MIGHT GAIN (win)THE MORE. And unto the Jews I BECAME AS A JEW, that I MIGHT GAIN THE JEWS;
TO THEM THAT ARE UNDER THE LAW, AS UNDER THE LAW, THAT I MIGHT GAIN THEM THAT ARE UNDER THE LAW .
To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without the laws to God, but under the law to Christ) That I MIGHT GAIN THEM THAT ARE WITHOUT LAW.
To THE WEAK BECAME I AS WEAK; I AM MADE (have become) ALL THINGS TO ALL MEN, THAT I BY ALL MEANS MIGHT SAVE SOME.
And THIS I DO FOR THE GOSPEL’S SAKE, that I might be partakers thereof with you. Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery (competes for a prize) IS TEMPERATE IN ALL THINGS (has self-control).
Now they do it to obtain a corruptible (perishable) crown; but we an incorruptible (non-perishable). I therefore so run, NOT AS Uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; LEST THAT BY ANY MEANS WHEN I HAVE PREACHED TO OTHERS, I MYSELF BE A CASTAWAY (disqualified).” So if Paul realized That the gospel WAS NOT HIS to glory in and that he was privileged to just be part of the movement of God, not taking money, not taking advantage by running down the flocks but becoming ALL things to all men, and winning THEM as his reward, he also acknowledged no special position, he knew that he could fall.. shouldn’t we also?
Bury the hatchets… chuck the chips…. go ahead KNOCK IT OFF! You will be glad you did!
Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016