I got an image in my head this weekend while sitting at home surrounded by a large group of friends. As I looked around my house and saw the 40+ people in my home, I had to retract myself for 5 minutes in my room. In those 5 minutes I just sat and almost cried. Eight months ago I remember asking God to shake my life, to provide for me the people He wanted me to have. I took a step in faith and let go of friendships and relationships that had gone on my entire life and told God to fill the gap with whatever He had in mind. He did...then He provided for me people to both hold me and encourage me.....so sitting there in my room, this came to mind...
The man had grown up hearing the truth his entire life. He had been educated in it, brought up to walk in it, adhered to it and in some instances even partook in public displays of it, but it never took root. There was always an uneasy lack of authenticity that seemed to hold him back. Over time he dwelled more on this than he did the thing which need to take root. Instead, this unauthentic feeling took root, here began the problem.
Many times he would try to do the thing which he knew was right, however, always seemed to be swallowed whole by the things which beckoned his attention. The lights were flashing as he walked by, the people who knew him well would scream his name in attention, but he continued on, looking only to those things which brought that immediate sense of self-worth. He knew what he had to say to get where he needed to go. He had all the knowledge some would kill to hear, however, he put it to no use. His foundation was there, but he never built the house on it.
Aimlessly he sought after the things which brought the pleasure this world told tall tales of. Breathlessly he persued that which would bring him fortune, success, and fame. He had all the knowledge, but did little to use it. She called his name, and he answered, he passed him a drink and he sipped, they told him to lie and he would, He told him to stop and he refused. This went on for years. Piece by piece his morality crumbled, bit by bit his reason faded. He became obsessed with having it all, with having the answer, with having the right. In his mind, he had the right to whatever he pleased. He had heard of the word hubris once in his life, however, saw it as a vice which only the most foolish of men were subject to. He was far better than them, and his humility knew no bounds, funny how the very thing which he claimed to abstain from was the very thing he was.
The years passed on and his identity faded. He had lost himself. He was everyone. In his mind he had to please everyone, whether it was through word or deed, he had to appeas whoever was before him. Alive on the outside, but dead within, he was a white washed tomb. It came to a point where he found himself in the house of mourning. No one was their to wish him good bye, though plenty filled the room in his mind he was alone. While many knew his name, few knew his life and fewer knew his love. He sat and looked on as the service passed by. Words were said, tears were shed, lives moved on. His name would be forgotten in days to come.
There he lay alone in his grave, still alive. Filled up with knowledge but still with no use. He cried out in pain and in fear as they lowered his bed, he squirmed and he pushed as they lay him to rest. It came to a point where he realized it was by his own hands he was lost, by his own deception he was dead. In his silence and solitude he uttered His name. He answered. The box was flung open, a hand stretched out and voice uttered words saying, "I have blotted out your transgressions, return to me for I have redeemed you." Quickly he fired out of his grave, realizing it was not yet time. The hand grabbed him and took him to a familiar place....
Eight months later, here he stands, a man redeemed and reborn. Surrounded by a family of people filled with love, and for the first time in his life, he thinks, people might actually know of his love, because his love, is the same love which Someone first showed him, the night he was resurrected.
I say it a million times, and I'll say it a million more, God is way to good to me. We all will acknowledge as Christians that He is in control of everything, but do we really know what that means? Heb 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible, now check out Colossians 1:17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. Notice that last part of verse 17, in Him all things are constant. Meaning, Christ holds it together by His own will. Per Heb 11:3, we cannot see the things which hold together this universe, this planet, this body, however, per Col 1:17, we know that in Christ all things are held together. You realize then that the ONLY reason you are even standing and you even exist right now is BECAUSE of Christ. The only reason you haven't yet died is because of Christ.
That fact, in it of itself speaks volumes of God's mercies. When He says they are new every morning (Lam 3:22-24) they really are. Every morning you wake up and realize another day of life, is one more morning where God, by His mercy and grace, has allowed us another day. What we do with that day is our choice. Knowing what He did for us and knowing the magnitude of His sacrifice, shouldn't we live our lives in constant surrender and sacrifice to Him? We need to live a Romans 12:1-5 life. It is no easy thing, however, with Him and Him alone, we can. He is taking care of the existence part and the redemption part for us, why can't we take care of the work out salvation part? He has worked so much into us, love being the greatest of them all, what are we waiting for?
Take it from a man who was once truly dead, despite the knowledge of truth. It is time to experience God first hand, and not just know about Him. Be about the God of your blessings, not the blessings of your God. Be about the God of the word, don't just know the word of God. Judas did that, and at first he was hanging out with Jesus, then he was just plain hanging...