The folly of human wisdom.

In my human wisdom, I have many strong opinions.  But I’m becoming increasingly disillusioned with my human wisdom.  As I look back over my life, my human wisdom has not delivered happiness to me, but rather, has been the source of all my pain and misery. 

Not only am I becoming disillusioned with MY human wisdom, but ALL human wisdom.  I no longer believe that humans were created to have the wisdom necessary to govern ourselves.  Proverbs 3:3-5 commands us to not lean on our own understanding, and not be wise in our own eyes.  In the history of humans, I find all the problems we’ve had, have been rooted in relying on human wisdom.  It’s why I don’t believe any kind of government works for long — king, dictator, democracy, republic, whatever. 

I don’t have a clue, how to fix the USA, much less the entire world.  I’m convinced that biblical wisdom, is believing that I don’t have any worth leaning on, but that Jesus does.  I don’t believe we’ve seen this in the history of the Church, and that’s why it’s so sick.  As sick as the collective “we” — government.  Our attempts at governing ourselves have been folly.  I’m disillusioned with MY wisdom, your wisdom, every human’s wisdom. 

The human who says, “I have no wisdom, no agenda of my own, so I need Jesus guiding my every step, and I see Him behind everyone and everything,” is the happiest, most peaceful, most loving, in my research, experience.  I myself am happier and more peaceful, maybe even slightly more loving, than ever in my 77 years of being dragged along kicking and screaming the entire way, AGAINST my better judgment — my human wisdom. 

Human wisdom is passionate for EASY.  Suffering-avoidant.  Idolatrous.  Dysfunctional.  Self-absorbed. 

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, always needing fresh conviction of the sin of human-dependency, that the seculars around him might see Jesus-dependency and be attracted to Jesus

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What does faith look like in your daily life?

I think faith is most-helpfully understood, as surrendering to the WORST-case scenario at one extreme, while AT THE SAME TIME, believing that Jesus might deliver the BEST-case scenario, at the other extreme.  “Either extreme or anything in between, not MY will be done but YOURS, Jesus.”  

Best-case from a HUMAN perspective.  Whatever He delivers is for our best, but our human wisdom doesn’t think suffering is best, so we typically strive at all cost, to avoid suffering, pain, adversity.  Human wisdom believes EASY is best.

Because I’ve suffered bigtime for years with a dysfunctional digestive tract, dysfunctional immune system, and also more recently a dysfunctional bone marrow function, I didn’t realize I’ve been unconsciously resigned to my suffering, and NOT believing that Jesus MIGHT deliver the BEST-case scenario — a fantastic digestive tract, fantastic immune system, and fantastic bone-marrow function.  From poor to fantastic — amazing transformation.  Never crossed my mind, even though I’ve tried about everything imaginable over many years, to obtain normal health.  I was blind to my unbelief that Jesus MIGHT have the best-case scenario in mind for me.  

So I’ve been CONFESSing my unbelief, and visualizing what it would be like for my body to be amazingly healthy in the areas where it’s subpar, and interestingly it’s made a huge difference in how I FEEL, physiologically.  Which surprised me.  I’m still sensitive to foods, chemicals, electromagnetic fields, but I feel more energy, strength, less brain-fog.  Dunno what the future holds, but I find myself telling Jesus that whatever He delivers going forward, is not just okay, but GREAT — worst-case, no change, or BEST-case.  I have no idea what He has for me going forward, but in my saner moments, I deeply believe He will continue to deliver what will be for my good, His glory, all according to His genius plan.  My human wisdom would LOVE to know the future, but my human wisdom has never delivered happiness to Dave.  Only Jesus has ever delivered that — when He gives me grace to believe He is totally sovereign, knows exactly what He’s doing, is worthy of my trust.  Ahhh.

I love that faith is a gift from Above, not something we generate from within.  So we get zero credit for any faith we have.  The starting place for fresh faith, is fresh conviction of sin, especially the sin of unbelief — functioning as an atheist.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, benefiting from fresh conviction of his unbelief, wondering if the seculars around him are noticing the difference

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Only the proud experience fear.

The humble are fearless.  The humble are unbothered by failure, weakness, pity by others, losing all their somebodiness, being considered nobodies, losers.  The humble live and love with reckless abandon.  

Only the proud are self-absorbed, hide our weakness, fear, failure.  Only the humble are relaxed.  On the inside.  Feel no need to APPEAR relaxed.  Only the humble enjoy everything just as it is, everyone just as we are, especially self.  Only the humble THANK Jesus for everything, because only the humble are clueless about what’s best, so they experience the peace that surpasses understanding, trusting that SovereignShepherdJesus knows what’s best, and delivers what’s best.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, envious of the humble  

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The goal of preaching today

in Evangelical Churches, is for Christians to understand how the Bible impacts daily life.  But how can a preacher clearly understand the Message of the CreatorSustainer of the Universe unless he is unusually self-aware?  An unusually-self-aware preacher oughtabe the chief CONFESSor in a church.  Is this what we see?  Hardly.  Do we even WANT our preachers being chief confessors?  We like our leaders STRONG.  Do we who sit in the pews feel comfortable ourselves, being chief confessors?  Alien notion?

Without unusual self-awareness, preachers — and the rest of us, live in denial of the strength of our flesh, imagining ourselves more wonderful than we are, blind to our colossal failures at following Jesus, blind to the depth of our INdependence, ignoring our fruitlessness with seculars.  Seed cast on thorny soil that does not reproduce.

So the goal of preaching OUGHTABE, to bring us Christians into fresh awareness of our unrecognized sin — especially the sin of INdependence, so we can CONFESS it afresh, and have fresh FAITH.  Contagious faith.  Jack Miller once said, “The starting place for faith, is conviction of sin.”  There is no conviction of sin apart from the Spirit’s work.  No Spirit working, no conviction — no fresh faith.  No fresh death to the reputation/worthiness our flesh craves.  No joy and peace, unless circumstances go my way.  And when circumstances GO my way, I’m merely strengthened in my control addiction, INdependence, pride, self-absorption, willfulness, agenda.  Walking around blind to the sin/idolatry that robs me of joy and peace.  And this blindness makes it harder than I imagine, for others to live with me, and work closely with me.

So the big need today — seems to me, is the Spirit being poured out on us Christians so we are freshly self-aware, so we are freshly undone, contrite — chief-confessors among our secular friends, not chief experts on the Bible, or on following Jesus, or on all things spiritual.  Holy-Spirit-generated humility is compelling, while togetherness/strength/expertise is a turn-off.  Also compelling are joy and peace that have nothing to do with circumstances.  

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, neediest of all for the Spirit’s fresh work 

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We are happiest

when we see Jesus behind everyone and everything.  SovereignShepherd over every detail of our lives and others’ lives.  We’re no different than the atheist when we feel ALONE and in CHARGE, leaning on our own understanding, wise in our own eyes, confident-we-know-what’s-best, what’s-thankable-and-what’s-not.  Daily living UP TO ME.  Circumstance-dependent for joy and peace.

Our biggest need all day long, is fresh conviction by the Holy Spirit, of the sin of INdependence — being influenced by our flesh’s view of reality, rather than Scripture’s view.   Our eyes and ears influencing our emotions, instead of the Spirit using Scripture to influence them.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who would love to better practice what he preaches, so the seculars around him would be wowed by the difference Jesus makes in him

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Lack joy and peace right now?

If you’re a Christian, I suggest there’s some unrecognized-and-unconfessed sin/idolatry in your life.  The nicest, kindest thing Jesus ever does for us kids of His, is to open our eyes afresh to see the sin/idolatry to which we’ve been blind, robbing us of joy and peace.  Better than trying to avoid sin — CONFESS it.

A common unrecognized-and-unconfessed sin I see in Christians I mentor/pastor/disciple/coach, is the sin of INdependence — confidence-we-know-what’s-best.  Another way of describing the sin of feeling ALONE and in CHARGE.  UP TO ME.  Pervasive problem in the Church.  Christians imagining we’re following Jesus when we’re not.  Following ourselves, our wisdom, based on our understanding.  INdependents, not DEpendents.  Proud, not humble.  Confident-we-know-best, not clueless-we-know-best.  Not experiencing the benefit of Jesus in this life.  Jesus-dependency — confidence He knows best, is the pearl of great price, worth selling all to get.  How do we get it?  CONFESS our unbelief in His sovereign reign over every detail of our lives, so we can THANK Him for every detail.  Impossible to grumble about our circumstances unless we’re confident-we-know-what’s-best.  INdependent.

Unless.  You feel lousy physiologically.  In which case it’s pert-near impossible to experience joy and peace, so be gracious with yourself, and lower your expectations.  Only the humble are gracious with self.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, expert on grumbling, feeling lousy

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The worst evangelist,

is the chief encourager — positive thinker.  “You can do this, my secular friend.”  The next best is the chief expert — overwhelming with Scripture.  The next best is the chief accuser — helping others see the sin to which they are blind.  But the best — the one most likely to be used of the Spirit to transform lives, is the chief confessor.  The chief remover of logs from his own eye.

The chief confessor has a healthy indifference as to what seculars do with Jesus, and this is extremely important.  No one likes a pushy salesman or his message — the best ones, have a healthy indifference as to whether you buy or not.  Over time, the chief confessor creates a safe environment in relationship with a secular friend, where the defensive secular has the freedom to look inside to see how much worse he is than imagined, where it’s safe to maybe join the chief confessor as a struggler at following God, see his bigtime need for Jesus and His imputed worthiness, so he is overwhelmed with Him, amazed by His unconditional grace/love.

So how does a believer become a chief confessor?  Only by the work of the Spirit, freshly convicting of sin, especially the sin of independence/confidence-I-know-what’s-best-and-what’s-thankable/dissatisfaction-with-Jesus-and-His-imputed-worthiness, so the believer oozes with other-worldly humility and other-worldly love, thanking Jesus about everything just as it is.

— ShepherdDave, who is never the chief confessor, unless he’s been freshly convicted of the sin of independence/pride, so he’s momentarily DumbSheepDave, liberated about what others think about him, and what he thinks about himself, enjoying the bliss of Jesus-dependency/humility/cluelessness-he-knows-what’s-best, so the seculars around him might experience the other-worldly humility and other-worldly love of Jesus

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Buddhists understand the importance of surrender,

loving what is, being comfortable with the unknown.  What they don’t understand, is how much easier it is to live peacefully like a Buddhist, as a Jesus-dependent, rather than a self-dependent, where life is UP TO ME.  Surrendering, loving what is, being comfortable with the unknown, in my own power, is so-much harder than simply confessing my INdependence/autonomy/willfulness/agenda/unbelief-in-Jesus’-sovereign-reign.  Impossible to be Jesus-dependent — clueless-I-know-what’s-best, without believing He is totally sovereign over everything and everyone.  

We humans try and control our circumstances because we’re confident-we-know-what’s-best.  INdependence, not DEpendence.  So while Buddhists have a great goal — an other-worldly peace, they have to rely on their own power to get there.  Course, we Christians have the same problem — trying to follow Jesus in our own strength, leaning on our own understanding, wise in our own eyes.  The more Jesus grows us Christians in self-awareness, the more we’ll see our failure at following Him — our failure at believing He knows best, so the more we’ll CONFESS, which gets us back to being clueless-we-know-what’s-best.  Ahhh.  Confession is the pathway to happiness.  Blindness/denial is the pathway to stress, frustration, malcontentedness.  Seed cast on thorny soil that does not reproduce.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who is so pathetically weak and dysfunctional that the sovereignty of Jesus isn’t optional, but essential 

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