Friday, May 23, 2008

Normal Christianity

I work on the fourth floor of an office building with old elevators in continual need of repair. The elevator doors rush open with a loud bang and one of them closes extremely slowly while the other has a tendency to close on you as you enter. As it passes each floor there you feel a disconcerting lurch of sorts and when you reach your floor there is a sudden jolt and grind. For years this has been a daily experience.

Several weeks ago, my husband and I stayed at a newly remodeled hotel and our room was on the tenth floor. We entered the elevator and selected floor 10. About 60 seconds passed in quiet stillness and I told my husband that the elevator must not be working as we weren’t moving yet. He pointed out the counter at the top of the doors to show me we were indeed traveling upwards and were nearing our exit. I was amazed.

I was using the nearly broken elevators as a standard instead of an elevator in working order. Therefore, I was amazed by something that should be normal.

Does this not happen with the Christian life? Do we not take what we have always known as a standard instead of using Christ as our standard?

I’ve observed that the common response regarding leading a supernatural life to be that it is something that’s not for everybody – it’s not normal Christianity. People see it as a lifestyle that is amazing, but not the standard. The standard has become what we see everyday and not what Jesus modeled it to be. We are to be imitators of Christ, are we not?

When I first starting learning about healings, miracles, and the like as being a part of normal Christianity, I resisted the idea because I thought those who lived that way had something special – something abnormal and I took aversion to being told that it should be normal in my life. I had grown up in the church; I knew what normal Christianity was all about. Or did I? Could it be that my standard was my experiences and not Jesus?

Just like the elevator story, I was measuring normalcy by the wrong standard. The standard should have been an elevator in good working order and not one that is constantly inept.

Jesus said to heal the sick, raise the dead, and cleanse lepers. Does that mean that He isn’t pleased with me because I don’t do that? No, absolutely not. I am made righteous by Him, not by the works that I do. But if I readjust my standard to be Him, He can enable me to do these and greater things because it is He that does them through me. If my eyes are on Him and I am seeking His Kingdom, I will begin to see the things He spoke of happening in my life. I will then be about my Father’s business. I will hear and see what He wants to do in people for my eyes are set on Him.

When Jesus approached the disciples’ boat walking on the water he called Peter to walk out to Him. Peter fixed his eyes on Christ and walked upon the water for His standard was not that everyone knows this is impossible, but His eyes were joined with Christ’s eyes. However, when he took His eyes off Christ he began to falter and sink, but he quickly fixed them back on Jesus.

Jesus has to be our standard. We can’t look at what everyone says is possible or impossible. It is written in Philippians 3:16 that, “I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.”


Roronoa Zoro said...


Vicki G. said...

Great point and well written. Keep em' coming!

Beth said...

Good point!

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Sandra (Sandy) Parks Hovatter said...

Very well said. I love the analogy.
God so wants to speak to us through situations in our every day life. Be blessed!

Cafeeine Addicted said...

With respect, I think your analogy is flawed.
The new elevator you used was in good working order because it was recently refurbished and/or is properly maintained. There was no inherent perfection in the hotel elevator, nor any inherent ineptness in your regular elevator.

Sandra (Sandy) Parks Hovatter said...

God often speaks to us through every day life situations. Yes, the elevator was never perfect, that's not the point. Read through Jeremiah and pay particular attention to how God speaks to Jeremiah. He uses what is in front of us (no matter how good or bad) to draw our attention to something He wants to teach us.
Be blessed, all.