Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Do Not Comprehend Everything About You, But I Know Christ Within You

When I was a junior in high school I received the amazing opportunity to travel to Europe and visit for ten days. It was one of the best adventures of my life. While there, one evening the group of peers I was with was out exploring and we ran into another crowd who was also there from the States. Though we were not acquainted with these individuals, we shared something in common...we were from the same country and immediately there was a comfortable feeling of familiarity. I reckon the same came be said in reference to the body of Christ.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20. ESV.)

It is such a blessing and relief to have the unconditional love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) and support of brothers and sisters in Christ especially during the times in this vapor of a life (James 4:14) when I need their loving, gentle, biblical guidance most. I have witnessed amazing things happen when the body has come together as a unit and God's grace, mercy, and work was there (Matthew 18:20). A lady in the community was holding a fund raiser for a family dear to my heart. The goal set was $10,000.00. The ladies bible study of which I was a part joined in the effort. I attended planning meetings with one or two other ladies from the church plus a few from around the area. We spearheaded the endeavor and a number of individuals collectively prayed for God's blessing. Needless to say, the event was a huge success. The amount of participants was low and the weather less than favorable (which caused skepticism in the minds of some) however, God provided! The total raised well surpassed the goal. And if memory serves it sat roughly around the $14,000 - $15,000 mark (give or take). GOD has NO DOUBT about what we NEED and all are His servants (Psalm 119:91).

I have heard it asked, "Why isn't the God of the bible the God of today?" I can tell you with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY from experience that He is the same God of yesterday, today, and forever. If a person wants to see Him at work they need only to look around (and not assume they are wiser than Him). If God pulls you into a situation you do not understand or cannot discern how to handle, pray for wisdom (James 1:5) and seek God's will not that of your own or of the flesh. For example, (I don't usually watch television much but I did view a "What Would You Do" piece where a woman was sitting on a park bench minding her own business when a group of young adults came over and started harassing the woman and verbalizing hurtful, offensive, derogatory statements about the women's weight. Passersby were observed to distinguish who would intervene and who would turn a blind eye and leave the victim to fend for herself. This, of course, was a staged circumstance using actors but the emotions involved were real.

I feel God places us in specific circumstances to teach us more about ourselves. Are we as wise and compassionate as we think and say we are? Do we know His character and His word as well as we give ourselves credit and lead others to believe? When the world looks at us do they notice Christ or "white washed tombs" (Matthew 23:27)? If I was a betting woman (which I'm not...usually) I would have lost a fortune wagering on what I thought to be true. For example, I went through a church "split" once. (I am not bringing this up to stir up strife or speak of one side or the other…but rather to give an illustration. No offense intended.) And, I gambled and lost (figuratively speaking) on what I conceived was going to happen. (I did not have all the FACTS nor did I walk in the shoes of each human being really, I did not have much on which to base my FEELINGS.) My tribulation has been a similar test. God did things contrary to what I imagined He would (Isaiah 55:8) and brought people in and out of my life completely and utterly different than I presumed. But His ways and timing are PERFECT…so unlike my own.

We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. (Romans 6:6. ESV.)
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