Read His Words Before Ours!
My kids love puzzles! (and I love them because they’re a mostly quiet activity. :-0 )
I have kids who are perfectionists, kids with artsy minds, and kids with so much random energy that anything goes, but regardless of how they are wired, they all want to see the box top. They want to see what the outcome is supposed to look like, and then they go off in their own ways to make that happen.
We’ve talked a lot during this Journey Theme about what it means to live this redeemed life that Jesus has so richly given us, but what does the “box top” look like? What does my everyday look like as I’m chasing after this God who longs to continuously remake me to be more like Him?
Because, let’s be real, junk happens. A lot.
My everyday doesn’t look like Sunday worship, hands-in-the-air-awesome-I-love-you-Jesus, all the time. (uumm, sometimes my Sundays don’t even look like that!)
I’ve pasted on a smile while walking into church, right after speaking harshly to my family.
I’ve gotten angry at my kids during my quiet time.
I’ve skipped my quiet time….for months on end.
I’ve fought with the husband God has given me, and said/done mean things, forgetting that I am Christ’s first.
I’ve shown indifference, ignoring people I know are hurting, just because I’m selfish and too tired to “be a Christian”.
What does the redeemed, remade life look like then? Is God doing what I do when my kids are embarrassing me, and looking the other way? Yeah…I do that. I have one who loves to wave at strangers while I drive….and talk to them….loudly. Eyes rolling to the back of my head, Jesus, take me now!
Paul, the super apostle, had days that weren’t super Christian either. He felt weary, his insides were restless, and he battled an inner struggle of fear. But in the same breath that he makes these confessions, he praises God for something so interesting, for leading him in a parade of triumph.
I’m not a huge sports fan, I don’t know the rules of football, and can’t tell you what an error is in baseball, but when the Kansas City Royals won the World Series, I was all in! I stayed up late to watch the final games, bought Royals shirts for our kids, and when we took the pennant, I joined hundreds of thousands of Kansas Citians to watch the Royals’ victory parade. Yes, I dragged all 6 of my children, while I was pregnant, through a crowd of 800,000 to glimpse our “boys in blue”. And that’s all it was, a glimpse, but it was one neither I, nor my kids, will ever forget.
That image is what Paul references on the heels of his struggles and emotions, a victorious processional.
Thanks be to God, who in Christ, always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere.
God is leading us, in the middle of our everyday highs, lows, and mediocrity,
by the precious gift of Jesus, because we are His, in a parade of victory.
Who watches a parade?
Everyone around it; all the bystanders.
Who is watching God lead you?
Everyone around you, all the bystanders.
Those in the grocery store, those at church, the people on the street corner, the waitress at your table, the barista taking your order, the kids at your table, the spouse who shares your life, the people you call friends and those you call enemies, your in-laws, parents, and siblings.
Everyone in your sphere of influence has front row seats to God’s victory parade in you!
And here’s the best part, you aren’t leading it, He Is.
Whether you’re walking through dark days where you feel you can’t even lift your head, or whether you really are lifting hands in praise,
God is still leading you in victory.
Because He is working out the reality of the gospel in your redeemed life.
It’s so not picture perfect,
but it’s bringing Him glory because, while it’s not about us, He’s still working through us.
In the middle of our grieving, the middle of our ache, the middle of our discouragement, the God of all comfort is working so mightily in us that our everyday yuck is transformed into an aroma of the knowledge of Him as we lean into what He’s doing. He is transforming us into His own image, one degree of glory at a time.
We don’t have to know the front of the box image, He does, and that’s enough. I can’t manufacture or manage my own “becoming like Jesus”, because I would absolutely fail. What I can do, is lean in to what He is doing in and through me.
Communion with God, unity with fellow believers in the Body, and a willingness to share my story of what God is doing in me….
this is the redeemed life.
Real. Authentic. Remade.
It’s God putting the gospel on display, through my everyday, as He leads me ever deeper into the victory He knows is mine in Jesus Christ!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!