What if Jesus Had Issues?
Eeek! Yup I went there!
Here’s the video if you would prefer to watch the session. I was Live on Facebook and Instagram. If you would rather read on this topic, “What If Jesus Had Issues?” then please scroll down.
I want to achieve 4 things by sharing this topic.
- Paint a picture of what I mean when I ask the question, “what if Jesus had issues?”
- Demonstrate to you that a life focused on your issues is a life lived just the way the devil would have you live – the devil’s tactic is to keep your life totally out of focus from walking intimately with God and working the works He has prepared for you to walk in
- Share with you the choices you have when you have issues, because you will have issues. We live in a fallen and broken world
- Give you a chance to make a choice now, to handle your issues differently.
What if Jesus had issues? Let me explain.
I am called to be a Christian Life Coach. I am called to support and equip you and anyone who keys into my work, to “get that God life” – to pursue God and to kick off stuff that prevents you from doing this.
But I have had issues.
In my young life, I have allowed anger to define me. Insecurity. Bitterness. Wrong relationships. To name a few. For a long time, these issues defined me. They held me back. They framed the way I saw myself and the way I saw the world. Even the way I saw God. Thankfully, God has helped me to “bow out” many of these things. Which is why I have this passion to help people on a similar journey that I have been on, through The Narrow Gateway, and through my coaching programs, such as the B.O.O.M Walk Program (A practical and relatable program to equip and guide you to sustainably break free from any identity and lifestyle that is blocking you from being intimate with God and living out God’s original design and plan for your life.
But I still have issues
Yes I have come a long way from what I was, but I am still on a journey with Jesus. The B.O.O.M Walk is really a lifelong journey. I still have things in my life that the devil tries to use to hold me back from going out there and being everything that God has called me to be, and doing the things He has called me to do. Because you know He has something special and unique for each of us. We are the solution to the world! The world has issues! We are to be living lives that produce solutions. Eternal solutions. But we spend all our time being held back by issues.
I have been on a journey to “bow out the Old Man” – that is, I am no longer willing to be defined by my issues, or by the issues that others think should define me. I am now only interested in being defined by God- who He says I am. What He says I can and should do.
How about you?
So what are your issues? Are they defining you? Are they holding you back? Are you fighting battles using tools that God did not place in your hand? Are you responding to life based on your unique issues and sensitivities instead of based on the truth of God’s Word about who you are and what God’s purpose for your life is?
I had a session with someone today and we were speaking about this very thing. Issues that are holding us back. I was sharing that we live in a broken world. A world that is not working the way God created it to – because of sin that rules the world. Of course there will be issues. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trials. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” So we were talking about the fact that we have issues and how it clutters us up, holds us back and keeps us from having the guts, or time or emotional and mental capacity to do anything else. We spend all our time battling on one front or the other, fighting our insecurities, our fears, our demons, instead of plunging into that intimate dance with Jesus and working His prepared works on this earth. Do you know that this is exactly what the devil wants? He wants to entangle us in our issues. So that we do not focus on truth, who we are in Christ and the freedom we have.
So while I was having this session, I found myself wondering, “What if Jesus had issues?” And what if He spent His 33 years on earth facing His issues and not facing His purpose? What would have happened to His relationship with God? What would have happened to His ability to bear the and work the purpose that God had brought Him to earth for?Think about it. What is the result of a life that is fixated on “issues” instead of on God?
What issues could Jesus have had?
He was a Jew
Let’s think. He was a Jew. Alive at a time when His people were part of the Roman empire. They were being oppressed. They were considered to be lower class citizens. Their religion was considered to be absurd. They were considered to be a threat because of their strong sense of identity.
Division among the Jews
Among the Jews, there was division. There were the Pharisees who lorded it over everyone. Then there were the Zealots who were always plotting to overthrow the Roman empire. We know there was beef between the Samaritans and the Jews as well. He belonged to a splintered people.
Jesus’ mother was pregnant with him before marriage / question about His paternity
To make matters worse, this was a time when legitimacy was a big deal. Perhaps everyone knew that Mary was pregnant with Jesus before she got married? Maybe Jesus had a stigma attached to Him and maybe people questioned His paternity? We don’t know, but we do know that culture of the time frowned on the whole idea of children outside of “wedlock”.
His people rejected Him
When Jesus started His ministry, He was not accepted by His own people. They all felt like “Who is this guy? We know Him. We know His background, His parents. What could He possibly have to say to us?”
Jesus knew the pain and anguish that was waiting for Him on the cross!
To make matters even worse. Jesus knew what was lying ahead for Him. The pain, the anguish of the cross. The rejection from His disciples.
He was not wealthy and His background was humble
Jesus was not wealthy. He was the son of a carpenter. We do not know that He was educated, except of course that He knew the Scriptures. His background was humble. The Bible says there was nothing about His physical attributes that would attract people.
So yes, if Jesus wanted to have issues, He could have had issues. He was human in every way. More so, if Jesus wanted to have been framed by His issues, defined and limited, He could vey easily have gone dow that path.
So what if Jesus had spent his life facing His issues and not facing God’s purpose for His life?
What if He spent His time trying to convince people that they should listen to Him even though he was the son of a carpenter and his mother was pregnant when she got married? What if Jesus had listened to His disciples who felt that the best way for him to save them was to overthrow the Roman empire? What if Jesus had spent his life trying to get the Pharisees to like him? What if Jesus had succumbed to the issues that could have reared their heads in His life, and He now spent His life trying to come up with solutions that God did not send Him to implement? What would have happened to the work God had placed in His hands to do?
Temptation of Jesus
Now what did Satan try to use to tempt Jesus? Satan tried to fit Jesus into moulds and use His humanity to get him. He tried to poke holes at His humanity, His sense of identity and security, hoping that Jesus would fall for it and therefore loose focus on His intimate walk with the Father and the purpose that He had come to the earth. .
Satan used hunger – to see if Jesus would allow a need for food to make him compromise and take his mind off God.
Satan used the human desire for power and glory – He told Jesus to bow down and in exchange, he would give Him the powerful kingdoms of the world! But Jesus did not allow His humanity to derail Him. He knew that the prize He was going to get for enduring the cross was that His name would be higher than any other name, and that all powers would be under His feet! He knew TRUTH. So why would He give in to the devil?
Satan tried to use the human desire for identity – to assert who you are and to be known for it. Satan said to Jesus, “If You are the son of God, throw yourself down.” If you are the son of God? What? Since when? Just before that temptation, Jesus had been baptized by water and by the Holy Spirit, and a voice came from heaven declaring that Jesus is the Son of God. “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” So why would Jesus need to do anything to prove to anyone that he was anything?
The devil’s tactic
The devil tries to use our life’s story, our circumstances, our issues to force us into a mould.
- He wants to make us define ourselves by our humanity – by our issues, so that we cannot focus on God, who He says we are, the free gift of eternal life and freedom He has given us, His invitation to have an intimate relationship with us, His purpose for our lives.
- He wants to make us choose solutions that God did not call us to choose. What if Jesus had spent His life trying to fix what seemed to be the apparent problem? The Jews needed to be self-determining. But that is not what God sent Jesus to do. He had another job – to deliver the whole world from sin. What is your response to the human pain you see around you? Are you responding based on your feelings, your own fears and insecurities? Or based on what God has called you to do to fix the world? Are you shying away? Or are you choosing the easy way?
2 possible responses to your issues:
There are 2 ways you can respond to your issues.
- Let your issues define you – that’s why I am creating the B.O.O.M Walk Program – to help you identify ways in which you have allowed yourself to be defined by your issues – and how you are being held back from having a real, intimate relationship with God, and walking in His purpose
- Allow God to use everything about you, your issues, your history, your humanity, to draw you deeper into Him, and set you apart to be a solution to the world!
Make a choice.
What are your issues? Are you being defined by them? Are they holding you back?
Do you pursue God with reckless abandon or do you hold back because of one issue or the other?
Or is something holding you back? Are you more passionate about your issue than you are about being who God called you to be?
Are you barking up the wrong tree? Using tools God did not put in your hand? Fixing problems in a way God did not call you to fix?
Arise and shine
We live in a time when God is calling His children to arise and shine. Last week’s Truth Turn Up (weekly devotional) was titled “Arise and Shine! God’s Light and Glory is here!” Check it out for more about manifesting God’s glory and being restored to His original design for your life. God’s original design is for His glory to manifest through you. God made you to carry His glory. The world is waiting for the glory of God to shine through you. His glory shines through you when you are strong in the face of adversity, when you are bold to love and serve Him regardless of what people say, when you love your enemies and do good to them, when you defend the poor and needy, not in your own wisdom but in His own strength. His glory is shown through you when you allow Him to inspire you to create amazing solutions to the problems in your family, profession, community, nation. His glory is shown through you when people see you love God back, and live like there is nothing else on this earth that is worth more than Him. But if you are all about your issues, being defined by them etc, then the Glory will be clouded, and it may never shine through. You would have lived a blunt life, far removed from the power that God intended for your life to exhibit.
So make a choice. Allow God to unravel you. Give in to the unravelling. Those issues that you have allowed to package you into an identity that God did not give you, list them, own them, present them to God, surrender to the work He is doing in your life to make you B.O.O.M (bow out the Old Man).
My program, the B.O.O.M Walk is for people like you, who are tired of being messed around by the devil, who are no longer willing to be defined by this “fake self” and to be deprived of intimacy with Jesus and of a life lived in and on purpose. If you would like me to contact you when the B.O.O.M Walk Program is launched, send me an email on email@example.com.
Please share this blogpost as well as the video. You can find it on my Youtube Channel here.
Critically, I end this by saying, I am Toyin Oladiran, fully convicted by my own words and very much still under construction, in the hands of the Father.
Written by Toyin Oladiran, for The Narrow Gateway
Work with Toyin:Do you want to apply for an early spot in the B.O.O.M Walk Program? If so, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.orgDo you want to work with me One-on-One or with your Group (church fellowship or Bible Study or group of friends) to work through the B.O.O.M Walk Program or to work through and overcome trouble spots in your walk with God or to forge a more intimate and deliberate relationship with God from which you are living in God’s unique purpose and plan for your life? If so, please email me on email@example.comDo you want me to faciliate a group Bible Study for your church or with your group of friends? If so, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org