I’ve been living a double life

since age 24, when Jesus drew me to Himself.  But I never saw my double life til now.  I’ve lived in two different worlds: Jesus’ world, and Dave’s world.  When I live in Jesus’ world, I’m in awe of Him and His worthiness as seen in creation, and His genius plan for everyone and everything.  And.  In Jesus’ world I’m a spectator, not an active-participant.  Spectators are curious and expectant to see what happens NEXT, in us, others, circumstances, but we don’t have a dog in the hunt.  We dunno what’s best for anyone, especially ourselves.  We have no worthiness of our own, and are unbothered by that, unbothered by the pity of others for being such lowlies.

Now when I live in Dave’s world, I’m an active-participant, so the pressure to perform is intense, I’m focused on my agenda, reaching my goal, gaining and maintaining somebodiness.  I feel this pressure ALL the time, compare myself to others ALL the time, trying to prove myself worthy ALL the time, eaten up with pride ALL the time.  Except.  When He opens my eyes to see the problem, freshly convicts me of the sin of INdependence, wooing me back into His world, where I’m all-of-a-sudden a spectator again — amazingly peaceful, amazingly patient, amazingly compassionate, not hurried, worried, agendafied.

In Dave’s world, as an active-participant, I’m critical-judgmental, competitive, searching for weaknesses in others so I can feel superior to them.  Superior in some, way, shape or form to EVERYONE EVERYWHERE.  My life is all about ME and my worthiness.  Clearly my flesh loves DAVE’S world of somebodiness-quest, and hates the lowly, nobody, spectator status of me being in Jesus’ world, where my life is not about me, but about Jesus and His worthiness in Creation.

I think I’ll always remember 5-25-2018, when Jesus opened my eyes to see these two worlds, and how-much happier I am in Jesus’ world, and how miserable and circumstance-dependent for my joy and peace in Dave’s world.  So here’s how this discovery has been so helpful to me: As I’m driving along, and notice my being critical of someone, I realize I’m back in Dave’s world, and thank Him for opening my eyes and wooing me back to His world, where I’m focused on Him and His worthiness in Creation.  And I’ll go along for a while, looking at the trees and hills, and cars and people, enjoying it all, and then I’ll notice, say, my wanting to go rapidly around a corner, or accelerate rapidly.  Woah!  Thank You, Jesus, for opening my eyes to see I’m back in Dave’s world, proving myself worthy.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships

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Why am I more aware of You in nature?

Jesus, I want to be overwhelmed by You and Your worthiness, rather than always being so consumed with me and my worthiness.  It’s strange to me, Lord, that I’m not at all critical-judgmental of nature, created and supervised by You, but am easily critical-judgmental of us humans and our creations, also created and supervised by You.  Thank You for how helpful it is for me to see nature and humans and our creations, all created and supervised by the same Person, and how-much happier I am when you draw my focus to You and Your worthiness, instead of me and mine.   I love it when I see everything and everyone under your guidance, just like in nature.  Thank You for creating me such a great example of a bad example of a contented Jesus-follower, even though my flesh HATES me being a failure/loser.  And thank You for Your grace in opening my eyes to see the TRUTH about me and my ongoing neediness for a Savior, and opening my eyes to see the TRUTH about You, others, and Your genius plan, Your Grand Story that You are unfolding in human history.  I am taken back today by Your exposure of my extreme self-absorption all day every day.  My life is all about me and my performance/worthiness — even when I’m loving another really well by the standards of this world, because it’s the right thing to do and it makes me feel good to do right, be right, lay down my life for another, and the only time my focus shifts to You and Your performance/worthiness — evidenced in the beauty of Your Creation, is when You lovingly send Your spirit to open my eyes to see the problem of my self-absorption, freshly convicting me of my sin of INdependence/worldliness/pride/confidence-I-know-what’s-best, and my dissatisfaction with You and Your imputed worthiness, wanting some of my own.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, in the hopes that Christians might become compelling to seculars

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I never thank Jesus for my problems,

challenges, scary opportunities, when I’m confident-I-know-what’s-best/worldly/INdependent/pride-filled, wise in my own eyes, leaning on my own understanding.  If I pray at all, it’s to ask Him to bless my agenda, get me outta this harrrd/suffering/scary.  Pride, not humility, to know what’s thankable and what’s not.  And I’m never happy/content in this confident-I-know-best mode of living.  I feel ALONE.  Pressure.  But I’m typically not very self-aware in this mode, because I’m focused on a goal, so I don’t REALIZE I feel pressure, alone, up to DAVE.

The ONLY time I thank Jesus for the negative/harrrd/suffering in my life, is when I’m clueless-I-know-what’s-best, childlike, dependent on Him to lead me, because I believe He’s totally sovereign over every detail of my life, and knows what’s best for me and those I love, and what’s thankable and what’s not.  So I thank Him for everything just as it is, and everyone just as we are, as per His genius plan.  And that’s only when I’ve been freshly convicted of my sin of INdependence.  I get zero credit for being freshly convicted by Jesus’ Spirit.  It’s called grace.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, that we believers — especially Dave, might have a contagious Jesus within us, that is compelling to the seculars around us

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Much harder to experience the benefit

of being curious/expectant to see what Jesus does NEXT, in me, others, circumstances, when I feel lousy physiologically.  So He’s been retraining me to be compassionate toward myself when I feel lousy, and lower my expectations for the joy and peace that’s mine in Him.  Lower my expectations for getting comfort from believing in His sovereign reign over my life, and everyone’s life.  When I feel lousy, I just don’t CARE, am easily irritated, critical-judgmental, ready to bite your head off.  Well, on the inside.  I’m still nice on the outside.  Usually.  Confession helps, but I still feel lousy.  Thanking Him for the harrrd helps, but I still feel lousy.  Harrrd to be an enjoyer of others when I feel lousy.  Or an enjoyer of Jesus and His genius plan for my life that includes suffering.  Suffering produces perseverance, then character, then hope/faith/dependency.  Nothing compares with Jesus-dependency.  Costly, but a bargain.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, whose BIGgest idol has become feeling-good-physiologically, and when he does, and when freshly convicted of the sin of INdependence, he finds the Christian life soooo-much easier, and everyone around him benefits

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Happiness comes from

getting my way.  WRONG.  Misery comes from getting my way.  Getting my way is addictive.  Getting my way is the essence of worldliness/INdependency/pride/arrogance.  When Jesus is Lord, I find happiness in HIS way, HIS leading, dependency on HIM.  But Dave’sFlesh is totally convinced that getting Dave’s way will produce happiness for Dave.  Fool’s errand to pursue Dave’s way, Dave’s agenda.  Happiness comes from Jesus-dependency/humility.  INdependency is asking Jesus to BLESS MY AGENDA.  Prison of misery.  Each time I get my way, my addiction/INdependency is strengthened.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who doesn’t practice well what he preaches, but that doesn’t stop him from preaching, cuz he needs to hear it more than anyone, having learned the hard way that he’s happiest when dead to his agenda, curious/expectant to see what Jesus does NEXT, in him, others, circumstances

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What the Sixers have not-yet experienced:

How to live fearlessly while under great pressure.

How can a sports team, or an individual, under the pressure of a big game, even a championship playoff, live with freedom, reckless abandon?  You need a healthy-indifference to the outcome: willing to fail, succeed, whatever.  The outcome cannot be the focus.  Winning is not the goal.  Playing with excellence is the goal, and it’s impossible to play with excellence, to play your very best, when you are unwilling to fail, when you MUST win, MUST succeed.  A healthy indifference to the outcome, enables you to play with reckless abandon, uninhibited, to play your very best.  Only the humble are willing to fail, are unbothered by losing.  Only the humble see loss, mistake, failure, as a learning experience.  Only the proud are eaten up with failure-avoidance, risk-avoidance, are unwilling to fail and learn from the failure.  Only the humble have the patience to take the long road to achieving excellence.  The proud wanna win TODAY, are unwilling to fail and learn from the failure.  So only the proud get uptight, feel pressure, are prevented from playing their very best.

How can a proud Christian become humble?  CONFESS your pride, your dissatisfaction with Jesus and His imputed worthiness, wanting some worthiness of your own.  Humility is a fruit of the Spirit’s work, not something I generate.  I get zero credit.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships

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I love saying “So WHAT?”

to the things that matter to my flesh, and the world around me.  Dave’sFlesh and the worldlies around me dunno nuttin about how to deliver happiness to Dave.  But they sure THINK they do.  And they are convincing, COMPELLING.  They use every one of my idols against me, tempting me to look to my idols instead of Jesus, for LIFE.  So it helps me enormously to say out loud — or internally, “So WHAT?” when I recognize one of my idols working on me, pressuring me to perform with excellence, or notice weakness in others, so I feel good about myself apart from Jesus.  The more self-aware I am, the harder it is for my idols to influence my life.  I can’t CONFESS what I don’t see.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, in hopes that Jesus will be the biggest deal in the lives of Christians, so the seculars around us might be wowed and want what we have

To receive my Tuesday posts, email me, or subscribe to my blog: dumbsheepdave.com

When I have harrrrd circumstances,

it’s so helpful to THANK Him for them, instead of asking Him to remove them, change them, because THANKing is commanded in Scripture, and because THANKing Him for the harrrd reminds me that He’s totally sovereign over them, and I am not, which helps me be curious/expectant to see what He does NEXT, in me, others, circumstances.  This kind of passivity, this waiting on Jesus, seems so weird, so other-worldly, to ActivistDave/WorldlyDave.  The knee-jerk reaction of ActivistDave is to jump right in and try and fix my harrrd circumstances, or maaaaybe ask Him to remove/change them, instead of THANKing Him for them.  Even asking Jesus for something demonstrates confidence-I-know-what’s-best, which is pride/INdependence, the opposite of Jesus-dependency.  Sometimes after I THANK Him for the harrrd, He gives me a great idea to try this or that, to alleviate things, but sometimes the harrrd remains, though I’m greatly comforted by seeing a purpose in the harrrd/suffering — I’m reminded that Romans 5 says suffering produces perseverance, then character, then hope/faith/dependency, and there is NOTHing I need in life nearly as much as Jesus-dependency.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing Gospel-awareness, self-awareness and sovereignty-awareness, hoping the Spirit transforms us Christians so much that the seculars around us want something we have

To receive my Tuesday posts, email me, or subscribe to my blog: dumbsheepdave.com