Thursday, March 17, 2011

"The Vantage Point"

    (Thanks for the inspiration - and the joke - to my dear brother in Christ and friend Mark Cagle).
    A sloth was mugged by three turtles.  When questioned by police about the incident, he responded, "I don't know what to say.  It all happened so fast!"
    Life is about perspective, isn't it?  Certainly the life of faith to which God calls His trusting children in Christ involves looking at things from the vantage point of His truth and His dynamic working in all things.
     What if, for example, the blessings of life are primarily His direct gift to us rather than merely the product of happenstance, or our hard work, or the generosity of someone's kindness?  "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights" (James 1:17).
     What if the difficulties of life are either determined or allowed by God for His good purposes and our best interest rather than being the unfortunate product of fate, or the ill intentions of the world, the devil and the flesh?  "We glory in tribulation also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:3-5).
    And what if the mundane, everyday events of life are actually the arena of our Heavenly Father's loving presence and working to reveal His fulfilling life within us and by us unto others?  "He worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:11).
    Our perspective of life determines our experience of life.  If Biblical, and if formed and informed by the Holy Spirit, we can experience consistent joy, peace, assurance and ability to survive and thrive in all things.  If not, we can expect to live in a sense of shadowed darkness where God's glory is actually present.  But sadly, tragically, we will fail to see it.  "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not!"... "To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Genesis 28:16; Romans 8:6).
    God has determined or allowed our current condition, circumstance and situation.  Nothing happens in His universe apart from such providence.  Somehow, in the mystery of His wisdom, power and love, He works all things in accordance with the glory of the Lord Jesus, and the benefit of His trusting sons and daughters in Christ.  Remembering and affirming this truth fills our hearts to more fully enjoy the blessings of life, to more faithfully overcome the difficulties of life, and to more consistently realize that the mundane moments of life actually teem with the Divine presence of a fully engaged God.  We may not understand how or what He is doing.  But from the vantage point of "Surely the Lord is in this place," we can join Moses in the perspective of "seeing Him who is invisible" (Hebrews 11:27).  "Life and peace" will ensue, both for ourselves and for those encouraged by both our testimony and example of faith in the always present and active God of Scripture.
"We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."
(Romans 8:28)

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