Monday, November 16, 2020

Thinking Inside The Box

Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.’” – Isaiah 55:6-11

I am certain that you have heard the saying, “thinking outside the box”.  The idea being that you have to look at a situation from a different perspective to come up with a solution or new understanding.  As Christians, as born-again-by-the-Spirit people, our challenge it to view life, the events in our life time – all of the events and eternity beyond from God’s perspective.  A friend of ours passed away suddenly this past weekend.  A shock to all who knew her.  A wonderful Christian woman.  We had not seen her very often for the past few months because of COVID.  She had just had gall bladder surgery a week or so ago.  We were planning to take her a meal – her favorite – that day, but she did not answer her texts or phone.  We never imagined it was because she has passed away. We live our lives and then, one day, our live on this earth is over.  We had a power outage yesterday – in fact 22,000 families had a power outage. I was looking at my computer screen and then the screen when dark. Just like that – in the blink of an eye. That is what life on this earth is like.

So what is my point. It is not about the death of our friend, although we will miss her. It is about understanding life on earth from inside God’s box.  Seeing life the way that He sees life on this planet.  According to the 2010 census, at that time seven (7) percent of the population was between 65 and 74. Four (4) percent of the population was between 75 and 84. One and a half (1.5) percent was between 84 and 94.  Do you see a trend?  Our friend was 63. My sister who passed recently was 72. It is so important for us Christians to view this life from God’s perspective and not the world’s. 

“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,”  – Hebrews 9:27

God has told us that life on this planet is for a season. That we are all going to die one day. He does not tell us how, where, or when – just that it is inevitable. My intent is not to focus on death this morning – but turn your focus toward God. God who offers eternal life through His Son. God who formed us from dust. Who spoke the  universe into being. The God who never changes.  The God who loves us. To see that our existence is more than a statistic or an obituary or a head stone.  Most people spend most of their lives trying to scratch out a living. For some they wonder where their next meal will come from. For others, they wonder if their investments will be enough to support their lifestyle until they die.  Perhaps their children are wondering if their will be anything left for them. Our nature is to view our lives from inside a worldly box – with a natural understanding. But – as Christians, God, through His word, encourages us to see life from His perspective. To think inside His box and to live our natural lives with that perspective.

Then He [Jesus] spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’” – Luke 12:16-20

My point is not about death and it is not about having money or not having money.  My point is that no matter what happens in this life – there is a bigger story -  a greater context. There is more than the circumstances that, when added up, represent our lives on this planet.  God not only asks us to see life differently, He enables us to do it – but that won’t happen unless we draw close to God by faith. Our lives are filled with joy and sorrow. Sometimes fear of what might happen. But it is possible to live above all of that. Not denying the reality our natural lives but resting in the power of our spiritual nature.  I wish I were a better writer so I could make this clearer than I have. These are hard times that we face – but God is greater.  I will end this with a word from Proverbs. Something to pray on. God’s encouragement to think inside His box.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.” – Proverbs 3:5-8 

You won’t regret it if you do, but you will if you don’t!

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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