Saturday, June 3, 2017

Man's Limitations

In the 1973 movie Magnum Force, Clint Eastwood offered up one of his classic Dirty Harry tag lines at the end of the movie. I didn't know it then, but that line was instrumental in my maturing as both a man and a follower of Jesus. Want to know what it is? Well, do ya, punk?

First, let's open up our Bibles to The Book of John, the first chapter. In verse six we meet a man named John. John, the Baptist. People are coming to him and are being baptized with water. Many believe John to be the promised Messiah. He could have become a powerful man by letting them think that and making himself out to be more powerful than he was, but he didn't.

“I am not the Messiah.”

21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

He answered, “No.”

22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”

Later in Chapter 3 John is still talking about Jesus. This guy had a one-track mind! (And so should we).

"27“A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less. - John 3:27-30

There it is. The key to becoming a mature Christian, or a mature anything for that matter. Dirty Harry offers us the same advice at the end of Magnum Force.

"A man's got to know his limitations" - Dirty Harry.

What memorable words! Almost as popular as "Do you feel lucky punk?" or "Go ahead, make my day."

There are so many "versions" of Christianity in the world today. Which one is right? Well, John and Harry gave us some clues. We need to think more of others than we do of ourselves. We must become less.

Mormonism says if we do enough good deeds we can become gods on our own planets. Jehovah Witnesses make similar good deeds claims in their "works based" faith. Their beliefs contradict The Bible. That's why they made a bible of their own. Hmm.

If anyone tells you that you can be given spiritual gifts by men, run. If someone tells you that you can receive whatever you want simply by "declaring" it, run faster. Christians don't get any super powers apart from God's Holy Spirit! We're human. Only God has the power.

Adam and Eve thought they could become like God by tasting the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:5). That is not who we were created to be. Look at the example of Jesus. We should desire to be like Him, not BE Him.

"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant," - Philippians 2:5-7

We have to know our limitations. Trying to make ourselves greater than we really are will only lead to death. Ours. We must become less, He must become more. So, let me ask you something. Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya? God's truth is far better than a made-up faith. Trust in Him and you won't need luck.

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." - 2 Corinthians 12:9

A Man's Got To Know His Limitations - Dirty Harry
First - Lauren Daigle

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