Traveling Against the Flow

Have you ever had an experience that really shook you up and resulted in a change in your priorities? Maybe an illness or a car accident that you feared you may not survive? There’s something about facing our own mortality that causes us to re-evaluate our lives – “what have I been doing? Have I been wasting my time?”

When we come into contact with our Creator God through the gospel, we have a similar experience. We brush against something so much bigger than ourselves and begin to examine ourselves.

We’re continuing our study in 1 Peter this Sunday, reading 1 Peter 4:1-6.

In order to face suffering and difficulties in life, Peter says to ARM ourselves with thinking that is like Christ’s. What sort of thinking did Jesus have that enabled him to face suffering in his life? What would that look like in your experience?

In V3, Peter describes a lifestyle that those outside of relationship with Christ embrace. The description sounds a lot like Bacchanalia … or this. Peter’s point seems to be that a lifestyle that lacks self-control is less than what God has in mind for us and a waste of our time. We want to travel against the flow of what many consider normal life. Why is a lifestyle of self-gratification at odds with God’s plan? What if you never did the stuff he describes in this passage, even in your pre-Christ life – what are other ways a self-gratifying lifestyle manifests?

V6 is another puzzling text, but the most reasonable take on this is that Peter is talking about people who heard the gospel preached while they were alive and embraced it, but subsequently died (they were expecting Jesus to return before they would ever die). “Judged in the flesh the way people are” may mean that they were tried for their faith and executed…or it may mean that they died the way people do because of this fallen world. Either way…what is Peter’s point about those who give up the selfish pursuits of this broken world system and follow Christ? Was their choice worth it, and why?

See you all on Sunday!

3 thoughts on “Traveling Against the Flow

  1. I had a near death experience when I delivered my first son…. I remember immediately coming out of that and being convicted about a toxic family relationship. I knew God wanted me to make things right with that individual and can happily report peace with them now. Being close to death made me realize the frailty of life, that it could be over at any moment and made me want to make sure I was living to please God and not myself anymore. (“want to” being the key phrase..still don’t do it well at all)
    I believe that was the mindset that Jesus embodied while walking out His earthly ministry. He could endure anything if He knew it was the Fathers’ will. Suffering, death, rejection, etc. etc. He knew God had a bigger plan and was willing to do His part to see it through no matter the cost.
    Personally my life has not exactly panned out as I had planned and I am sure many others can say the same. Many of us are in circumstances that may seem possibly limiting or imprisoning. I am sure Jesus felt the same in His humanity. We have the opportunity like Jesus to trust that our Father’s plan is much bigger and better than our own and pray each day His will be done in and through us!!! His strength is made perfect in weakness…Let’s see what good will come as we follow His will!

  2. This week there has been the death of security and income (things of this world I depend upon) and what I truly invested in what I Thought I am supposed to be doing with my life. It is an impossible feat to see waking up and not being able to go to work. This week I have felt empty, lost and confused. As I manuevered through all of those feelings the one thing I always came back to is that I am the most secure in is knowing that whatever happens God has my back. My life is to be what and He wants me to be doing for Him. This is the first time in my life that I am actually “stepping out in faith” to know that He has something bigger and better for me than what I am doing now. i have not been happy where I am in the last year so what did he do He pushed me so I can go where He wants me to do His work. I can’t wait to see what God’s plan is and I know it will not look any way I think it should (because I always get it wrong when I think I know whats best for me). I believe that Jesus did the same thing He believed that His Father would take care of Him no matter what the circumstance.

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