Monday, April 6

safe living ISN'T resurrected living!

In recent years, Easter weekend has been much more meaningful to me. I've always been grateful for the work of the cross. It's the symbol of my Christianity. It's the basis for ALL I believe. As a young adult, the cross became more than security for my eternity. The resurrection gave hope that LIFE here on earth could be victorious.

If I'm honest, though, I've typically pursued that victorious living in the BIG things. The Easter story is HUGE, and when I think about THAT kind of victory, I usually associate and attempt to apply it to BIGGER THAN BIG circumstances. Certainly, Christ's resurrected life DOES mean that all seemingly hopeless situations can be conquered.... terminal diagnoses CAN be overturned, prodigal children CAN miraculously choose to return and repent, and marriages destroyed by carelessness CAN be healed and rebuilt. The beauty of the cross and resurrection is that what SEEMED dead and buried CAN live. I've experienced that miracle FIRST HAND, and I am SO! VERY! GRATEFUL!

What about our daily, mundane lives, though?

Since Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose to LIFE again on the third day, shouldn't I live every moment of every day differently? Boldly? Courageously? And, without FEAR?!?!

Here's what I mean... Often, I hear Christians professing the POWER of the cross and the MIRACLE of Christ's resurrected life. Then, I'll notice a theme of DEFEATED LIVING in that believer. Who am I kidding? I'VE been that believer. And, this is what it must look like to the non-believer....

"OK... So, you believe in a Savior that died and rose to LIFE? He gives YOU new life? But, He can't help you OVERCOME your moodiness? Your short temper with your children? Your OVER spending, OVER eating, OVER (fill in the blank)? So, you say this Jesus wants you to live ABUNDANTLY, but you can't find a way to live a more enjoyable life.... there's work, there's a busy home life, and there's frustration at every turn? I don't really see any difference between YOUR life and mine!"

In the moment that I am about to BLOW UP at one of my children, the resurrected life of Christ CAN supply all the power I need to rise above that situation and respond differently.

When I find myself just going through motions, the work of Easter CAN reignite the flame of my calling OR give me the courage to MOVE ON to a new work. Only FEAR causes us to say things like, "I could never do that," or "that's just not me." What if it ISN'T you, but it IS your new calling and you're missing out on the blessing of seeing God create something BRAND NEW within you?"

Life is just so hard, but the fact that the stone was rolled away, and Jesus Christ lives CHANGES EVERYTHING!

VICTORY over defeat!

COURAGE & BOLD LIVING replace fear!

CHAMPION not victim!

Easter happened! Jesus Christ lives! Reality is DEATH was OVERTAKEN by LIFE! That's it.... That's the point. One day, He will return and His children will reign with Him for eternity. Spoiler... WE WIN!!! And, we win BIG!

So, the question is, "Why wait?" In too many cases, we remain STUCK IN A RUT (in work, in relationships, etc.), because of FEAR.... fear of failure, fear of humiliation, fear of not being good enough.....

I'd rather enter heaven bruised, battered, humiliated, heartbroken, and worn out KNOWING that I'd pursued EVERY, SINGLE BIT of the LIFE Christ called me to in His Resurrection than to leave this life unscathed, because I played it SAFE.

I pray that they eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.... Ephesians 1: 18 - 20

If I'm issued a life's calling that requires the same strength of His might which raised Christ from the dead, I imagine it's going to be hard. Resurrected living ISN'T safe, because our all powerful God isn't necessarily safe. But, He IS good! The life He calls me to may not always be pretty or easy. But, in Him, it's GOOD. He's ALWAYS been faithful to DO what He said He would do.