Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Can we trust God?

Some days Mandy and I are at peace about our decision to move. Other days we’re pretty overcome with worry and doubt. Christmas Eve was one of those stressful days. Not only were we super busy with five Hillside Christmas Eve services, but we were also a little sad being away from our family. The house we’ve put a contract on had an inspection on Friday, and we found out there were quite a few repairs that needed to be made. We wondered if we were going to be able to buy it, and, if not, what were we going to do. I decided that I should read My Utmost again. Below is the entire devotion, along with some reflections we came away with.

December 24, 2005
The Hidden Life

… your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).
The Spirit of God testifies to and confirms the simple, but almighty, security of the life that “is hidden with Christ in God.” Paul continually brought this out in his New Testament letters. We talk as if living a sanctified life were the most uncertain and insecure thing we could do. Yet it is the most secure thing possible, because it has Almighty God in and behind it. The most dangerous and unsure thing is to try to live without God. For one who is born again, it is easier to live in a right-standing relationship with God than it is to go wrong, provided we heed God’s warnings and “walk in the light” (1 Jn. 1:7).

This goes against so much of the way that I live, yet…if this is true, then it changes everything. I often feel like finding God’s will is like finding the set of keys that I lost a few months ago. I searched everywhere (I’m still hoping I find them when we move). Yet this says that it’s easy to get it right than it is to get it wrong. I started thinking about that and realized that it made a lot of sense. I started thinking about John 10:29 (My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand). If we are truly servants, and He is the Master, then perhaps things work a little more to His will than I often think. The more I started thinking about this, the more I started believing, and then the bigger my view of God became. This is worship.

When we think of being delivered from sin, being “filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18), and “walk[ing] in the light,” we picture the peak of a great mountain. We see it as very high and wonderful, but we say, “Oh, I could never live up there!” However, when we do get there through God’s grace, we find it is not a mountain peak at all, but a plateau with plenty of room to live and to grow. “You enlarged my path under me, so my feet did not slip” (Ps. 18:36).

Worry is sin. Most people would say it’s impossible not to worry. It’s a part of life. It’s normal. However, we’re called to a different kind of life. Perhaps we don’t have to worry. I can totally relate to believing that this kind of life is like the very top peak of a mountain. Oh, to be there…but that’s probably never going to happen. But maybe it’s more like a “plateau with plenty of room to live and to grow.” That’s good news.

When you really see Jesus, I defy you to doubt Him. If you see Him when He says, “Let not your heart be troubled …” (Jn. 14:27), I defy you to worry. It is virtually impossible to doubt when He is there. Every time you are in personal contact with Jesus, His words are real to you. “My peace I give to you …” (Jn. 14:27)—a peace which brings an unconstrained confidence and covers you completely, from the top of your head to the soles of your feet. “… your life is hidden with Christ in God,” and the peace of Jesus Christ that cannot be disturbed has been imparted to you.

I defy you to worry. What a strong statement. It is virtually impossible to doubt when He is there. What an even stronger statement. I’m reminded once again that the Kingdom of God really is an “upside-down” Kingdom. The world doesn’t understand this type of peace, yet Jesus offers it to His followers. He offers it, yet He doesn’t force us to accept it. We have the choice of whether to live life as the world offers, or to “learn the unforced rhythms of grace” that Jesus offers (Matthew 11:29, The Message).

So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. (Col. 3:1-3, The Message).

No comments: