Aside from a few bugs, the internal kind, the sun is shining and God is always, ALWAYS good. And we warrior on. Because every day is a battle.
“…this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Take off the turban, remove the crown. It will not be as it was: The lowly will be exalted and the exalted will be brought low.” Ezekiel 21:10
As my seven year old likes to preach and so often remind me, our God is a new kind of God — He makes the old new — He makes all things new — in our hearts, in our souls, and if we have the radical vision to see and embrace it — in our world as well. There is no fear in this new love, in our submission to Him which is akin to Jesus’s care and love for the church, straight up NO fear. We can talk about the fear of God — yes, we sure can. We can talk about His wrath, His might and how we ought to fear him — we can talk about it all we want. But the fact of the matter is — there is no fear in His love. Absolutely none. And for those of us that have grown up with the model of love being that of fear? Well now, that is all the miracle we could ever need or imagine…
And what freedom then there is in blazing ahead, shouting out His glory and praise with.no.fear, being the ever open and giving hands and feet of Jesus! We’ve simply gotta get over ourselves. We just do. Take off our self imposed turbans! Remove our crowns! It will not be as it was. This is a new kind of God! One that let women sit at his feet. At.the.feet.of.Jesus, y’all! That was straight up revolutionary. Who preached and loved children and saw them as the.most.important. For real. If there was a pecking order, kids were FIRST (the disciples asked, he just answered the question)! A God who thought we were ALL worth dying for. Every single one of us. Amazing, humbling, incredibly real and raw stuff.
Our Jesus wasn’t afraid to get dirty, gritty, talk about the hard stuff. In fact, his life WAS all the hard stuff (and being the son of God, he could have chosen easy, well, easily). That’s the kind of love I’ll get behind. That’s the kind of love I will choose time after time after blessed time. That’s the kind of love that I’ll give — and that never comes up short or empty. My love may be imperfect, but pointing people to God’s love? Yes, the answer is always yes.
I’m saying this as a pep talk to my spirit. Because choosing to live differently is hard. And sometimes we don’t admit that. We think if we’re doing this grace thing right, it should be easy. We shouldn’t get tired or overwhelmed or both. But, friends, that spiritual battle we fight every single day is just that – a battle – and we have a real enemy. And he shows up in the sneakiest of ways. And sometimes those ways are even churchy ones – like bickering about theology, or judging who is “fit” to be loved, or making our churches special clubs instead of straight up places for worship and God work—all time sucks from the real love work we need to be doing, right?
It IS hard – in our places of work, in our families, even in our churches. But we have a God who does hard things so expertly – because He is God and He’s kind of bigger than all of it. SO much bigger! And if we really and TRULY believe that, well then, we never have to be afraid. EVER. And again, in that we are so free. To soldier on, to do the hard, to be his hands and feet – to walk so closely with him and receive that peace from him – that transcends any hard – any circumstance we may face. “When they were but few in number, few indeed, and strangers in it, they wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another. He allowed no man to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings: ‘Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.’” 1 Chronicles 16:19
We are not of this world. I often think of one of my childhood favorites in literature when I read this Bible verse — The Chronicles of Narnia. Every day we wake up and we make a choice — to live with it, or to live against it. To live for Jesus, or to live as one with the status quo that engulfs us. It isn’t meant to be easy. But it will be fulfilling, it will be rewarding, it will be validating, peace keeping, heart breaking along with heart building — and moreover — it will be who you are meant to be. I know that when there are situations that arise at work, with family, with friends were it is hard and often tiresome to be that one voice that has to over and over seek truth it often grows down right depressing, yes, and it stretches you, often to your limit — but when you ignore it and go for easy? That hurts even more. Because it is not authentic, it is not truth, it is not YOU — and when you live by the spirit — you can not ignore truth. God will hold you accountable. Your life will change. And in a world that values truth so little (about as much as a stick of gum), you will be tested time and time again when you solely call for it.
But there is no freer way to live. And when I meet my Jesus, I want to make HIM proud, I want him to say, “well done, good and faithful servant.” And everyday, I must make the conscious effort to make THAT choice. The call to love, the call to honesty, the call to truth, the call to humility, the call to the fruit of the spirit, the call to be his hands and feet, the call to every single day get.over.me. All of this, every single piece of this — living on this earth in the midst of this without our Father — is hard. But we have a mighty Savior. We have each other. So let’s keep encouraging one another. Yes, that actually is part of our walk too as brothers and sisters — to encourage one another. “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13. Not ‘every so often’, ‘during the holidays’, or even ‘once a week on Sundays’. Encourage one another daily. How encouraging are we to each other as Christians? How encouraging are we to non believers? It’s a dark, dark world out there. We are called to be the light. We are called to shine like stars in the universe. I will mess this up. Most likely every day. But I will also wake up and try my best at this. Every day. I know I need this encouragement everyday. So when I need it, I give it. My need is my reminder. Praise God.
“Pure Christianity lives between two dangers ever present; the danger that it will evaporate into a philosophy… and the danger that it will freeze into a form.” C.I. Scotfield
But neither of these dangers can happen when we are actively living our Jesus. And that’s a conscious decision. A conscious choice. A conscious breath. Every day of our lives. Not an afterthought. Not something we save for a few hours on Sundays. It’s everyday. It’s how we meet everyone’s eyes, hearts, and hands. It’s in how we greet humanity. It’s in how we give up ourselves. And this humbleness isn’t passive, it doesn’t come with a low self esteem, it isn’t indecisive. Far from it. Our Jesus died for us. He rose again. We have the divine living.inside.of.us. Seriously. That should blow our minds! Really. That should make us the MOST courageous warriors for his name! We are all miracles bought by his blood. And every single creation living and breathing on this planet is therefore worth the fight of salvation. And we’ve got some work to do. Some great love to give. And every day we GET to do that. Praise God!
Happy Sunday. Happy every day. And what ever you may be facing, know it will be okay. Our battle ends in victory. Much love to all of you. ❤
“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. ” Colossians 1:17