Some of us within Christianity act as though God’s only desire for our lives and the only thing we should strive for in the Christian life is the avoidance of sin.
How so, Ben?
We come to faith when we repent for our sins.
We hear sermon after sermon that drives us into introspection, searching for those deep down sins hiding below the surface.
Our prayer life is 90% confession and 10% petition (for those of you who might not speak Christianese that means 90% saying I’m sorry to God and 10% asking God for stuff.)
Here’s a thought for you.
What if the Christian life is not all about sin?
What if the kingdom of God is not the absence of sin, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit?
What if righteousness was not “sinless perfection” but it was simply doing the things that God had created us for?
Think of it this way for a minute.
Let’s say you’re a parent and you have some young kids that you want to take to Disney World for a vacation. However, no matter how you try to save for this trip, life keeps getting in the way. Cars breakdown, kids need clothes (no matter how many times you tell them that if they keep growing they can’t go to see Mickey Mouse.) Every time you get a little bit set aside for your big trip, you have to use it for a real emergency.
Now let’s say someone comes along and gives you an all expense paid vacation to Orlando, with weeklong passes to all of Disney’s fun filled parks. He pays to fly you there; he pays for your hotel rooms, your meals and all the passes to all the parks. He even gives you some cash to buy some Mickey junk to put in your closet and forget about when you get home. (Sounds like Pat Sajak to me – …tell them what they have won Charlie.)
So you get off the boat and head for the entrance gate – there you stand ready to go in – tickets in hand and looks of awe and wonder on every face.
You and your family walk through those gates, then you turn around and stare in wonder at the entrance. You think to yourself – I thought I would never be able to get though those turnstiles. I am so thankful to the one who paid the price.
Then you spend the entire week that was given to you coming inside the gates – and standing there looking at the gate. You never walk down Main Street USA, you never ride Space Mountain, or Pirates of the Caribbean. You don’t visit Tomorrow Land. You just stare at the gate.
Your benefactor appreciates the daily notes of thanks, but when he realizes you stepped in and stopped he is actually upset with you. He did not send you to Disney’s magical kingdom to stand at the gate. He wanted to you go in and experience the wonder of it all.
Ok – so the analogy breaks down pretty quickly, but I hope you can see what I am saying here.
We Christians are stuck at the entrance gate. We’re stuck at the cross.
Yes – we must regularly remember the cross – that’s why Jesus said as often as you eat this bread and drink this wine, remember me. But He did not intend that we spend 30 years of Christian life sitting at the Last Supper.
There is more to the Christian life and the new birth.
Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, - Hebrews 6:1 NASB
The Father wants us to step into the fullness of Christ.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. - Ephesians 2:10 NASB
It’s time we realized that the Father sent Jesus to bring us before the throne so we can be in His presence, so we can enjoy His company, so we can partner with Him in the work He is doing.
Lord, I am eternally grateful for the great price you paid. I am ever thankful for the way you made to come to the Father. Today, Lord, help we walk in the life you saved me for. Help me step out in the works you created for me to accomplish in Your wonderful kingdom.
Thanks Deb for getting me pondering along these lines.
See you again soon.