Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Thriving Not Surviving Life

Life is life. Good things happen in life as do bad things. Some days will be fantastic, ones you want to live over again. Other days will be horrible, ones you wish you had never gotten out of bed. You will go through seasons of great blessings, when everything you touch seems to blossom. You will also go through seasons of great dryness, when you seem to be surrounded by nothing but desert. These are the tides of life, the seasons, the changes. The question is always about perspective and approach

For Christians the perspective should be an easy thing; Yahweh is sovereign. We have purpose in this life, left here, not to serve ourselves and our self interest, but to serve our King. We serve him in whatever season of life we are experiencing because it is not about us or the season; it is always about obedience and service to our King. He strengthens and equips us in every season so that we can serve those who are being destroyed in their experience of life. That is what we must settle in our hearts, that Jesus is present to lend us the strength to go the distance in our service to him. I really appreciate this passage from Isaiah that reminds us who we serve:

Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable. (Isaiah 40:28)

Constantly reminding ourselves of the greatness of our Lord also helps us in our approach to life. If our perspective is that we are here to serve the King and he will keep us in all situations then our approach to this life should be one of great boldness and bravery in the Spirit. We should be those who fearlessly throw ourselves into any situation, never being afraid for our own well being but filled with love and concern for those perishing in the storms. We can do this because we have confidence in him who sent us and abides in us:

He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength. (v. 29)

That`s us at times, having exhausted our strength on the battlefield, in the storms, under weighty circumstance, doing good, we just want to lie down. But the Spirit renews us, increases us, fills us with great strength, so we can press on in our service. We all grow tired from time to time because we forget to operate in Jesus`strength not our own; we all look at the storms on occasion and lose heart, we all get overwhelmed at the thought of things, but that is the beauty of our Lord; he never leaves us there:

Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. (vv. 30-31)

Too often we read this from a selfish perspective, as if the Lord is renewing our strength so we can enjoy the pleasures of this world. He renews us so we can run and walk in our continued service to the King. He renews his love in us so that we can set ourselves aside and love without obstacles, without prejudice, so we can pour out our lives for others like a drink offering. His strength is like a river flowing through us, not to be dammed up and kept selfishly but to flow through us into the lives of others.

This is true for all the blessings, such as love, that they would flow through us into others. We need to see ourselves as conduits. We are not the stars, Jesus is. We are not the source of hope, Jesus is. We are not the source of healing, strength, wisdom, salvation, Jesus is. But he has chosen us to participate in the process of rescuing others. He does not want us bogged down in life, distracted or lost. He renews us every day throughout the day so we will be constantly refreshed and strengthened in all the seasons of life. So abide in him and you will discover your wings. Trust him and love with great abandon.

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