Sunday, December 14, 2014

Air Craft

I was chatting with someone about the easy yoke, the light burden that Jesus promised. The idea was that a lot of folks make their burden heavier than Jesus intended by adding a lot of baggage to it - baggage that looks like, "If I just pray enough..." ... "If I just read the Word enough..."  "If I just go to church enough..." ... the ending of the sentence being, "... God will give me my heart's desire." (whatever that looks like: healing, revival, temporal blessing, a job, a spouse, a friend....) 

That's the thing though. This is where we fall apart. "If I just..." Do you hear it? That is EXACTLY the problem. We get this notion in our heads that if WE do something then GOD has to do something. 

We have it backwards. 

God already did something. All we do is say yes. There is nothing more simple than that. Nothing. And yet we complicate it ... put conditions on it ... and we try and try and try to get it right - and we fail, and fail ... and fail. 

Human effort will ultimately fail. There. That's about as simple as I can make it. The Christian life is not about us trying to live it. WE CAN'T. It's impossible to do on our own; if it were possible, there would BE no "New Testament." There would only be the Law. Keeping the rules. Toeing the line. What a drudge. What a burden!!

Jesus came to free us from that curse, that kind of automaton living. He came to give us abundant life. And that life is ONLY found in Him. Now, there are a lot of people who think that "in Him" means "toeing the line." It doesn't. It means that He has taken our "yes" to Him and He has enveloped us in His love, permeated and saturated us with His grace so full and free it's big enough to fly in!! As wide as the sky, His grace is more than we can imagine - (and let me tell you, I can imagine a LOT!) - and His supernatural power has given us everything that we need to fly in that Grace. To use the flying analogy to its maximum - His Grace is the air and the current; because of Jesus' once-for-all sacrifice, He has given us wings!

And a lot of us ... for far too long ... have tried and continue to try to make the Christian life function for us, based on a set of rules. Rules that we impose on ourselves (and on others) so that we can do the things we have been told we "should" be doing. In effect, we spend the vast majority of our time with our God-given wings folded neatly away behind our backs, working desperately on trying to build an airplane so that we can fly

How ludicrous is that! 

Photo "Eagle In Flight" courtesy of
Jeff Ratcliff at
Those things we "should" be doing, by the way, are a natural product of resting on the currents of His grace with our wings spread wide to accept all that He so passionately longs to give us ... freely. 

They aren't goals to achieve, notches on our belt, or brownie points that will make God like us and bless us. 

He already loves us. He already has given us everything we need. No, those things we "should" be doing are end results. (Results are not goals. Hear me!) They are fruit that grow naturally and easily out of our relationship with Him. 

We don't love Him to have Him love us back; that's backward! (not to mention impossible...) We love Him because HE FIRST loved us. We don't talk to Him to get Him to "do stuff." We talk to Him because HE FIRST showed us that He loved us ... and talking to Him is a joy we GET to do because of His sacrifice. And we don't have to wait to do that until we are in some marble hall somewhere, but we get to talk to Him wherever we are. Whenever we want. As often (or as continuously) as we want. 

Ponder that. Because Jesus opened the Way, we GET to talk to the One who created the stars. To the One who calmed the tempest. To the One who loved us so much, as a friend recently put it, that He would rather die than live without us. 

And He actually did die so that He didn't have to live without us. What kind of crazy love is that!! 

Calvary's great price, paid for us, crafted us wings to fly; His grace, based on the sufficiency of that sacrifice, holds us up. 

That, dear friends, is "God with us." THAT is Emmanuel. Every moment. Scary, crazy, reckless  ...  and glorious.

Put down the tools and the blueprints for whatever aircraft you are trying to build. 

And spread your wings. 

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