he sits with his head bobbing with the bumps
the american ideal of what faith looks like
a plastic figurine with light skin, silky hair and clean outstretched hands. (because you know, carpenters have very clean hands.)
you can pat his head for luck
"Help me to find free parking this morning..."
after the e-brake is pulled and you grab your things you pull him from the dash and put him into your dark, linty pocket.
Because you control him.
When you want something pull him out, pick the lint out of his hair and then ask him for presents
and when you get what you want just shove him back inside. Inside that dark pocket he can't see what you do. Which is good because you gave the bird to the cab that cut you off in traffic this morning.
Sometimes you don't get what you ask for. So when he doesn't come through you can just kick him across the street into the bushes
but you'll eventually rummage through the leaves to find him
because you'll need him to find you free parking tomorrow.
Do you have a dashboard jesus?
Sometimes I think I do
lower case jesus. a non-existent jesus. a made-up figurine. might as well be a rabbit's foot. severed animal feet and plastic, robe wearing, sandal sporting christs...both have as much power as cooked spaghetti.
Are you living your life under the rule of a Sovereign King? or is he just a toy?
I have been graciously convicted of how I sometimes don't view God with fear nor awe. He has been so kind and so patient to show me that I do not give Him the place He deserves.
'Jesus you are magnificent. and you are powerful. and you own me. I know there are times I let you down, but you have always reached down with your calloused, pierced hands to pick me up. You are my best friend, and you are my King. and your gentle touch always steers me back to the path that leads to you.'
Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it." (Exodus 4:10-13)
My way. Moses’ wanted it his way, he was too afraid of what might happen. He was afraid that he would stumble in his speech.
Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You turn men back to dust, saying, "Return to dust, O sons of men." For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. You sweep men away in the sleep of death; they are like the new grass of the morning-- though in the morning it springs up new, by evening it is dry and withered. We are consumed by your anger and terrified by your indignation. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. The length of our days is seventy years-- or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. Who knows the power of your anger? For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you. Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Relent, O LORD! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble. May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us-- yes, establish the work of our hands.
Does that sound like the same man?
Psalm 90 A prayer of Moses the man of God.
So what happened? From this, “Not me, Lord! Pick someone else!” to that overwhelming sense of something huge. Something Moses’ realized along the way. When exactly did that happen?
Exodus 5:22 –6:2 Moses returned to the LORD and said, "O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all."
6:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country." God also said to Moses, "I am the LORD.
Maybe what happened was just Moses’ realization that the One with whom he was speaking was and is the LORD.
Romans 1: 20-25 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.
Perhaps that’s what happened to Moses’. His eyes were opened. God, over time cleared the muck from his eyes. Well, God also made the Israelites wander in circles for 40 years in the desert. Sometimes it takes that long. Sometimes people never get it.
They continue to walk around in circles; with their “dashboard jesus’” in their pockets. Let’s not be like them.
John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
And in verse 34 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.