life savings

Posted: September 4, 2009 in Uncategorized

Of course Moses relying on his own resources and resourcefulness would not be man enough to accomplish the tasks God had given him. But God was not sending Moses to Egypt alone. God would go with Moses and as a result the miraculous would become reality. God would turn Pharaoh’s heart of stone. The Israelites would plunder the riches of Egypt. God would rescue the captive slaves. He would part the very seas to do it. This is not just a fairy tale story God has not changed. He is still working the same way today. Love is calling! God is calling us out to do things that we could never achieve if He doesn’t go with us. But that is just it! God is going to change the world. This is a certainty! The amazing thing is this, He wants us to do it with Him. God is moving and He wants to know if we want to go with Him. Do we? LOVE is calling. Will we answer?
We cannot focus on our limitations because we will never feel strong enough or wise enough. In fact if we do feel adequate for the task then we better beware! Proverbs 16:8 warns us, “Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.” The secret to being strong is actually counterintuitive. It is the opposite of all our natural inclinations. Strength is only found in recognizing how weak we are. When we realize how week we are we see how severely we need Jesus. Jesus answered the Apostle Paul’s prayer for strength with this response, “He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Strength is a gift. It is a gift that God graciously gives to those who recognize they need it. The longer we attempt to live independently from God the weaker we become.
As I am writing this paragraph I am sitting in my favorite coffee shop. Just a few moments ago my laptop started flashing for my attention. The battery was drained, running dangerously low and soon the computer was threatening to shut down on me. I scrambled through my bag for the cord, plugged it in and I was back in action. Our human spirits are engineered the same way. We are designed to live intimately connected with God. Sure we can ignore the flashes, push the boundaries, but eventually a shut down will occur. Some of us have experienced “shut downs” in our lives. Maybe years of work are lost. File after file of memories are lost in vain. Everything that we strived for and hoped to accomplish disappeared in the crash. It could have been a failed marriage? Maybe it was a lost job? A broken friendship? A financial struggle? Death of a loved one? Everything goes black around us. We come to stark realization that we have spent weeks, months, or maybe years living apart from Jesus, disconnected from the source of life. How do we reboot our lives? For starters, we need to reconnect with the source of life, Jesus. It may be just that simple. Just like my computer, it will never come back on until I plug it in, but when it does, everything is still there ready to go. The times that I feel the weakest are the times I have to make sure that I am connected to the source of my strength. Jesus is there waiting to give me what I need for the tasks ahead.
A few years ago I was experiencing one of those rare moments away from everything. I was trekking up hill through an emerald green forest in the North Carolina mountains. I nestled down on a creek side rock. I quieted my busy mind. I listened to the water trickle bubble over the moss covered stones in the stream. I had carried my Bible and a notepad with me. I was longing to “plug” into Jesus after a few months of running hard. This day the passage that leapt off the page was Ephesians chapter two. My mental stream started flowing from verse 8, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” I couldn’t get over the realization that my last few months of striving calculated very little into God’s equation. It was God’s gracious gift that got me to salvation. It was not from myself. Nothing I have done, am doing or could potential do would produce what I needed most, I need to be saved. SALVATION is a gargantuan word! It is light-years larger than simply escaping eternal damnation. At virtually ever layer of my being, every fiber of my existence, with every breath I take, desperately I need to be rescued- again and again lead away from my misguided tendencies and foolish wanderings. “Being saved” is just that- is the state of “BE-ing” saved over and over again. Sure I can say that I have been saved. I can say that I will be saved, but in the everyday, moment by moment instances of my life I am being saved again and again. God grace is not just the jump start I need to get my spiritual engine running, it is the essential fuel that powers every piston movement of my being.
So here I am sitting with numbing toes baptized into this cool mountain stream wondering where had the last few months of life gotten me. God’s grace was my salvation when I started and it’s my will be my salvation to cross the finish line. Should I have not run so hard? Maybe, maybe not, but here is the question, “How much of our running, heavy breathing, and worried hearts are birthed from our false belief that we can save ourselves if we just try harder?” Our salvation, our rescue, our victory will only come through God’s grace- “it is not from yourselves.” There is a frantic panicky anxiety I feel when I believe it is all up to me. There is a deep relaxing peace I feel when I trust that God’s got it covered. The reality never changes- God is always in control, His grace is always there, but it sure helps my personal sanity when I see life from His perspective.
My daughter has a piggy bank. A real one, a pink ceramic pig wearing a princess crown. Occasionally she’ll find a buried treasure in our couch, keep the change from the snow cone shack down the street, or hit the jackpot with a whole dollar from the toothfairy. Occasionally she’ll count her loot- nickels, dimes, and quarters. When the calculations are complete the dreaming begins- “What could I buy with this fortune?” Barbees, another stuffed critter, ice cream? The possibilities are endless as her imagination but one thing is for sure- that money is not meant to stay inside that piggy’s belly forever. Eventually it has to come out to purchase something. Even little girls know that you don’t save things just to keep them saved. God has not saved us just to keep us saved either. Jesus went to extreme lengths to purchase our lives and rescue for His kingdom. It is not his plan to keep us in the piggy bank. He has something He wants to do with us. Let’s read on past Ephesians 2:8 to verse 10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” There are a couple of truths I observe from this verse: First, we are saved to be somebody. Second, we are saved to do something.

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