Thursday, June 2, 2011

FLEECING, FLEXING, AND FLIPPING OFF

 To whomever takes in this reading, I implore you to read and think about the implications of how we walk in this life and live in and under the smile of the Messiah.  I write this in response to losing a gentleman in our community suddenly and tragically.  In remembering those folks we have had close ties with in the past and present, it is good to remember, it is good to grieve, and it is good to walk through the disgusting measure of loss.  Fleecing, Flexing, and Flipping Off is about relationships as it involves the Sovereignty of God.

FLEECING

        By definition according to Websters, fleecing is to strip of money or property by fraud or extortion; to charge excessively from for goods or services.   Literally, fleecing is to shear or remove from.  By implication, to cover with.  This past week our little community of people lost a what in my flesh would be considered a good and decent man.  A tragic death occurred in the midst of him visiting his mother for Memorial Day weekend.  When looking at the world around us, we are being fleeced by people all the time; having goods stolen from us at a ridiculous rate.  If you have driven up to a gas pump in the past 6 months, then you have experienced this fleecing.  The gentleman who passed away has been fleeced from us.   God chose to remove him.  We use the word fleecing a majority of the time in a negative since, however, I would like to use it in means of describing to you a relationship with God that goes to the point of removal.  God's sovereignty fleeces us, it removes our dependence on self and by implication covers us with his muscles and provides for us a rest in the most troubling of times.  Sovereignty means supreme power or authority, and we under God's supreme power are fleeced of self.  This fleecing is the most difficult to accept or taste because this fleecing requires us to be removed of any control.  I don't know about you, but that just scares me because I like control.  When it comes to spiritual living, my control or what I think is control is useless.  God is fleecing us of independence and His sovereignty brings us to our dependence.

FLEXING

         By definition according to Websters, flexing is being bent, shaped differently, and contracted.  When I think of flexing, I think of muscles.  Body Building, Arnold ("Get to the choppa") type guys come to mind.  I've never looked at flexing when it comes to spiritual thinking.  Dave Busby was big on using the metaphor of relying upon "His Muscles!"  The term flexing can also be used in the negative way to describe God, I've heard God is flexing His muscles when it comes to bad weather, natural disasters,  and going through a rough patch in life.  In the light of sovereignty, flexing is best described as being shaped differently.  God bends, shapes, and molds us into manifesting Him in our mortal flesh.  In the case of losing a friend, God flexed His muscles by transforming him from the flesh life to the spiritual life.  When God chooses to take a life home, His sovereign choice was to have him home.  During these times families are flexed, bent to grief, mourning, and questions.  In an odd way, God is the one flexing towards  dependence and bringing you to the end of self.  When God flexes us it is for His good purpose and we benefit from being shaped into the workmanship of Christ.  We are created in Christ to be shaped and molded to manifest him in our mortal flesh.  To borrow a quote from Busby, we rely on "his muscles" to endure "his flexing."

FLIPPING OFF

         By definition according to Webster s, (yes, flipping off is found in webster s), turning up the middle finger in a course gesture.  In the midst of being fleeced and flexed our response is nothing short of flipping off.   If you are offended by the comment of flipping off, then you find a better description of what you feel on the inside when you are stripped of those things you hold dear in your heart.  In the midst of being fleeced and flexed, honesty is the response that is required.  I find it funny that we have this idea in our minds that God doesn't see those things we often feel when things do not go our way.  In loss or tragedy our response is often in grief, flipping off, questioning, and ticked that we had no control over the loss.  I'm no less a victim of this response, but in the midst of grief God screaming is ok, why?  Because God can handle your honesty.  God can handle your flipped off response, because he is large enough to handle this response in the midst of the most horrendous occasion.   strangely enough, when we try to answer the unanswerable questions about God and we mess it all up, we feel like flipping off.   You can flip off all that you want, but God's sovereignty will still remain.  God's fleecing will remain to cover you, God's flexing will remain to bend and shape you, and God in the midst of this fleecing and flexing can handle your flipping off by the measure of honesty that is spewing forth from you.

Fleecing, flexing, and flipping off are components of grieving, learning, and growing.  When we look at these in the midst of relationships, we see the benefit being fleeced, flexed, and flipped.

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