THE MYTH OF RESPONSIBILITY
In the last few days through some heart journeys, Jesus started to remind me that He did not create us to be responsible (a noun) but to be response able (a verb)- ie able to respond to Him in relationship. I don’t hold all things together, He does. Someone once said God is a verb. I don’t know who said it, but I agree wholeheartedly.
It has been a wild season of contending and having done all to stand. In the midst of the storm, will I be overwhelmed by the fury blowing in my own soul or will I choose to snuggle in the arms of the One who commands the winds and waves. Or will I at His invitation step out on the very waves that look so menacing in shadows of midnight and begin to dance with Him, right in the middle of the onslaught? Can I live so captivated by His gaze I see nothing else? Could it be that when that happens the atmosphere will respond and shift to the reality of the perfect peace found in His eyes?
I have been asking Jesus WHAT do I do? WHAT do I do in the face of what looks and feels like standing nose to nose with a 1000 foot high tidal wave of darkness?
His reply: YOU HAVE TO LET GO.
Let go of what? Today I got it (or more of it, at least).
Let go of the need to be responsible. What a shocker. Everything in my world has told me I must be responsible since cognitive understanding began to form. Good people are responsible people. The world looks at our ministry in Sudan and says 80 children- WOW you’re responsible for so much. The church looks at the promises Jesus has given us and says WOW what a lot of responsibility Jesus has given you. And Jesus is yelling- NO!!!!! But I began to believe the myth called false responsibility yet again and it turned spontaneity into suffocation in my soul almost overnight.
The storm stopped being an opportunity to dance with Jesus and started to look like a sentence of drowning.
But, but, but… you can’t just be irresponsible! You can’t just abandon your responsibilities!
Who said anything about that? And who said they were MY responsibilities anyway?
But Jesus gave you Sudan, didn’t He?
Yes He did. But He did not give me the promise of Sudan as a responsibility to carry. He gave me His promise as a playground to embrace with Him. All He desires is my ability to respond to Him. The lie of false responsibility actually steals the joy and even the ability to respond to the spontaneous moving of His Spirit. More over “responsibility” has nothing to do with relationship. It has everything to do with performance. Something our religious systems excel at. We were not created to carry such.
We were created to live in a love relationship with Papa, Jesus and Holy Spirit that is based on response ABILITY. We live in a place that enables us to respond to His promptings. You might just call it trust. Responsibility leads to slavery. Response ability leads to rest and sonship.
Jesus showed me this burden of false responsibility was like a poisoned dart in the souls of those He loves that is shot from behind, even at times to the well amored and well seasoned. When we step out of the place of rest in the glory realm of His love, it exposes our back. The GLORY of the Lord is our rear guard. The dart has to come out. It is poisoned with lies that try to take us out of His presence into self effort, into striving. It is something that needs the very atmosphere of heaven to restore. From there, looking at it from above, not beneath: what looked like an impending black tidal wave is put into perspective as a mere ripple. Jesus is the One who carries the weight of our call, not us.
Heb 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining (carrying, upholding) all things by his [freshly living spoken] word of [inherent, supernatural miraculous working] strength, ability and power.
We are not responsible for what He calls us into- we are simply to be response ABLE in the midst of the call- able to respond to His Spirit- that is all it takes. He does the rest while we rest in His glory, in His goodness… and should He invite us, as we dance on the waves through the storm.
DUCT TAPE FOR THE UNIVERSE
Along with the myth of responsibility, comes the deception of “hold it all together” To be honest, many days I don’t have one shred of energy to hold anything together, not even myself.
Rather, I have an intense desire to be held, to be taken care of, to fall apart in loving arms and be put back together again. For years I lived under the assumption of thinking I had to be the “together” type that held it all in place. WHAT a lot of work that was!
In this journey into the response ABILITY for which I was created, freedom has begun to dawn. Call it a holy aha moment. Nothing could be farther than the truth. There is no shame in desiring to be held and cared for- I was created to desire such. It is part of my genetic makeup. It is part of yours too.
Jesus began to deconstruct the stigma in my own heart as He reminded me I was created (along the rest of creation) to be held together in Him, not to hold things together for Him.
What?!?!?! You can’t go there, you’ll fall apart. Actually I’ll fall apart if I don’t go there! Let me explain.
Col 1:17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together (consist, cohere, find their proper place). My desire to be held is actually in my God-given DNA and wiring. Only He has the capacity to hold things together in Himself. I don’t have that ability and when I try to step into that role, I step out of rest and into striving.
In Jesus, even I am held together. Through His Spirit He holds us like no one else ever could. He doesn’t just hold us on the outside with strong arms of love and protection, He actually holds us on the inside too. He can hold our hearts… He actually holds us down to the molecular level. All things- every atom of who we are is held together in Him. In fact without His cohesion, creation itself would implode from the inside out.
Physicists, if my memory serves me, have found in recent years that the smallest subatomic particles behave like waves of sound. He created and sustains all things by His spoken word. And in Him who is the Living Word, all things are held together. To me, this was an deep revelation of rest. I don’t have to keep anything together on any level- not emotionally, not ministerially, not period. All I have to do is be found IN Him responsive to His Spirit. What grace… what freedom from that yoke of responsibility as our human systems define it. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Why? Because He is the one who is carrying it!
And from a dusty hot shack in Sudan that houses our local internet connection, there we go. The verbs have it.