Good Morning Brothers…
“How can that be fun?”, my wife asked.
“What do you mean?”, I answered.
“You guys were sitting on the frozen ground, under a picnic table, in the snow, with the wind blowing, waiting on the geese to come in to the pond. I just don’t see the fun in that.”
“Well…we got our limit.”
“But how is that fun?”
At this point I realized the ground I occupied wasn’t connected to the ground my wife occupied. Nothing I could say would adequately explain why sitting on the frozen ground in the snow hunting geese was fun. I’m not sure ‘fun’ is how I would describe it. Forced to summarize it in one word, I might choose words like ‘exhilarating’ or ‘awesome’…but probably not ‘fun’. This whole conversation got me to thinking about a verse in 1 Corinthians 1:18 which says, “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Now please understand, I am not calling my wife foolish. I am drawing a connection between understanding something at a deep internal level versus understanding something at a shallow surface level. The unsaved view the cross as foolishness. They will never be able to understand the virgin birth, the perfect sacrifice, or the empty tomb without the power of God. Meaning…nothing we can ever say will logically reason somebody into salvation. It is only with the power of God exerting an influence upon someones life can salvation be possible. God is able to communicate His truth in such a way that all the objections go away and all the questions get answered. This divine communication should continue even after salvation is bestowed because further questions will come up. This is why our journey is called a ‘walk’ and not a ‘stand’ or an ‘arrival’.
I really like what Paul says in his letter to the Colossians, chapter 3, verses 1 through 4, “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”
I see a lot of Christians who seem to get stuck. Who seem to get caught in a rut and can’t figure out what’s wrong. I like to ask questions like, “Have you been reading scripture? Have you been praying with diligence?” Usually the answer is in those two questions. Paul gets right to the heart of the matter when he says, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” If we are living in ‘tension’ between the physical and spiritual (see last weeks post), then we are taking care of our responsibilities in the physical world but are ever focused on Christ. If we are not living in ‘tension’, then we have times of focus on our physical life and times of focus on our spiritual life. We are like a yo-yo that bounces back and forth between worship and praise of our Lord and complete indifference to Him.
What Paul says in verse 4 of the passage above should help us with the proper perspective, “When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”
“Who is our life…”
Christ is our life. Our life is Christ. Without Christ we have no life.
Remembering this…causes us to dig in anew to His word. Remembering this…causes us to pray with diligence. Remembering this…helps us understand why the unsaved regard us as weak minded fools. My wife will never understand why I like to spend hours outside in the cold, following tracks above tree line with a thunderstorm rolling in, or wading through a creek with a pocket full of minnows and a trout line. Likewise, the unsaved of this world will never understand us…unless they see the supernatural in us. If they lay witness to our kind words instead of bitterness; our helpful hands instead of preferential indifference; or our single minded devotion to the King of Kings…they will start to wonder what is wrong with us an eventually they will ask. When they do, remember Paul’s words from Colossians 4:5-6, “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”
Notice Paul emphasizes the way we should respond and not what we should say. The unsaved whom have the courage to ask, will remember our tone of voice, our body posture, the smile on our face, the ease by which we answer…far longer than any profound thing we say. When we are living in the ‘tension’ of two worlds, we communicate the spiritual to the physical. We communicate God’s love, God’s mercy, and God’s grace by how we answer the question. We communicate by all of these little cues, that it is Christ who lives in us…because He is our life.