Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I Might be a Kook if - the virtue of HUMILITY

I recently had an opportunity to surf in La Jolla, California in a cove at the end of Tourmaline Street. It was a mini family vacation: the girls got to play at the zoo, daddy got to sail, and mommy got to surf.

On this trip, I felt the Spirit of God direct me to question whether or not I was the “real deal” or more likely behaving as a “Kook.” In the world of surfing, a kook is someone that lacks sincerity. They pose as a surfer but lack the authentic anointing that relentless dedication to the sport firmly establishes in ones mind and soul.

Truthfully, I’m an advanced beginner. When I successfully paddle in to a wave, join the powerful energy, stand-up, and ride toward shore I’m overwhelmed with a euphoric joy. It produces in me an annoying exuberance. Some might question the sincerity of my wild outbursts of joy.

Few surfers will disagree with me when I say, learning to surf takes dedication. A person must be consumed with chasing waves in order to achieve even the tiniest measure of success. This hard reality causes some to pretend to be legit surfers. And it’s reasonable for me to consider the question … Do I act as a “kook” might?[1] Here is what I am pondering. Do you see yourself in any of these?

·   A kook will be boastful over inflating their success.
·   A kook surfs with the intention of gaining popularity.
·   A kook pretends to have it all together.
·   A kook has a mistakenly enlarged picture of themselves.
·   A kook sets aside basic etiquette for their own self interest.
·   A kook is more interested in fixing those around them than learning to surf themselves.

More than ever before American citizens have finely tuned internal meters that accurately measure the “kookiness” of people in ministry. They know intuitively whether someone operates with sincere humility or whether they have a sincere concern for only their own well being. An observer sees hypocrisy in the areas of holiness, trust, obedience, and servant hood immediately in the life of a kook. And sadly, kooks are everywhere.

But why are there so many kooks posing to be genuine disciples of Jesus? Well, I suppose it’s because following Jesus means to do as He does – and, that is not so simple. A person must be consumed with chasing hard after Jesus in order to achieve even the tiniest measured success. As for me, I wonder if I understand truly and genuinely possess sincere humility[2].

In a letter to the people of Philipi, the Apostle Paul said we are to think like Jesus, we are to love like Jesus, and we are to be of the same purpose as Jesus (Philippians 2:1-11).

Whoa, Jesus laid down His life to take the punishment for people that were disgusting sinners so they could go free. Wait, He did that for me? Yikes, I’m supposed to do that too - seriously?

This reality alone forces me to bow in reverent submission. I might be able to grasp doing this for my precious little girls. But, for my neighbor that is cursing me, I’m certain I would fall short.

But, that is the depth of love we are called to have. With every breath I take, I desire to follow the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It’s when we ALL embrace this depth of love as if it were the very essence of our being that heaven will be accomplished on earth.

Are you in? Are you ALL in? Well, how about a little more today than yesterday? And tomorrow, well, how about a little more again?

Humility is not as I thought it to be: a cowardly response to one greater than us. Instead, humility is our moving toward and becoming like the one that loves with perfection. OUR identity, OUR dignity, OUR purpose aligns with Jesus’ to take back what the enemy, the devil, has stolen.

This is not a cowardly act at all. We GO in the assurance and power of the Spirit of God in us. So, I’m coming to a new understanding of what an anointed “wave surfer” looks like. Do you see yourself in these humble attributes?

·   Honor comes from God alone, Jesus’ death and resurrection – acceptance is irrelevant and not required.
·   Security comes from knowing God is in control – anxiety is revoked.
·   Confidence comes from the Spirit of God in the assurance of a unified purpose – persecution is expected.

I anticipate that this will play itself out in my life in different ways. But the essence is to never manipulate people so that my carnal need for significance is met. I will not need to be noticed or rewarded. I will not grab for power. I will wait on God’s perfect timing and His perfect provision.

Jesus made a sweet promise to me and you too! He said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew -30).

Humility simply means to be a servant. With outrageous courage we set aside our own agenda and our own needs for a greater purpose. Our lives are not about us. As a nation of true disciples we are to become a BAND of BROTHERS focused on lifting up the name of Jesus and Him crucified for the purpose of taking back what has been stolen by the devil.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost;” and, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Luke 19:10, Mark 10:45).

Let’s make this real. Consider your willingness to be humble. How do you measure against these attributes?

·   I have a teachable spirit. I realize I am always a work in progress and seek to become more like Jesus with ever increasing measure each day. I feast on the Word of God and trust it to be my sole guiding light.
·   I enjoy a “band of brothers” that hold me accountable to the choices I make, the thoughts I believe, and the words I speak.  
·   I submit to the authority of the ONE true God experienced in three distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.

I believe when we operate with these attributes no one will see us as a “kook” but as an authentic disciple of Jesus. We will repaint Jesus in His true light. I pray you join me.

[2] http://bible.org/seriespage/humility (accessed November 14, 2011)