First, a side note: As I was sitting around, trying to figure out what to write about for this week’s post, my mind wandered to the name of our blog: Come Awake. This week’s song (Christ is Risen by Matt Maher) is where that name came from. Sure, we wanted something catchy and unique. But even more so, we wanted a name that meant something. A name that would welcome, encourage, and challenge others. We hope that’s what you have found here.
By God’s great mercy, we have all been pardoned of our death sentence – we have been saved from an eternity of suffering. By His abundant grace, we have been gifted with much: a new life, an imperishable Hope, an eternity of joy, and the chance to be called the children of God. The Father sacrificed His holy, spotless Son for an ungodly, sinful people. And the Son! Oh, the Beloved Son willingly gave Himself up for us – fully knowing our hearts and our minds, but loving us anyways.
Sometimes I forget the magnitude of this Sacrifice. Sometimes the significance of this beautiful, terrible act just leaves me…I forget that it’s not some old fable passed on from generation to generation. It’s history. It’s Truth.
It’s so easy to forget. All it takes are some busy days and a to-do list that runs a mile long. Or even a couple sick days in bed. It’s easy to become consumed with our lives and our health and our families and our jobs and our plans. But when it comes at the expense of robbing the Lord of His time and His glory, is it really worth it?
I just started reading The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler. Just a few pages in and the guy already has the wheels in my head turning. I encourage you to read it – I guarantee that it will challenge you and give you a better idea of what the “big picture” really is.
I literally muttered, “PREACH” to myself after I read that. But when I really thought about it, I realized that though I know this to be true (head knowledge), I don’t often live like it’s true (heart knowledge). This life I’ve been blessed with is not for me. Life is not a common thing. I know that sounds really strange…but what I mean is this: life isn’t something to be taken casually. It’s not the everyday thing we make it. It’s so much more than that! And it’s all for the sake of HIS Name, for HIS glory.
Society has us believing that we’re all starring in our own films, that there’s this dramatic soundtrack playing in the background of our lives, that we’re the hero, the underdog, the lead role. In reality, we’re just a fraction, of a fraction, of a nanosecond in God’s great story. This is all about Him and for Him and by Him. It has very little to do with us.
When I consider this Truth – that it’s all about Him – I wonder why it was ever easy for me to forget about the Lord. I wonder why it was ever easy for me to forget about His suffering on the Cross, His agony, His death. I wonder why it was ever easy for me to forget the greatest, most glorious miracle to ever occur in the history of time: His Resurrection. How is it that I forget so easily? Yes, life is busy. Life is always busy. There will always be something to do, something you’ve forgotten to do, something you never seem to have the time to do. But how is it that I let myself become so consumed with this temporary, fleeting, fraction, of a fraction, of a nanosecond life, that I forget what it means to be Ransomed?
Well, Chandler says it clearly here:
Pride. Oh, us humans. When will we ever learn? Our pride is, and will always be, our greatest downfall. All those times I tackled my to-do list from morning to sunset, all those times I was just too tired, too sick, too lazy, too busy thinking of another excuse – all those times I choose something, someone before God were moments I declared to the world that I preferred the absence of God.
How shameful, how disappointing, how dishonoring to the Lord. But how common, how casual – we’ve made this an everyday thing.
So now what? Do we throw ourselves a pity party for coming to this sad conclusion? Do we continue living this way, content with knowing that forgiveness and grace are available to us for exactly this reason? Do we beat ourselves up for not being perfect? Do we justify our actions because we are imperfect? What do we do?
Well. We get up, dust ourselves off, get real with ourselves and with God, and try again. We try to sincerely transform that head knowledge into heart knowledge. We find ways to remind ourselves that this is God’s story, not ours. And thus, everything to do with Him – quiet time, church, serving others, meditating on the Word, spending time in prayer – all of these things are more important than anything and everything else in this world. Instead of giving Him the leftovers (or nothing at all), let’s give Him the best portions of our time and energy. Whether that means waking up at 5AM every morning or carving out a piece of the afternoon and dedicating it completely to the Lord – whatever it looks like for you, I hope that you will join in me in trying to stay focused on the “big picture.”
Our fraction, of a fraction, of a nanosecond on the big screen must be made much of, regardless of how small it really is. And the only way to make much of such little is in and through Him – He is our Strength. We are a forgetful people. The Israelites forgot how the Lord provided for them all throughout the course of their journey in the wilderness (and even after that). Just like that, we often forget His faithfulness in our lives. We forget that we are a Ransomed people. We forget that life isn’t all that important without the one who IS Life. So let’s make a decision. Right here, right now, to fix our eyes on the Lord always and to never, ever forget that this is all for Him.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.