As a Christian you will hear a million insults and stereotypes over the years the Lord gives you on the earth. It used to be that “Jesus Freak” was an insulting term, but since the 90’s, when DC Talk released their hit song by the same name, it is a badge of honor. You might be interested to know that the very term Christian started out as an insult in Antioch. They would say, “Look at those ‘little Christs” which is the literal meaning of Christian. Much like we have accepted Jesus Freak with honor, they accepted Christian.
One of the insults I love to hear is, “You use God as a crutch,” to which I will gladly reply, “Yes, I do.” You see a crutch is a very necessary item and the very foundation of Christianity tells us that we are in need of this very necessary item. Let’s look at what a crutch is used for.
TO LEAN ON
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. – Proverbs 3:5 ESV
I am broken. We all are. Until we come to that realization, we will never truly accept Jesus as our Lord. Every choice humanity has made outside of the wisdom of the Father has left us further from Him and further from His Grace. Our own understanding leaves us to rely upon a fraction of obtained knowledge.
When we claim to have answers to anything on this earth we are calling upon this fraction of human knowledge. Even the most intelligent minds of the last 1,000 years combined wouldn’t come close to filling this circle. Things change on a daily basis. Many of us grew up believing that we shouldn’t eat broccoli because it caused cancer. Now, we eat it because it is good for us. Margarine was created because of how bad butter is for us… enough said. We eat poison in the form of food coloring every single day. Knowledge changes with each generation, but God never changes (Mal. 3:6). His ways are above our ways (Isaiah 55:9).
I will not lean upon my understanding, or my knowledge or exclusively upon the knowledge of today’s brightest. I will lean on my crutch, God. He created the universe and knows its workings better than any of His creation.
TO RELIEVE PRESSURE
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)
Once we agree that we are broken, we can assume that we are also weak. Broken things are weak. In our weakness, God is made strong (2 Corinthians 12 9-10). In the same way that a physical crutch is used to relieve pressure from a broken, weak leg God gives Himself to us to be used to relieve the pressures of life. Jesus tells us to come to Him when we are weak, weary and heavy laden and he will give us rest. We can cast our burdens upon Him. He wants us to trade our pressure for his pressure because His is light.
Imagine the pressure that King David felt when he faced Goliath? Here’s this little shepherd boy bowing up against a giant who is probably 3-4 feet taller than him. Last week we talked about how we can make it through if we remember that “we have been here before”, that’s what David did when pressure came. He said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” He remembered that God took the pressure off of him against the lion and the bear and that he would do it again. We know the story, David killed Goliath.
God is there to take your burdens. He is there to relieve the pressure.
TO TAKE US WHERE WE COULD NEVER GO ON OUR OWN
“Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley… (Isaiah 40:4 ESV)
“Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways,” (Luke 3:5 ESV)
Our God is the God who makes crooked paths straight. Just like a crutch allows us to traverse ground that would otherwise be impossible so does God. When facing giants, God is there to slay them. When facing mountains, God is there to bring them to level ground. When facing impossible circumstances we are assured that with God nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). Out of nothing something was created – that’s impossible. From a virgin the Christ-child was born – that’s impossible. From death Jesus came to life – that’s impossible. The New Testament gives us 31 individual accounts of impossible healings. Our God is the God of impossible.
Many of us are facing impossible situations. Lost jobs, lost loved ones, inoperable diseases… but with God as our crutch all things are possible.