Monday, April 20, 2015

Resurrection Life

I use the term in our title a lot.  It's a foundational principle to what I consider real Christianity.  I've been wanting to blog about that for awhile.  Two things made that more immediately possible and essential.

The first is that the Christian Bloggers community on Google+ has a blog challenge for April that's highlighted by the hashtag #MyEaster2015.  And the title has been much of my meditation for this Easter season.  But April is almost 2/3 over and I should be getting my thoughts down and sharing them.

The second is the graphic for this post.  I reshared it on Facebook, it spurred a conversation that didn't go well.  And the fact that it didn't go well highlights a reality about our relationship with God and resurrection life.  Let's go exploring and see where God takes us with this one.

It's Christ who is physically resurrected, but:

Ephesians 2:5 (KJV)  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Colossians 2:13 (KJV)  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Our salvation gives us the opportunity to experience renewed life.  That's what resurrection life is -- renewal of what we were, at some point, willing to discard like some useless dead animal.  I know. That sounds perhaps overly blunt.  But that's exactly what we do with our lives and our souls when we choose something other than God.  And the thing we choose can be as close as our own "wisdom".

Sunday  night's service, although indirectly, included the verses that deal with what we're talking about.  Look at what we initially grow into:

Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV)  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Think about that one.  If we lean on our own understanding, without filtering it through God's mind, we get the same thing out that went in -- garbage.  That's what our flesh does.  I know that because I spent too many years doing it wrong.  But think of our starting graphic.  If we keep going back to the same formula and keep plugging in the same data, we're going to keep getting the same results. If we keep thinking the same way, doing the same things, nothing changes.  So, from our graphic, if we keep going back to the same chapter, we never get to move on.  By our own choice.

Can God override our decisions?  Sure.  There are examples of that in His Word.  But there is far more evidence of Him allowing us the choice of what we do and seeing the resulting consequences. When Colossians 3:23 says "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;", it's giving us a wise choice, not a command.

I mentioned that conversation and that it didn't go well.  When the person asked for guidance,  I started asking questions.  Whether or not I ever heard the answers, that person needed to think about what I was asking.  The reaction I got was the statement that they were looking for a verse, not so many questions.  After which they cut off our Facebook friendship.  Which leaves me hoping they think about those questions and I'll praying for their healing.  God definitely in NOT in the business of feeding our superstitions with verbal amulets.

But that conversation isn't the point.  Resurrection life is.  As Revelation 21:7 puts it, "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son."  When we realize that it's not us overcoming, it sheds new light on our reality.  God overcomes for us, but He rarely violates our free will to do it.  Which means that we need to make a decision to allow Him free reign. We need to honestly assess if our thinking and actions get in the way of God blessing us, how we need to change to get different results, then move forward with that knowledge.

Sin is "missing the mark".  Unlike most concepts of sin, it doesn't take much.  It can be as simple as letting our opinions and thinking take precedence over what God says.  Contrast that with resurrection life.  Remember Colossians 2:13, "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;"?  We allow God in, He quickens us.  Yup, that takes us right back to my favorite.

Matthew 6:33 (KJV)  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

We get blessed by merely letting God be God.  Or possibly not, if we don't.  Resurrection life is new life, getting rid of the old that harms us, connecting with God's new life.  We can live in the old or we can make every day a new day of Resurrection life.  Easter can be more than a day in time.  Which makes more sense to you?

1 comment:

  1. "We get blessed by merely letting God be God." - now that is a powerful statement. - I like how Paul talks about his desire to know the power of his resurrection (Philippians 3:10)