Friday, 16 November 2012

Stop flexing your muscles, they are not that impressive to me

The final chapel of Smithville Christian High School's Spiritual Emphasis Week began with Susan Dunk, wife of Paul Dunk, saying that she was praying that students would see that following a movement only leads to emptiness.

Susan Dunk told students that theirs is a generation seeking a cause.

"But when you are looking for a movement to secure your value, meaning or significance, it will fail," she said. "God wants our movement to cease so we can find our rest in him," she said. Instead of us moving towards God, "it is God who is moving towards us."
"Most of our Christian experience focuses on works, on labour, on the things we need to do," she said. But if we move to secure something for ourselves, it will come up empty every time.

My prayer for you is that you will have a revelation of Jesus, she said, and when you have a revelation of Jesus "it will be like the Bible is decoded."

Paul Dunk then reminded students that their journey during spiritual Emphasis Week was one of putting God first, and of seeing the Bible as the greatest love story ever written with Jesus as the main hero. Dunk said Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5) featured instructions for making Christian life even more difficult.

Our response to Jesus' teachings is "I can't do this," he said. "And Jesus says, 'Exactly. I will do it for you.'"

Dunk described himself as "a Superman freak" with a large collection of Superman T-shirts. But, he admitted, he not really at all like Superman.

"If there was a superhero that I am most like, it would not be Superman," he said. "Superman is always a good guy, and even Clark Kent is always a good guy."

Dunk said he is more like Tony Stark -- or Ironman -- a character who is self-absorbed, egotistical, arrogant and narcissistic, "only thinking about himself and only trying to bring pleasure to himself."

Dunk used the example of Jacob, who duped his brother and tricked his father into obtaining a birthright for himself.

"He was on a mission to mean something, and we do the same thing," Dunk said. "We all have our ways to mean something. It's us striving so someone will tell us that we are important."

After their father's death, Esau announces his intention to get revenge on his devious younger brother and vows to kill him (Genesis 27). That prompts Jacob to flee for his life.

Jacob marries and has children and many years pass, but he is still living in fear of his brother's revenge, Dunk said. As their reunion approaches, he cries out to God for help (Genesis 32).

"You would think God would say 'sorry, you made your bed, now lie in it,' but that's not God's answer, Dunk said. Instead God wrestles with Jacob, and at first it looks like Jacob is successfully holding his own.
But God shows Jacob "you are not as strong as you think," and reaches out to touch Jacob on the hip, and "poink," Jacob is crippled. "God says 'stop flexing your muscles, they are not that impressive to me,'" Dunk said. "And Jacob recognizes in an instant that it is God who is powerful and it is God who is in control."

The central message of that midnight battle is that Jacob starts out fighting God and ends up clinging to God, Dunk said. Just as Jacob fought for his birthright and fought for his life, we fight for Twitter followers or Facebook friends, he said. But we have to stop fighting for success, and start embracing God.

Dunk asked students to pray with him, inviting Jesus to do a deep work in them. "I need you more than I need the approval of the person sitting next to me," Dunk and the students prayed. "My future is bright because it's in you."



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