“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bondage or Heaven Bound?

I heard a story this week about a mother who went to talk to her pastor about her son. She was concerned because he was not living a "Christian" life. He wasn't attending church... but "she was certain that her son knew Jesus." At that point the pastor stopped the woman, and in the most loving way he could deliver this harsh truth, he informed her that her son could not know Jesus. There is no way for someone to truly Know Christ and not be radically changed by His amazing love. 

"For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God." (Romans 8:13-14)

That point really resonated with me. Don't we all want to think that OUR loved ones will be in heaven... or even that WE will be with Jesus forever. Are we fooling ourselves? 

"But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves." (James 1:22) 

During my Church's Bible Study our pastor was talking about the book of Jeremiah. Sometime during the discussion he mentioned that when his grandfather was dying, his grandmother said to her husband, well I hope I see you on the other side. She really didn't know if she would, and she wasn't about to fool herself into thinking that although his life showed no fruit of the Christian life, that he would go to heaven just because he was family.

I have found that when I hear a theme repeated to me, it's time to write. God must know I have a hearing problem because when He wants to get my attention He doesn't just say something once, it becomes evident in multiple aspects of my life. After hearing this idea of fooling ourselves into thinking we are going to heaven twice within a week, I guess the Holy Spirit was urging to write about this...

It's truly a strange paradox that we spend our lives and literally spend our livelihood on worrying about every tiny detail, except about how that relates to our eternity. We assume the worst, "he doesn't like me" "I'll never find a job" "I'm not smart enough" "will my kids go to college" ...but when it comes to heaven, we all think "yeah, I'm going to heaven". 

We want control over the things we have no control over, but negate the responsibility that we DO have control over. The circumstances of our lives, the opinions of others, the disasters and other issues are God's realm. Give Him control and stop worrying! On the other hand, we have control of our hearts and our decision to turn our hearts and plans toward Him. He gives us that freedom, that freewill, but we just say "God willing". Ohhhh how the Devil is the same today as he always was. The same sin, the same prideful thoughts clouded Adam and Eve's decision. They too had the ability to decide to live life hand-in-hand with the Lord, but the Enemy seduced them into thinking they should have MORE say, more "understanding". 

"That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life--whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing?" (Matt 6:25)

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matt 6:34) 

"We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne." (Hebrews 12:2) 

As always, our amazing God has given us the solution! Oh how blessed we are to always have an escape from the bondage that we have tied ourselves in! Ask him to free you from worry and then focus your life on eternity; give your life's issues to the Holy Spirit daily. Make your decisions the way Jesus did and remind yourself that each day matters. Each day has an effect on your eternity and live with the end in mind. Surrender to Him and you shall be Free! ....But Beware... the world will fight you on this! It will tell you that you should have control, that surrender is a dirty word and that this "plan" doesn't make sense... but that's just it, it Doesn't make worldly sense, it makes eternal sense. So anyone focused on the world will never understand the plans of someone focused on eternity.

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2)

"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Phil 3:12-14) 

Reflection Question: Are you in Bondage to this world or are you focused on being Heaven Bound?