In one of my recent posts, I shared with you our Christian belief that, by believing in what our Lord, Christ Jesus did for us through His life, death, resurrection and promises allows us to live as fully-forgiven people.
And as amazing a gift as that ultimately is, most of us just can’t help but be drawn to how it is that we’re supposed to respond as a result of it.
Our Christian education teaches that while there isn’t anything we can do to earn our salvation, there are many things we can do from it or, in other words, because of what Jesus has done for us.
Some 45 years ago, a Christian apologist named Francis Schaeffer wrote a book (that was later turned into a film series) called, “How Shall We Then Live?” Francis’ premise for the book was to analyze all the reasons for modern society and culture’s state of affairs and to present the only viable alternatives:
- Continue living by the Christian ethic (with everyone, in every situation/circumstance)
- Joyful acceptance of God’s revelation (this world is not our home)
- Total affirmation of the Bible’s morals, values and meaning.
While it’s not my intent to go deep into all of these great thoughts here, I do think that Francis is on point. In the words of another writer, ‘(As) God’s people (we) must constantly be reminded that this world is not our home; that our root-system must always be shallow here and our desire for Heaven must constantly and increasingly be our focus rather than trying to create and maintain some kind of earthly utopia.’
The apostle Peter instructs us to “7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)
And John similarly admonishes, “15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[a] is not in them. 16 For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” “6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God,” Paul writes to the early believers in Philippi with words that are just as applicable for us today.
Dang, these passages are convicting for me. Are they for you, too?
And yet, as human beings, we still exhibit anxiety and worry, set unrealistic goals and try and “keep up with the Joneses” and grab for every gold ring or comfort we can in this world.
Please don’t mistake my message; there’s nothing wrong with having goals and wanting to do well in this life.
But what might happen if we were to just pause or slow it up a little; to maybe take a step back and look up and seek to ensure that our will is aligned with His?
What if we were to get back to, as is taught in 2 Timothy, making the main thing, the main thing? Dropping some of our plans, preferences, presumptions and pretexts, re-ordering some of our priorities and genuinely seeking His will in our lives… committing to His ways; toward becoming the disciples we’ve signed up to be.
What might our future look like if we were to commit daily to, in the words of the aforementioned writer, ‘understanding that it is God who has planned, controls and therefore knows the intimate details of what might await us in this early life.”
What might it look like if today, you were to genuinely rest your future in God’s loving hands? Not just in a “let go and let God” kind of way but to trust God and get going toward the next step of obedience He is calling you to?
What might that look like?
How might you truly begin to live as one who He has chosen?
Look, once more at the 3 things listed above, try to set aside any fear or anxiety and pick even just one to tangibly move forward with today. Write out one thing you can begin to work on and apply. And remember and be encouraged by the words that were written for others but still apply to those who believe;
But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
Isaiah 43:1 NKJV
I believe this is how “we are to then live.”
Right here with you,