It's the new Christian rage. It can be found on bracelets, jewelry, T-shirts, hats, etc. Christians everywhere wear it with pride. Its intention is to remind us that every decision should be made with Christ in mind. And in asking "WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?" in every given circumstance, we might then be able to choose the correct and corresponding course of action.
While this sounds well and good, the truth is, we may chant this mantra all day, every day, and be no closer to fulfilling the will of God in our lives than when we were unsaved. The same determining and preponderate factor is at work--us. For in choosing what Jesus would or would not do, we are left very much in control, and function independent of Him. All this question does is Christianize our best guess. Do we assume that He is not here? That He is not with us? That He is silent? And that in His absence we are left with the inconceivable task of choosing as He would, were he here? We have more than just His example to follow; we have Him, His spirit by which we "know all things." There is no guesswork here. He desires to lead us into all truth. He is not asking us to move out in presumption, or to move at all until we are sure we have heard from Him.
"Without an ear that listens to God's voice what we call trust is nothing more than presumption; what we call obedience, nothing more than legalism." (Wayne Jacobsen)
I would like to propose a new question, one which truly should occupy our thoughts continually. And that question is ... what is Jesus doing? W.I.J.D? Where is He leading me today? What is he saying to me?
Do we see ourselves as making decisions in His absence, or communing with Him moment by moment? "He walks with me and he talks with me." Are these words from an old hymn descriptive of our relationship to Christ? There is no greater person to imitate than Christ, but why settle for the imitation when we can have the real thing. Paul put it this way "Christ lives in me...Christ in you is the hope of glory...For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
"Today Jesus Christ is being dispatched as the Figurehead of a Religion, a mere example. He is that, but He is infinitely more; He is salvation itself, He is the Gospel of God." (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest)
There is a higher form of guidance, which stands in antithesis to this commonly used, self-imposed criterion. A guidance characterized by watchful reliance---attentive ears and eyes, listening and watching for what the Father is saying and doing.
When Jesus was fasting in the wilderness the tempter came to Him and said, "If thou be the Son of God command that these stones be made bread." Jesus answered, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." What was wrong with Satan's proposal? Would it have been that bad to have turned those stones into bread? Why was it wrong? It was wrong because it did not proceed from the "mouth of God." It may have sounded like a good idea, but it was not the Father's idea. Its origin was the problem.
"...of all the things which the Lord has done, not a single one of them is done by Himself. This is our Lord's continual attitude. He does nothing by His own power or according to His own idea. Whatever would come from Him is what He denies to do. Yet is there anything wrong with His soul? Is not His soul power quite usable? Since He has not the slightest trace of sin, it would not be sinful for Him to use His soul power. Nonetheless, He affirms that the Son can do nothing of Himself. If such a holy and perfect Lord as He refuses to use His own power, how about us?" (Watchman Nee - The Latent Power of the Soul)
To Christ, only those things, which He saw his Father doing, were legitimate, and as this did not proceed from the Father's mouth it was firmly rejected. In this Christ indeed is our example.
Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but as he sees the Father do: for whatever things he does, such does the Son likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself does: Nay, and will show him grater works than these, which will astonish you. (Jn.5: 19-20)
For I can do nothing of myself; as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, Because I seek not to please myself, but to please him who sent me. (Jn.5: 30)
If the Son of God was dependent, moment by moment upon the Father for guidance, surely it should be more so with us. In the same way the Father sent Jesus so he sends us. ...As the Father has sent me, so do I send you. (Jn.20: 21)
Jesus taught by example, modeling the union we are to have with Him, and with the Father. A union characterized by dependence. Is our walk with Jesus a walk of dependence? The dictionary defines dependents as, "The state of being dependent, as for support. Subordination to someone or something needed or greatly desired. Trust; reliance. The state of being determined, influenced, or controlled by something else. A compulsive or chronic need; an addiction."
Is Jesus our sole support? Is He someone needed, and greatly desired? Is our trust and reliance in Him alone? Are we influenced and controlled by Him, or something else? Do we have a compulsive, and chronic need for Him? Are we addicted to Him? Do we even look to Him? Christ in us, is what makes us "Christian." He is The life, and strength flowing through us. The only thing "Christian" about me, is Christ. Only the blunders are mine. The Christian life cannot be realized by those who insist upon the rigor and absolutism of orthodoxy. The Christian life is not something we do at all. The Christian life is Christ living. It is Christ living through us. Only Christ is Christlike. He is the only likeness of Himself we bear. It is not through self-effort that we become like Him, it is through Him shining through. It is not through doing more that we shall be like Him, but through Him doing all. When we as branches, abide in the "vine", His life and likeness will flow through us.
I am the vine; you are the branches. He, who abides in me, and in whom I abide, produces much fruit: for severed from me, you can do nothing. (John 15:5)It is God working in us that matters. He calls the shots. What is Jesus doing in and through you? Can you say with Paul. "Christ lives in me"? He is eager to live out the will of the Father through you. Think about it, Christ lives in you! He works in you mightily. What would Jesus do? He would rely completely upon His Father, moment by moment, living by every word that proceeds from His mouth. And so should we! to top