Sometimes I see people walking through tension in life and they feel blind-sided. They see sin being exposed in their life, and their first thought is, “What is wrong in my life?” They start to feel distant from God, and they start pushing God away.
Sometimes we push God away physically by pulling away from Sunday morning, groups, prayer, friends, and sometimes we push God away metaphorically by putting up a wall that says, “You can’t touch this part of my life.”
But, you need to know if you want to walk in a growing, vibrant, non-religious relationship with Jesus there is going to be a trajectory of tension so that you can experience the greatest life He has to offer. Look at John 7:6-8 to see why:
John 7:6-8, “6 So Jesus *said to them, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. 8 Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.”
In verse 7 it tells us why there is going to be tension in our relationship with Jesus when it says, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it.”
The word “Testify” means “To give a report” and it means Jesus is going to stand in judgment over the world, and this can make us feel a little uncomfortable because we thought Jesus was supposed to love the world. The Greek word for “World” is “Kosmos” and depending on the context of the passage it could be understood in two different ways.
There are some places in Scripture when it says, “World” it is talking about the material, physical, human world we walk in every day. There are other times in Scripture when it says, “World” it is talking about the “Systems of the world.”
Jesus does love the material, physical, human world, but there are “Systems of the world” that He is very much opposed. There are “Systems” that revolve around our thinking, values, mindset and they are contrary to Jesus, and this is why there is going to be tension.
Therefore, in verse 7 when Jesus says, “He has come to give a report it is (To Testify) against the systems of the world.” Our hearts and minds have been shaped by the “Systems of the world” through our education, music, movies, family, church, books, and Jesus is speaking up for what He loves and it is going to create some tension. Lets give some examples:
Money: From a young age we are taught the importance of money. All of us have a money story that runs through our family. Some of us grew up with a lot of money, some of us grew up with a little, and as a result we began to build unhealthy relationships with money.
Some of us began to see money as the primary source of security so that we always need more. Some of us see money as our primary source of pleasure. The more money we have the more fun we can have. Some of us see money as a place of position that opens doors and gain influence.
Jesus wants to be our source of security. He wants to be our source of pleasure. He wants to be the One who brings position. He doesn’t want those things because He is jealous. He wants those things because He knows those others things will fail . They won’t last, and ultimately He wants to shepherd our hearts and minds to a place where we can hold money with an open hand.
Can you imagine your confidence not being shaped by the price of your car? Can you imagine your peace not trending with the market? Can you imagine your soul not being gripped by name brands, styles, logos, and status symbols?
He wants that for you, and His goal is to “Testify” about the condition of our heart towards money, and it is going to bring tension.
It is going to bring so much tension that there are going to be times where you “Hate Him for it.” When it says, “The world hates Jesus” it isn’t just talking about those people, but it is talking about the condition of our heart, and the reality is that we have made some of those “Systems of the world” our identity. We are going to push back and say, “No, I just like nice things, I like to plan for the future, I like to have a good time” and we are going to fight this tension in our life.
But, you need to know Jesus is doing this to reclaim what is His, and because He loves us He will do whatever is necessary to bring us the greatest life He has to offer.
If you would like you can reflect more on this subject from our sermon on August 24, 2014 at www.northvillagechurch.com, or you can podcast on iTunes.