Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thine Ass Is Mine

The title of this post is a quote from Imaginary Jesus. It's a pretty good book... I have shared about it before and well as I taught my Zoology class today this quote came to my mind.
The quote came from King-James Jesus after he kidnapped the talking donkey in order to bargain for her to rescue Magic-Eight-Ball Jesus.

Today our lesson in Zoology was on Ungulates and as we looked at the order Perissodactyla we discussed the donkey. As I prepared to teach I read:

Although donkeys have long been considered ignorant, they are actually quite intelligent creatures. They are not as easy to train as horses, because they seem to have a mind of their own and will not do anything that doesn't seem like a good idea to them. They prefer to do things that are good for the donkey, which may not necessarily be good for the person who owns the donkey.
~ Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 3

Well reading this took me to remembering that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. I have been taught and have understood that Jesus chose a donkey because it was poor man's animal. It was not a king's steed. It also was to fulfill the Scriptures. I believe all this is true... but I also now think that their might even have been more to the story.

 “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
Matthew 21:2-5

Why the donkey?
Well if you think about it... we as humans can be stupid as a sheep and stubborn as a donkey. Not only was this a donkey, but it was a colt. It was immature, unridden, untrained...
I read this and I think of the description of this donkey and I realize how often I have been there. You know having a mind of my own and not willing to listen to instruction and not planning on doing anything that didn't seem like a good idea to me...

I mean really, like anyone else might have good idea?

How often do we see this in our church and in our homes?

No, sir, we need to go in this direction and your opinion of the matter is really irrelevant because it's not what I personally had planned... so there is no point in even entertaining it...

No, honey, this is the way we need to do it and your idea on the matter doesn't line up with mine and there is no way that your way could be better than mine... so just hush about it...

The donkey is always looking out for the donkey and he is not all that fired up or concerned about how it affects everyone else... including the one who owns him.
Hmmmmm am I hitting home yet?

The last time I checked my body, my mind, my soul, belong to God... not me. When I accepted Christ and believed on Him and confessed Him as my Lord, I surrendered all that I am and ever will be to Him. 

Or do you not know that your body is a temple
of the Holy Spirit who is in you,
whom you have from God,
and that you are not your own? 
For you have been bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20

In light of this when was the last time you considered what was best for God, your owner. I have to admit that usually when I plan out my day, my future, when I get ideas... the majority of the time the focus is what is best for me. I consider what will work best in my schedule and with the way that I want it to go... then I ask God to make it to happen.

How quickly I forget "Thine ass is Mine"

My life is not my own and it is not to be used for my glory or my benefit. Just as that donkey in the book of Matthew carried Jesus into Jerusalem, I am to be the carrier of Jesus the Christ into my Jerusalem and Jesus is to lead and direct the way. 

Likewise, in my home, my marriage, I am no longer my own.

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother,
and be joined to his wife;
and they shall become one flesh.
Genesis 2:24

The wife does not have authority over her own body,
but the husband does;
and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body,
but the wife does.
1 Corinthians 7:4

In this marriage I am not to live to  myself. My ideas, my decisions, should not be based on what's best for me, but what is best for my spouse and our marriage and our family. It's not about me. I belong now to this marriage and to this family, to my husband... I am not my own and I must make decisions according to what is best for them... not me.

Of course here's the thing, I can't do this on my own. I need Jesus there to control the reigns. As I carry the coverings of others on my back He must be the one who covers all of us... I can't do it on my own.
I am immature, untrained, and unridden. My ideas, my way, may not be the best for others... usually they are not. 
I am ingrained to resist authority and to seek my own personal wants and needs first in a self-protection kind of way. I have to have Christ leading me, growing me, steering me, indwelling me. When I surrender my will to Him, He will help me surrender my will in the other areas of my life as well. 

  And He went a little beyond them,
and fell on His face and prayed, saying,
“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me;
yet not as I will, but as You will.”
Matthew 26:39

Living our lives with surrendered will does not mean that life will be a bed of roses for us... but it's not about us. It's about Him.
We have to trust that He knows what He is doing, where He is going, and He will see us safely there and through whatever comes our way. We must know that what lies ahead is going to be far greater than anything that lies behind.
I want this stubborn donkey of me to be broken, matured, and trained by my Owner, by the One who first surrendered all for me...
I want to be fully surrendered to Him.

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