Christ on Golgotha.
As a Christian I am determined by none other than God to be perfected. But to what ultimate purpose am I being perfected?
I snapped the picture above the other day and thought, “This is not what I would consider a perfect picture.” Yet, there also came an accompanying thought – “What if, at the moment I took that picture, someone had been there that was blind for their entire life. Maybe that person was decades old and had been blind from birth.” You know what? To them, that might be the most amazing picture of the sun they had ever seen in their life, even if they had imagined other ones.
You may never know just when you might shed a different light onto something that, for a lifetime, might have challenged someone else; yet, your insight might just be the one that caused an epiphany for them.
I cannot argue that God did not have all this in mind the moment he created us. I believe he truly does have the whole world in his hands and is active and alive in doing so – not as some might think, absent and afar.
Why am I being perfected? As any great Creator (and being THE GREAT I AM THAT HE IS), God has created us as sacred, protected notes on a great symphony of life, eternal, which none of us could ever have dreamt up otherwise. The up and down beats and rhyme and reason, we cannot understand. We simply must trust in his enterprise – even if, in blindness, we flounder for understanding. He has given us His Word, the Holy Bible; through which we can seek better understanding of just how it is he can be in every moment of our lives – by simply opening the pages and realizing them to be a living testament, the lamp unto our feet, the light in our lives.
To consider myself fortunate enough to be a part of his plans; and, that by his only begotten Son, I am saved from sin and death, is to believe in the impossible and improbable; yet, inextricably, something which is entirely imaginable, if only we choose to believe.
I hope you do. I hope you think you are a part of something so much more beyond this world than what this world has to offer. I hope so – for, to be a part of a great symphony is one thing; to be so, for all eternity, now that’s truly something to look forward to!
Why am I being perfected? I am being perfected to be in CONCERT with God. In this world and the next, that equals the best jam session I can imagine. If this defines me as marching to a different drummer, SO WHAT!
To march with God is to march with a majority, along with all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, we’ll just keep a marching along!
In 2 Peter 3:9 we find this concerning the Lord: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Through the Law of the Old Testament we see the law convicting us of how sinful we are apart from the Lord. The Law serves to describe how impossible it is to be free from sin, if we only have the law. The law condemns us of sin. If we are truthful to ourselves we see this; if not, we are deluded, ignorantly bliss. We’ve all been there, are going there, or are determined not to go there – but our determination must be married with and determined along the line of grace.
Jesus gives us freedom from sin. He was tempted as we are but was perfect. Only in immersion with him, daily, momentarily, as we breathe each breath and commit ourselves to every task whereby we walk in this world, remembering him, can we truly experience the freedom in Christ. We are immortally destined for goodness in him, to be in his light, with God’s presence and companionship all the days of our lives; apart from which we are lost. The moment they accept and start walking in the light of the Lord, freed FROM sin and death, Christians experience the peace of Christ; but must walk in faith, in order to come into the wholeness of God – this may only take a lifetime 🙂 – but it will be a life well spent.
Christ said on the cross – “It is finished.”
It is not that God is silent when bad things happen here or when justice appears not to be meted out on our terms for the terrors of this world. Nor did he create the terrors of this world that are the result from separation from Him.
He is longsuffering, patient and waiting for any of us that would turn to him – his door, through Christ, is always open. We have but one thing to do – to enter in and abide in Him and as he draws us unto him, by being open and available and calling to us through his Holy Spirit, he will abide in us. This is where David of the Old Testament became convicted and rested, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee,” – Psalm 119:11.
It took David a long time to get there and he paid for his transgressions for it was his son, Solomon, who would build the temple and not him. Like Moses who was kept from entering into the promised land because of his anger; David was refrained in his sins. We all have fallen and are fallen, sinful; yet, we have grace and the Lord is merciful and, waiting, LONGSUFFERING.
Though it may appear cloudy God is there – waiting, brilliant and pure. Our path is narrow; but it leads to infinite care, comfort and fulfillment in God – and God is our Creator, full with infinite beauty and all things that, beyond this world of sin, and free from sin, are glorious. We need but anchor to this and lay our treasure up in Heaven. Though we are here for a blink of an eye, we need but remind ourselves of this daily.
When my children were very young I climbed a mountain and they saw me go up. One was scared and the other had no fear at all. One was a danger to himself for lack of fear and the other would not see the glory of the mountaintop view because of his fear.
Likewise, we are so when contemplating the glory to come. It will make this world seem but a blink. We must temper our anchoring with the fact that; though in the world, we are not of the world. If we want to see the glory of God, bathe in it and bring it back to this world we have to remember that this world is, yet, dangerous.
But to what degree? It can do but one thing, kill me and make the mortal immortal.
Otherwise, I must not refrain from revealing the source of my light, my Lord, Jesus Christ – longsuffering, that I might not perish; nor you, if you so choose to climb the mountain, tempered by fear of God and his grace; not by this world and its temporary hold on you.
I’m not asking you to jump off the cliff, like our US economy is doing. I’m just asking you to take a look into the book that shows all God’s heavenly glory; and yes, this world’s sin, which is simply this – everything apart from Him.
Nevertheless, there is this indesputable fact, the Lord will be known throughout the world and thus, the choice:
Isaiah 11:9 – “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”
God simply wants us to be free from the terror of this world by abiding in Him. He is longsuffering in this cause, gave his only begotten Son for this cause; and, because he knows we are subject to sin, is waiting patiently for us to turn to him – but he is not absent. He is more glorious and powerful than the sun behind the clouds for he is the maker thereof and we are blind not to believe and think so.
It is we and not him who suffer from our not relating to him, though his suffering for us not seeing this so is long. So he waits. He has done all he can do, other than to wait for us to say, “Father, I’ve come home. Now, please forgive me and lead me for I have tried my way and have done so to the ends of this world, and it is passing; forgive me for being so clouded in my thinking…”
The Peace that Surpasses All Understanding
The peace of Christ surpasses all understanding. Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh, begotten by the Father, the only being not begotten.
God the Father so loved us that he gave his only begotten son as a sacrifice for our sins. We live in a world temporarily under sin due to it being subject to Satan, the fallen angel Lucifer who rebelled against the Father and caused Adam and Eve to sin; whereby, we all have been born into a fallen world and fall short of the glory of God because of it. By the very nature of this world of sin we miss, daily, the perfect peace to be had when in relationship with the Father. We who believe in Jesus’ sacrifice are forgiven our sins and can pray to our Heavenly Father, who is in Heaven, whose name is hallowed, whose Kingdom has come, and whose will is done on earth as it is in Heaven. He gives us this day, our daily bread and forgives us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. He leads us not, into temptation, but delivers us from evil; for the Kingdom and the power and the glory are His, now and forever.
What is best for us is that we are in relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus’ special relationship with the Father made it possible for him to overcome this world and the sin that is in it because of Satan. God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit (who was sent by the Father to lead us into righteousness) want us to have the peace of Christ – that nothing can separate us from the love of God; and, even though this world is passing, God’s love for us never will.
The reason this is called the peace that surpasses all understanding is that, I don’t know; nor can any human know, how it is that God the Father IS, the Great I AM. It must be taken by faith that HE IS. This is beyond our understanding; yet, the peace that surpasses ALL understanding, nevertheless, IS what it is!
May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you in order that you might not fear this world or all that is in it, but rejoice!