Psalm 62:5-8 (Message)
God, the one and only—I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I hope for comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, an impregnable castle: I’m set for life. My help and glory are in God—granite-strength and safe-harbor-God—so trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be.
There is a common misconception that many people have when first choosing Jesus to be their Lord and Savior that I made just like everyone else. I came to Christ many times expecting Him to change my life. Eradicate my circumstances. Nullify the situation. Deliver me from evil by whisking me far away from any adversarial force in my life. I expected God to be my superhero and come to my call as Superman to Lois Lane. But as I have walked this journey called believing awhile I have encountered many peaks and valleys. God has walked with me through it all. He did not always move the mountain but more than often moved me. He did not change my circumstances. Again, the Lord has changed me. So maybe just maybe faith and confident hope are not escalators designed to move us from our ordinary life to a very different extraordinary life but rather faith and hope are to make this life that we live extraordinary.
It is difficult to wrap our heads around the idea of a God who knows us and loves us anyway. The notion that He can take what we make of life – all the mistakes, failures and shortcomings to turn them all into something good and worthwhile. It is easier to consider a God who rips out the page from a notebook and starts over. But God cannot do that, it is contrary to His Very Nature. His Grace and Mercy are designed to cover all those mistakes so your life no matter how broken can be blessed and made beautiful again. But before this happens, we must decide to stop asking God to change our life and be willing to let the Lord change us. Change is a very challenging concept when it is our own personal challenge. Just the thought of change scares many people who would rather live comfortably in the known rather than venturing out to be successful in the unknown. So the Lord knowing our sensitivity to change must allow the complacent life to be shaken to move us to the supernatural existence that He has planned.
Everything that I hope for comes from Him. I thought that when our son had made it through a few sets of scans cancer-free that our life would begin to settle down. No longer on high alert that we could breathe a little easier and get on with normal life. Well friend that has not been the case. While I thought what we were going through only impacted him and his life, it really affected us all. Settling back into our daily routine, I have found that I am no longer satisfied with our life packaged in scheduled moments of work, church and weekends then repeat. In the solitude of the valley, poised on my watch tower waiting for my God – I found Him. He did not come like a mad dad getting me out of a bind, but a loving and embracing parent equally concerned about my plight. He took the opportunity of my brokenness to build a new platform of faith that was not only for the immediate situation but for my life. He allowed me to breathe in His Spirit more than ever before as I was barely breathing on my own. He helped us. He saved our son. He showed us a glimpse of the Glory intended for our life. Now I want it all the time. It makes me ready to lay down my life all over again.
Hebrews 11:1-2 (Message)
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.
Faith makes life worth living. God is the firm foundation that we need to make something useful out of every detail of our life. (Romans 8:28) Without the Lord and His Wisdom found in His Word and fortified by His Spirit living in us, nothing will ever make sense. Our heart was created with Eternity in it. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Let’s think about it for a minute. Eternity is bigger than the human heart. It has to be. So when God made our heart, he molded it around Eternity. It is an embedded part of our physical, emotional and spiritual being that will never be satisfied until it reconnects with God in faith, hope and love which are the only three things that are eternal. You will never be satisfied or content in this lifetime without the discovery and acceptance of faith, hope and true love found only in Jesus. We go through life trying to find the things that we are convinced will make us happy. If we are lucky enough to find them, it becomes evident that they cannot do the trick so we live in a perpetual searching for something to bring us contentment and make us complete. Now if Eternity was the very essence of our creation, then it would seem our life was intended to draw us to God. It is. Your life right now, just as it is with all the elements that make it your own good or bad which means that God is looking not to change our life because it was preset and predetermined but rather change us so that we can finally find all of His Goodness that He hid in our ordinary life to make it extraordinary. Your life has the potential of God locked away in it right here, right now. We must stop looking for an exit or escape route but accept that the change that is coming is in us and will change our world.
Our handle on what we cannot see is faith and its potential is hope. When our hope exceeds earthly expectation, the supernatural takes over the natural. But it is only through spiritual eyes and godly wisdom that we can see what God is doing and capitalize on it. For example, I am discovering there are many treasures hidden in my life that I was waiting for. I only had to change what I was doing to discover it. God changed my perspective to see what He saw rather than me trying to make what I saw His Will. Hang on. That was a little deep even for me. How many times do we hold on to what we think God has for us because we can see it rather than keeping our eyes on Jesus until He gives it to us. Just hang on…
Hebrews 6:18-20 (Message)
We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.
Have you ever cleaned out a closet or maybe the garage and halfway through when you are knee high in the mess wondered what you were thinking? It was fine how it was. What possessed me to take on such a task? I think as believers when we begin to wade out in the oceans of dependency looking for more faith that we are overwhelmed by our own undoing. It is a loss of control that we are not quite ready for but must occur to have what we are after. I saw a church sign on the way to work yesterday that said, “You can have faith or control but you cannot have both.” Boy, did that hit home with my type A personality. In this undoing process clearly evident in my life today, there are some days when I just want to crawl back into the comfortable cell of complacency just to get a break from the pressure. However, I just can’t turn back so I hang on the hope that Jesus is in my everyday life and that He is doing something wonderful with every inch I give. Running to God for this thing or that culminates into nothing quickly. Running to the Lord for our life enables us to experience the kind of hope that is never disappointing but requires a tight grip on the unseen to make it through that which we can actually perceive.
When our son’s life was endangered by cancer, it forced us to evaluate every bond that we had in life. With just two hands, a broken heart and overwhelmed mind – I had to choose a lifeline. I chose to trust the Lord. I was weak. I was broken. I was helpless. I had to find strength to go on and face this battle that no mother wants. He came through in my distress. But He wasn’t just looking to heal our son and restore His Life. He was looking at me, too. With eyes of love and a heart filled with nothing but the utmost concern, the Lord had already decided that this life would change me for the better too. He did that because He loves me. He is always good. His Compassionate Affection would not allow Him to leave me out of the process. I just have to hang on the hope that I have found in Him even when I cannot see what it is bound to.
Romans 5:1-5 (Messages)
By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
In the wide open spaces of God’s Grace and Glory, we are introduced to potential. It was there all along but not conventional by worldly standards but our connection to Christ removes the distractions of lesser things so we can see what was meant to be which is always better than we could even think to ask for. In that space, our perspective changes and we begin to want what God wants for us rather than what we think we wanted all along. Now comes the tough part as our faith is refined. We must let go of the counterfeits and substitutions that comforted us to accept that which completes us. Our life can scarce contain all that God is ready to pour into the empty parts of our life to make us whole and fully satisfied – complete lacking no good thing.
Romans 12:1-2 (Message)
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
We owe it to Jesus Christ to examine the potential of our life and begin to prosper in His Promises. We can do nothing else for Him but graciously accept that which He died for us to have. If we will just learn to take our everyday, ordinary life and give it to the Lord – things will begin to change. First in us and then around us. Our culture demands the separation of God and man in the society in which we live – we must choose to embrace the Lord even tighter. My life will only change when I allow the Lord to change me. Otherwise, I will live in insanity which is doing the same thing and expecting different outcomes. God always brings out the best in us. He develops us and changes us to step into the wide spaces that His Glory and Grace allows. He gives us the wisdom to make the most of our potential not just in spiritual ways but He tells us what to do in the natural to prosper as well. Are you willing to let God change you today? Are you okay with your life being undone to be reshaped around the Eternity pressing its way out of your heart? If so, just hang on! The best is yet to come!
Hebrews 10:23-25 (Message)
So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.