What is being a christian?
Today, when I wake up and I am believing that my cat will still be alive, but he may not be.
When push comes to shove what does my faith deliver? What does it LOOK LIKE?
A GOOD life?
An EASY life?
EVERYTHING I want?
Think about this, when Jesus was on the earth, the night before he was set to die on the cross for me, for you, he asked God, his father if there was ANY other way to pay for sin. Any other way and he asked twice. He knew what it was like to be crucified, he saw it growing up, he knew what was coming and I am sure that he desired to NOT go through that, he asked not to.
Love as Sacrifice:
Jesus died for me, willingly was crucified. He asked for another way to pay for my sin and then, had to lay aside his desires and go through with the plan. HE sacrificed his life, his perfect life and precious blood, out of love for me. Why then do I get to demand that the desires of my heart be met, EVEN if they are Godly? I don't, and I don't want to. This is what dying to self really is. The implications of this really hit home this past month. I can't be distracted by my desires and put them before God, when I do they become idols and life is wasted. I will try and hopefully succeed at laying my desires aside and go through what is ahead. I will shine that light into the darkness. I will stand up and go alone if I have to. HE is my desire, my joy, I aim for him and I will sacrifice for him.
Love as Life:
My faith delivers life to me. Here on earth, things are tainted. Don't get me wrong, God is GOOD, life is GOOD, but imperfect things happen. Cats get sick, friends get sick, sweethearts leave, the enemy throws wrenches in the little cogs of our world that we oil with hope and prayer. In John, the bible promises not just life but ABUNDANT life! Whew, thank goodness, so we get to live in abundance and blessing. Yes. But we CHOOSE to live an abundant life, wrenches in cogs, sick friends, cats and all. It's like the desire...is my desire a nice house or Christ? Does abundance mean trips to Fiji or a beautiful communion with God? Right. So, is it OK to have both? Yep, just keep it in check. Abundant life, abundance in THIS life, is favor and blessing, all glory belongs to Christ for it, but what he gives, he is free to take away and still be King in my heart.
Love as Knowledge:
I used to think bad things happened to me because I WAS bad. And I was bad, I was a pretty wretched friend, I drank too much, was demanding, irrational and obnoxious. But I quit drinking (badum-ching!) Har! No for real, I learned that I was not the cause of these things, my bad behavior wasn't the cause either.
I really understood that there is an enemy set against us to destroy us. He isn't the old fashioned villain tying you to the train tracks kind of enemy either. He doesn't want to make my life "hard" or "screw things up" he wants to kill me, steal my hope, break my spirit and crush me.
I know he's serious and I am not going to go into detail, but the last 4 months or so, the measures he has gone to have been impressive. Why? Because NOW I am a threat. I wasn't before, but I am consistent in my faith, in my hope, in my word and action. Not perfect, but consistent.
Gone is the Mary who would confess a few scriptures and then stop and wallow because they didn't "WORK". Now I confess, and confess and believe. The knowledge? It's KNOWING that GOOD is on my side, that God's words He said to me, His promises are true, no matter what I see and experience here.
Even if the lord doesn't make my cat well, I know he can and loves me enough to.
Even if I don't see all the desires of my heart come to pass, I know his plan for me is the BEST for my life!
Even if my days are challenging, he has NEVER left me alone and never will.
Even when I feel like I am at the END of my rope, he is there to pull me back up.
Even when I don't know how big or bad the wrenches are that are being hurled at me today, I KNOW he will give me the strength to handle them.
HE will take my life and make something of it, for his glory.
HE will shower me with his love and strength everyday in every battle so I can do the same to others.
PS--I am not a theologian, I just play one on TV.