When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time. ~ Saint Francis de Sales
Life is supposed to make sense. But, sometimes life comes at you so hard and fast that you wonder what just happened. If that has ever happened to you, I can understand, because no matter how long you have been a believer, and no matter how long you have lived on this planet, sometimes you feel like you are a walking, talking, and breathing contradiction. One day up, the next day down. One day on top of the world and the next day, I’ve got the world on my shoulders. It’s called “living in the contradiction.”
All it takes is a quick view of the morning news to know that our world is in a mess. We go to church on Sunday and hear one thing, and live the rest of the week hearing and seeing something totally different.
Did you know that one of the greatest illusionists in the world, Harry Houdini, did not die from an illusion that went wrong, or from an assistant that did not do his job properly? No, actually he died from a “sucker punch”, that’s right, from a punch to the stomach that he was not ready for.
Wow! He wasn’t ready for the punch – and it cost him his life. For you who feel like you have been “sucker punched” by life, cheer up…
We win, even when it looks like we are losing!
By definition the word Contradiction means: the act of going against; opposition; a declaration of the opposite or contrary; a statement that is at variance with itself (often in the phrase a contradiction in terms); conflict or inconsistency, as between events, qualities, etc.[i]
[i] Definition of “Contradiction” @ http://www.thefreedictionary.com/contradiction
What does it mean for Christians “living in the contradiction?”
It is the difference between what we “see” around us and what we “know” inside of us.
Isaac lived in the middle of a contradiction.
Isaac lived in a famine without hope for the future. God told him to stay where he was and sow into the barren soil. Even though in the natural it didn’t make sense (a contradiction) he obeyed God and reaped a hundredfold.
John the Baptist experienced the contradiction firsthand.
There came a point in the life of John when nothing made sense. No doubt he felt he was doing everything right and yet found himself in a dark, depressing prison cell waiting to die. Things were not working out like he thought they would. John is going through something that we all go through called the process events of life. It’s when life doesn’t match up with what we know. Up until his prison experience John had no doubts as to the identity of Jesus Christ.
When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” ~ Matthew 11:2–6 (NIV)
David, a man after God’s own heart, lived in the contradiction.
When you read the Psalms it’s like reading the writings of a musical manic depressive. One minute he’s up and the next he’s down.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. ~ Psalm 42:5 (NIV)
David is “living in the contradiction” of trying to understand the gap between his anointing and the manifestation of the power of God in his life. His emotions are being integrated into his circumstances of what he is seeing with his eyes and what he knows to be true in his heart. The process is actually working for him, he just doesn’t understand how something that looks bad can be good for him. Every right response to the “process” moves him to the next level of his assignment with a fresh and more powerful anointing.
“Process” is the term we use to describe what is going on in our life that we don’t like. But, when we understand that God has a purpose for our life even in the middle of a contradiction it takes the enemy out of the equation. What the enemy will try to do is interfere with our God-given assignment, create confusion, and move us away from our destiny.
The Kingdom of God is one of contradictions:
- The way up is down.
- If you want to be first, be last.
- If you want to lead, learn to serve.
- In order to live, you must die.
- In order to get, you have to give.
- If you want to rise to the top, start at the bottom.
It will be impossible to put this world’s system under your feet until you have seen a better view from heaven’s perspective.
The contradiction of what you see around you and what you know on the inside will be so confusing it might just overwhelm you unless you see a better world above.
D.L. Moody was instrumental in shaking two continents for the gospel of Jesus Christ. His influence is still being felt today through the Moody Bible College, and other Christian enterprises that bear his name.
“Someday,” D. L. Moody used to say, “You will read in the papers that D. L. Moody of East Northfield is dead. Don’t believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now!” He preached his last sermon in Kansas City on Nov. 23, 1899, from the text Luke 14:18: “And they all with one consent began to make excuse.” When he gave the invitation, fifty stood to their feet and went across the street into the inquiry room. He was too ill to continue the Kansas City campaign, so he took the train back to Northfield. On Friday, Dec. 22, he went “home.”
Five years before his home going Moody had said, “If it can be said, faithfully said, over my grave, ‘Moody has done what he could,’ that will be the most glorious epitaph.” Instead, 1 John 2:17 was chosen: “He that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” [i]
[i] Excerpted from a brief biography of D.L. Moody @https://bible.org/illustration/moody-epitaph
Today’s blog is adapted from my book,
The Hiram Code by Ron Phillips, DMin
Copyright © 2015 by Ron Phillips
Published by Charisma House