Have you ever had one of those God-moments that leaves you breathless and purposed in a matter of seconds? I tend to weigh my options. I tally the numbers, count the pros and cons, imagine the outcome and picture future consequences. Needless to say, making decisions takes a very long process. I take the time to present my thesis and research my motives. My briefcase is filled with files, my mind is alert and my heart leaps for the chance to present my case.
However, as I’m presented before the judge, my mouth goes dry and my mind goes numb. I search my files and they’re blank. I’m left dumb and mute before my God. “You Can’t Get Water From A Rock.” The words echo around the courtroom, resting their presence on the center of my soul. A boulder is placed before me and a mallet is pressed between my fingers. I seek the eyes of God, desperately searching for the point to this exercise. He points towards to the rustic stone and I begin to melodically hammer away. The stone is carved and shaped, but the water has yet to flow through my hands. I rest my calloused fingers and take a breath. “Is there a point, God? I’m tired. This is mindless. I’ll never reach water from this rock.”
THIS IS YOUR PURSUIT! My hands trembled and the mallet fell from my grasp. The sweat poured down and my fingers bled with pain. Each splintered edge revealed my soul’s direction. I had been chasing after water from rocks. My disappointment and frustrations. My hopes and prayers. Each obstacle had become an athletic challenge. I was determined to change their minds. I was confident that they would one day accept me. I was sure that my strength could shape their gaze, but as I stared at the stone wall before me, I realized that Christ bled for my weakness. He was stained with blood for my insecurity. His back was calloused from a splintered cross. His body ached for one sip of water. His wrists were pierced with rusted nails. With each breath they drew the mallet up high; as the crowd echoed their shouts of hatred, “Crucify Him. Crucify Him.” Jesus echoes His words upon my chaos and declares, John 7:38 “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”
A splintered cross and nail pierced hands brought me life.
I have learned the meaning of grace and the gospel of Christ. Sometimes, when you come to salvation in Christ at a young age, you miss out on the greatest glimpse of the fullness of Christ’s sacrifice. I understood that God had purposed me, and I understood that God desired holiness from me, but I lacked the understanding that God desired fellowship with me. He does not wait until I’m clean enough, good enough, or equipped enough, but reveals His promises to me to reveal His strength in the midst of my weakness. One of the most beautiful pictures of Grace is found in John 12:1-8:
1-3 Six days before Passover, Jesus entered Bethany where Lazarus, so recently raised from the dead, was living. Lazarus and his sisters invited Jesus to dinner at their home. Martha served. Lazarus was one of those sitting at the table with them. Mary came in with a jar of very expensive aromatic oils, anointed and massaged Jesus’ feet, and then wiped them with her hair. The fragrance of the oils filled the house.
4-6 Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples, even then getting ready to betray him, said, “Why wasn’t this oil sold and the money given to the poor? It would have easily brought three hundred silver pieces.” He said this not because he cared two cents about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of their common funds, but also embezzled them.
7-8 Jesus said, “Let her alone. She’s anticipating and honoring the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you. You don’t always have me.”
Grace is meant to be poured out. It is not a onetime eye-opening experience that enters us into the embrace of Christ, but a never-ending fountain of blessing that refreshes us while we walk with Christ. God longs to lavish His love on us. The greatest honor we can give to our Savior is a life of desperation and a heart of compassion. Let my love for Christ be deeper than my plans to worship Christ.
Do we struggle to find our place in this world or do we walk into it?
Lately, I’ve been amazed at the grace of God and the fullness of all that holds for me. Is it simply a breathe amongst the chaotic struggle of finding my life’s purpose, or is it an abiding rest that leads my decisions and guides my steps?
Paul encourages the church to work out their salvation with trembling; however, what does this truly mean? Philippians 2:12 reads, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” The Strong’s Dictionary defines the word, (WORK) κατεργάζομαι as, “to work fully, i.e. Accomplish; by implication, to finish, fashion — cause, to (deed), perform, work (out).”
Many of us confuse the concept of grace and either fall into a legalistic downfall or a liberal declaration of excuse. Both are incorrect. Paul beckons the church to realize that there is a responsibility to be transformed by the power and grace of God; however, this is only accomplished when we yield our lives into the hands of the Father. Our part is surrender so that the fullness of God can be displayed! He desires to FINISH the work that He started within us. This is what Paul defines as worship!
Be encouraged today! You have been called to be a City on a Hill and a Picture of the Glory of God.
Why is it more difficult to yield to the purposes of God than to struggle in your strength? I look forward to reading your response!
Lord, give us a courageous faith! Give us an expectancy
that is beyond our wildest dreams. Lord, let us be a church that is
a revelation of your heart and a partaker of your plans. Shake us.
Mold us. Send us. Give us a boldness that proclaims your love and
provides your grace. We want to be a generation marked by the
unyielding love of Christ! Set our lives in action!