If I can be like MikeMarch 29, 2022
Jesus is not only our Lord and Savior, but also our example of how to live a life pleasing to God. Think of Philippians 2:5, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” Have the same mindset as God in the flesh…is that even realistic?!
If God wants us to be like Jesus (who is divine), doesn’t it seem like he’s asking too much? Would you go to a 5-year-old and say, “you should dunk like Michael Jordan,”? Probably not (although there are some crazy dads out there…LaVar Ball probably said that to one of his young kids at one point). And yet, the gap between Air Jordan and a Kindergarten kid is less than between us and God.
So what gives?!
Continuing on in Philippians 2, however, reveals how Christ lived as God-man. He was in very nature God, but did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing. The Greek says that he emptied himself. Emptied himself of what? His divinity? No – he was 100% God and 100% man. (If you say he emptied himself of his divinity and was no longer God, this makes you a heretic…let’s not be heretics).
He emptied himself of his divine rights and power. He became a servant and was made in human likeness. He not only came to die on the cross but also to show us how we are supposed to live.
So how did Jesus live? What can we learn from him?
When Jesus was on earth, he had great devotion to the Spiritual Disciplines. He fasted (for 40 days…yikes!), He prayed (so much and so well that his disciples asked him how to do it), He practiced solitude (sending the disciples away to spend time with his father), and He read, studied and memorized scripture (it was how he fought temptation and taught the people).
Think about that…God the Son getting away and praying to God the Father. Why? Did Jesus need to pray? Short answer, yes. Because he wanted us to see what a life with God looked like. When he healed, when he taught, when preached the good news of the Kingdom he did so with the strength that the Spirit provides (Jesus performed no miracles before his baptism, at which point the Spirit came on him to equip him for ministry). Jesus did life and ministry the way we are supposed to do it…to show us how it’s done.
God wants to provide us with strength to do His will. He wants to gift us supernaturally for ministry. He wants to strengthen us to withstand temptation. How does this power come to us? Through the Spiritual Disciplines. Follow the example of Christ. Set aside time to be with God, and allow him to change you from the inside out (we will unpack this more in our next blog, entitled, “Practice…We Talking About Practice?!”).
For an intro on the Spiritual Disciplines, read Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline.