Read His Words Before Ours!
It’s an invitation as ancient as the beginning of time, gathering intensity and fervency as it rolls through the ages. Ever so gradually, the curtains have been drawn back by the hand of the Ancient of Days, allowing more light to slowly color the invitation with ever-deepening hues of brilliancy and splendor.
True. In the arena of life, many sit in the audience, blithely conversing with their neighbor, caught up in the distractions of circumstance, utterly oblivious to the array of color and exuding joy sweeping around them.
What of these theatre seats?
What of the lighting?
Can you believe this horrible service?
Look at her! How did she get in here?
Some are gathered in pools of their own tears, awash in a grief so deep and terrifying, onlookers feign ignorance, blocking out pleas for compassion.
Some, shifting in dark shadows, lie in wait to attack the innocent, hell-bent on satisfying their own lustful desires of all kinds.
Still, the invitation awaits acceptance for all who listen.
A lush garden. Perfect paradise sweeping across every butterfly antenna, every snail’s slime, every particle of rich dirt, and every blade of grass. Light cascades across each drop of dew and breezes frolic among the bushes laden with glistening fruit.
Follow Me. The Spirit breathes as delight and laughter embrace hearts and lift them to the Father who loves them. And delight they do in Abba, in each other, in the stunning creation around them. The invitation holds steady, winsomely inviting them ever deeper into knowing God in richer, more resplendent ways.
An aging, childless man walks through his ordinary days, at first unaware of the seeping light, gathering momentum in the space of his everyday life. The holy invitation is coming for him. The fruit of his labors and that of his father, and his father before him, are everywhere. Sheep and goats far too numerous to count. The richest of foods at his disposal. Servants at the ready, listening for his every beck and call. Success is his, as evidenced by his respect at the city gate and position of influence. The invitation brightens in the call of whole-life surrender, Follow Me.
The stench of urine and wet fleece surrounds him on the crags of mountains and the sparse grasses of the rocky terrain beneath his calloused shepherd feet. He’s been hiding here for decades since he murdered a man in an act of zealous justice. He found shelter in the barrenness as he attempted to outrun the flames of his past. It was fine here, at least moderately so, living with the tentacles of his past strangling his heart in unending days of blistering sun and smothering silence.
Until the moment the grand invitation opened his 80-year-old eyes to see the brilliance drawing him in. The heat from the fiery proposal scorched his soul, burning away the past in the blaze of a holy encounter with the Living God. What once was dead, what once was scarred, what once lay in ashes, now suddenly quickened to life by the wooing invitation. Follow Me.
None who followed were ever the same.
Each journey became an astonishing beacon of the life into which the follower was welcomed.
Ordinary lives drawn into Light ablaze with vitality, now turned extraordinary.
Mundane lives actively awash with Life, now flooded with purpose.
The victim and the offender, the broken and the angry, the calloused and the crying, all.
All swept up into the un-ending luminosity of the incredible invitation.
the Spirit’s voice crashes like so much water cascading over falls, Follow Me.
Come away and walk in the purpose for which you have been crafted.
Discover the thrill of joy rushing beneath the current of your everyday lives.
Available, this sweeping joy is oh, so available.
The cost is surrender.
The reward is the richest of joys and satisfying delights that escalate with ever-increasing hues of rapture as we know Christ more and follow Him closer.
Jesus Christ, God the Son, through whom stands the invitation to return to the sacred garden space of delight with God the Father.
He saw our shadowed selves, lying in wait for another’s demise.
He saw the shards of brokenness tattering our existence.
He knew full well it was our fault we sat in the theatre of life, insisting on our own twisted fascination with upholstery and self-service while the glory of the Almighty shimmered before us.
He knew we would turn away with mockery and disinterest.
He knew our sin-nature would make us love our sin more than the Savior.
Still, He came.
Intending to give His life as the necessary sacrifice to span the too-wide chasm between us and a loving God, gulfed by our own sin-loving-selves.
He came, knowing it would cost His total surrender,
but recognizing the reward would be calling us His own daughters and sons.
The cost would be surrender.
The reward would be unending delight and satisfaction in calling us His own.
Are you in?
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!