I could be a writer. No, no, I’m not talking about this. I’m talking about my degree. I have an English degree, specializing in technical writing. Most people don’t know this because I don’t talk about it. It’s easier to say I have an English degree and leave it at that than to explain what technical writing is. Technical writing is the boring side of writing. It’s the lucrative side of writing. It’s the side of writing that could earn a lot of money and provide an amazing living for my family. It’s the side of writing with tightly closed doors that never opened for me.
These thoughts were running through my head this morning as I fixed my hair. Looking at myself in the mirror, I had this thought: “You are living beneath your privileges.” I immediately turned my mind and heart toward the Lord and asked why, for the past five years of my life, I’ve been living below my privileges. I have seen recently how easily doors open when they are God’s will in your life. It’s hard to understand why some doors open so easily and others remain tightly closed in life, especially when the ones that remain closed cause you to struggle through life.
Without accusation, I turned this innocent wondering to the Lord this morning and His response was so simple. He said, “But you asked for My will.” And then, to fully answer my question, He reminded me of Jesus.
It’s so easy to overlook the fact that Jesus is a King. He’s so much more manageable in our minds if we think of him as a carpenter, or as a teacher. Things make sense when we can relate to our Savior as being like us. But if we face the fact that Jesus is a King, if we see him as almighty and all-powerful, then his life becomes a mystery and a puzzle. Jesus is the ultimate example of one who chose, for the will of God, to live beneath his privileges. “For the Son of Man has no place to lay his head,” he told the teacher who wanted to follow him. As a carpenter who’s forsaken his trade to preach the Gospel, this makes sense. As a teacher determined to spend his life ministering, this makes sense. But as a King? This is heinous.
When the Pharisees came to Jesus and questioned him about the temple tax, he didn’t pull out a purse and start counting out the fee. He went to Peter and said, “Cast out, catch a fish and pull the coin from it’s mouth. In our present era of politically correct common sense, this is lunacy.
The fact that Jesus is King and chose the life of a pauper doesn’t jive well with our present-age prosperity Gospel. We’ve made God into a genie who grants requests for His spoiled children! Jesus shows us how to live humbly in the will of God without worrying or demanding our “privileges. Is it so unimaginable that the will of God would be that we struggle and suffer? Not if we read our Bibles. “Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, (Isaiah 53:10) … “then those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. (1 Peter 4:19)”
I have found that to have less is to pray more. Out of our poverty and need comes the richest reward: a strengthening of our faith that the Holy Spirit assures us is “more precious than gold.” Could it be that God is less concerned about our earthly comfort than He is about our spiritual wholeness? Could our path be a blessed broken road even though our heart screams out for ease and abundance? Could this really be the will of God?
Let me ask you this: what comfort do you find in your monthly paycheck? Sure, it’s a comfort to pay the bills and have a home, but don’t we all grumble while we’re paying them, grumble after the checks gone, wringing our hands until the next payday? Don’t you find yourself wishing for more, or better? It’s the human condition, to be perpetually dissatisfied. Is this without reason or design? My experience tells me no. God wants us to be fully satisfied, it’s true. But in this world? In things of this world? I believe the scriptures call us up to a higher standard. That of being fully satisfied in the Lord, despite our circumstances. Does God bring blessings and abundance? Absolutely. But sometimes, those things become our god, and sometimes, the Lord allows us to know need and want rather than lose our hearts to lesser things. Can you imagine the pain and indignity of a King who loses the love of his life to a thief, who wooed her with a basket of dirt? Because these things are just dust. And He is glorious! His treasures last for eternity, ours last less than our lives.
Let us be willing to live beneath our privileges, if that is the will of God in our lives. Let’s stop striving to possess things and start striving to possess His heart. Let’s be more like Christ, the King who humbled himself enough to be born in a stable, live in the streets and die on a cross, enduring great suffering as our example. As a Christian, you cannot deny the power of His life. By all human reasoning, Christ was a failure and a lunatic. He lived beneath His privileges so we could be free to live beneath ours, in the perfect and pleasing will of our Father. Thank you Jesus!