Puppets Are Kinda Creepy

PuppetDo you ever feel powerless … defeated? I do. Sometimes it feels as if I’m just a puppet, manipulated by an unseen nameless puppet master with no interest in what matters to me … only in how I fit into his pointless little puppet show. I often feel powerless over my own destiny and victimized by circumstances, even though I’ve read the Tony Robbins books and heard the speeches time and time again about how we’re all in charge of our own fortunes … how our daily choices drive the steering wheel of our lives. And in my mind I genuinely believe it. But in my heart, deep down in my soul … that nagging unrelenting voice way back in there … it whispers coldly and constantly. It says things like, “it’ll always be this way … just accept your place in life … don’t dream too big … you’ll only be disappointed … you’re not meant for that … that’s for those people on the inside who’ve not been left behind … you can’t really change … you can’t overcome that temptation … your future will only be a rehash of your empty past … just accept it.” Does any of this sound familiar? And I’ve only scratched the surface. I didn’t even touch on powerlessness over fear, insecurities, inadequacies, anxiety, loss of interpersonal connection, illness, financial fears, addiction, abandonment, etc.

While praying this morning, it randomly occurred to me that I tend to address Jesus as if he were still hanging on a cross. Then it occurred to me that I almost always do so. All too often it seems the primary image I hold of him is hanging naked on that horrible cross pouring out his life for you and me. And why wouldn’t I? After all, we’re constantly reminded that “Jesus gave his life for you on the cross” or some such. Of course we’d be prone to viewing him in that state. Additionally, we’re reminded daily with crosses all around us … on the church steeple, on a hill along the highway, on grandma’s living room wall, even around our own necks. And yes, he certainly did do so. The crucifixion is indeed a powerful and appropriate image to which we may devote our attention and allegiance.

But wait. I almost forgot … Jesus didn’t stay on that cross. And he didn’t stay in that tomb. He rose again. He willingly embraced death and defeat into his own body and remained captive to it for 3 days. But … (the greatest “but” ever written into human history) … then he turned it all on its head and made death (and everything else we might fear) his prisoner by shaking it off and walking out of there … head held high. This is the Jesus I ought to envision and address when I pray … not the one on the cross. He’s not there anymore! This may sound very elementary to you, but to me it was a revelation! I’ve been living and relating to Jesus as if he’s still in the throws of what seemed to be his darkest, most powerless moment of defeat … as if he were still dying for me day after day after day. I’ve been praying to the wrong Jesus! That simply isn’t who he is now. The apostle Paul had a sense of this when he wrote the following:

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way (Eph. 1:18-23).

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you (Rom. 8:11).

We were buried with him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4).

… Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).

Apparently, Paul was onto something … namely that Jesus is not dead. And not only is he not dead, he is willing (eager even) to live in us via his spirit in order to make us just as alive as he is … and filled with the same power that raised him from the dead. No wonder he ultimately proclaimed, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).

What does any of this have to do with creepy puppets and feelings of powerlessness? I’m pretty sure you already know.

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4 Responses to Puppets Are Kinda Creepy

  1. Phil Goins says:

    Hey bro what a word, I really needed that today. I get so frustrated with all the strings that seem to pull me everyday. How wonderful to realize that the puppet has had his lines cut the from the puppeteer once and for all.If we died with Him surely we have risen with Him.

  2. Denise says:

    Sweet brother you have once again reached into my heart and put words to the feelings that reside there. That feeling of helplessness has covered me my whole life. And I do so love the comparrison to being like a puppet with someone else always having the control. I will say that with each day I am finding that control over my life to become more and more in my power THROUGH the power of Christ’s spirit living in me. Many things have contributed to that with the biggest being my Walk to Emmaus and the wonderful inspiration that you have provided me. I am like you, I have spent a lot of time seeing the Jesus on the cross and not the one who sits beside his father…the living Savior who walks beside me daily…the one who rose from that grave and is victorious over ALL evil and will give me the power to have victory over all evil in my life if I let his spirit work in me. I have always said that we should wear around our necks little tombs with stones to the side instead of crosses. But I don’t ever want to forget or downplay the massive suffering that he went through on MY behalf. And that is something that took me a long time to sink in…it was for ME and for him it is very personal for each of us.

    Love that Newsboys song “Gods not dead he’s surely alive, living on the inside, roaring like a lion.” And greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world!!

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