I’ve always been amazed by the Word of God. I became a Christian when I was 10, and the Bible continues to amaze me at the age of 47. My life experiences have transversed this global village in the power of the Holy Spirit, and my sufferings and good times have produced a harvest of righteousness that does not come from me (Genesis 15.6). David’s death, the tornados that recently ripped through Donelson (Nashville suburb), COVID-19 and the racism that continues to lead to the death of innocent black lives has drawn me nearer to my Father.
I used to demand that things line up to the way I defined them to line up, and even though I still am tempted to give into that kind of attitude the reading of His word in the Bible is making me more moldable like clay to his view of change. Nothing can be won by force what can only be won by submission.
Ephesians has been a source of encouragement to me during these difficult days and months. As I move through my latest counseling sessions God has worked through Angela to underscore the following verse from that Pauline letter.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5.21)
Obviously that passage goes into greater detail about what that means, but I want to emphasize the submission that all human beings are called to do. We are not here to defeat anyone. The first two humans on planet Earth disobeyed God. We’ve been disobeying God ever since, and it’s not a complicated thing to obey God. We’ve been instructed to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and we’ve been instructed to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Nothing I’m writing here is new to anyone. As broken human beings we forget very easily, and temptation is a powerful salesman we buy from everyday. I’m pretty sure I’ll buy into temptation on the way to work this morning, but I’m going to call upon the power of the Holy Spirit even as I type this sentence not to do that. I have direct access to the Father by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2.18). God’s harvest of righteousness is always being reaped because of this same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead. We have that same power. The Spirit stares death in the face, whether it’s physical or emotional death, and it overcomes it. You might think I believe a lie because there is cemetary after cemetary where not a soul is coming out of the grave, and I understand your thinking. You’re right and wrong. There may not be anyone coming up out of the grave as I type these words yet, but there are people all over this planet who are coming alive the way I am coming alive right now. We aren’t done with physical death. I wish that was a lie, but it’s not. As of the posting of this essay on my blog Jesus has not returned to Earth as we will see him on Judgement Day. I have no idea when that day will come, but I know it will. Just as Jesus came to this Earth through the virgin Mary, lived for about 33 years before he was crucified and raised on the third day he will return as he promised those first century followers.
Waiting for that is in some ways a living hell because we have to endure the desperation of Satan. Satan is going down in a blaze of glory, and he knows it’s a matter of time before his kingdom is finished.
God in his mercy and patience wants as many as possible to live with him for eternity, and in that regard I’m thankful he gives us so much time. He truly is a Father who loves his children.
I always go back to the “childhood” song Jesus Loves Me as being the greatest theological confession we make. When we approach life through that kind of lense good things happen.
Let that change you from the inside.