“It’s not about you.”
Gaaaaaahhh. Out of all the phrases in the English language, this one has proven to be my LEAST favorite.
Until like two seconds ago.
Most of the time, when I hear this phrase, it is usually when I’m complaining about my issues and things that are not happening in my life (and I obviously want them to). And then, to top it all off, someone mentions the four words of doom and my blood begins to boil…
BUT I WANT IT TO BE ABOUT ME, DONT YOU GET IT?!
Though this phrase is mostly mentioned when it comes to talking about our insignificant wants compared to God’s plan and glory, I never realized this phrase plays a huge part in our faith & salvation.
<———- ** Before I continue, I’ve got to recommend this book to… everyone. Yeah, it’s pretty girly lookin’ but, sheesh, it’s so good. I’ve been squealing and crying and laughing all at the same time. In this book, Elyse really shines a light on the truth of the gospel and talks about how we go about living about our Christian walk while totally leaving Jesus and what he has done out of it. **
In a chapter in this book, Elyse brought out a story from the Old Testament which I always found… strange. Let me give you a recap of the madness.
Numbers 21:4-9 tells about the Israelites who **once again** complain and grumble against God during their misery-filled wandering through the desert. After so many, “I hate you’s and I hate my life’s”, God sent poisonous snakes among the people and some were bitten and died. After many people start dropping to their death, the Israelites start begging Moses, “We have sinned against the Lord and you. Pray that God takes them away.” In other words, “Make Him STOP!!”
So, like you do, God tells Moses to make a bronze snake and attach it to the pole. Then, he proceeds to tell the Israelites that anyone who was bitten by the snakes could look at the bronze snake and be healed.
Hmmmm. Interesting, God. That makes no sense. But hey! It worked! All the Israelites had to do was just LOOK at it. They acknowledged that they were wrong & sinful and God provided them with a redemptive solution.
In the New Testament (John 3:14-15), Jesus talks to a man named Nichodemus, a Pharisee, about the Kingdom of God. Nichodemus approaches Jesus by saying that he believes Jesus was sent to teach them and it is obvious that God was with Jesus. Hmm. Sounds like a good answer? But it wasn’t good enough. Jesus goes on to tell him that to enter the Kingdom of God, one must be born again and that He was sent down to save mankind– and it was ONLY through Him that salvation could happen. Then, Jesus says, “And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.”
I never comprehended the correlation between these two passages.
As humans, we have ALL been “bitten” or infected by sin. It has been in our bloodstream from birth and no one is exempt from it. Often times, we (especially I) look at people and say, “At least I’m not like THAT” or “At least I don’t sin like THAT” failing to recognize we ourselves have been bit and infected by the SAME venom (sin) that eventually kills and destroys us.
But I never viewed the redemption process like it mentions biblically.
Jesus mentions that just like the Israelites were brought to restoration by simply looking at the bronze snake uplifted on the pole, OUR eternal redemption is found by fixing our eyes the One who was put to death for our trespasses and was resurrected for our healing–for our redemption. He and He alone can cleanse us from our disease.
In the book mentioned above, Elyse gives a few fictional scenarios of infected Israelites that had been bitten. Some might have looked at their bite and thought, “My wound is too big and infected to be healed. There is no hope for me, so I might as well not even look.” Another may have thought, “My wound really isn’t that bad. I, personally, didn’t complain against God, maybe my wound will just make me ill instead of kill me like the others.” In both scenarios, both individuals were solely focused on the wound instead of the Healer. If they had only realized it was not about their wound! In the end, no matter what the wound looked like, one look at the pole would have totally restored them. But instead, they died looking at their wounds.
It is not about me.
It is not about my wounds.
Those words have never been more comforting in my LIFE! It is not about my efforts to make myself right with God. It has nothing to do with how nasty the wound may be. It is not about what I’m struggling with right now. It is not about what I have done, what I have not done, who I am, who I will be, the mistakes I’ve made, the mistakes I will make…
It’s about Jesus.
For it is HE who holds the power to restore my soul. My lengthy yet pathetic apologies will never “soften him up” to accept me or forgive me. It is only by “trusting in the Son of God who loved [us] and gave himself for [us]” (Gal. 2:20) that we find freedom and redemption of our sins, failures, and shortcomings. It is by fixing our eyes on Jesus that we realize His power makes us whole by making us ONE with Him, placing us IN Him to where our identity is His.
Just one look.
He makes it sound so simple!
A.W. Tozer writes:
“Faith is the gaze of the soul upon a saving God…Faith is the least self-reguarding of the virtues. It is by its very nature scarcely conscious of its own existence. Like the eye which sees everything in front of it and never sees itself, faith is occupied with the Object upon which it rests and pays no attention to itself at all.”
I never thought these words would come out of my mouth (fingers), but
Thank the Lord,
it is not about me.