Thursday, April 7, 2011

But How Are You Really Doing?

March 30, 2011

Although I repeatedly answer by saying "God is good and that's what counts", it is inevitably followed up with "Yah, but how are you really doing? It's okay to cry, you should be grieving, don't you miss him, you don't have to pretend to be strong for us, you can't really be doing good when your son just died, it seems fake." Well people, I don't know how else to be except how God has us right now. I laughed after I pondered the fake comment~ not sure how I could fake being happy to hundreds of people and myself and my immediate family for so long without cracking somewhere. Of course I am crying, he is my son. Of course I miss him, he is my son. Of course I am grieving, he is my son. I am a people pleaser at the core so could easily find myself pretending for other's sake, but more than being a people pleaser God is turning me into a God pleaser first. If I am pretending I am pretending to myself pretty good, too, because every morning I have woke up since the accident the first words on my lips are "Thank you, God, that Trent is in heaven." And at the end of the day it is still my son that is not here~ what good would it do to pretend away that fact?

But honestly~ God is good and that's what counts. We are trusting in His plan for this. Odd, I know, call us kooks, but we really do believe every word in the Scripture. Especially the passages that talk about God's sovereignty, salvation, heaven, that this world will pass as a shadow, eternity is a long, long time and God really does have a grand plan to glorify His name in all of this. My dear Christian sister and brother, do we believe the Bible or do we not? Is there anything that escapes God? Could He not have prevented this if He wanted to? Does He really ordain the day of our death or not? Is heaven better than this world? Can we really trust what God does with our lives? Doesn't He promise peace and strength to His children as they obey Him and cling to Him, even in hard times, especially in hard times? Why then are we such an oddity? What if all that God promises only comes true? Doesn't He promise to never leave us or forsake us? Doesn't He promise peace like a river when we obey His commands? Let our oddity in rejoicing over God's plan be a wake up call to believers and non-believers alike.

To the non-believers to stop and consider the day of their own death when they, too, will meet their creator. There are no second chances and there are no guarantees to the number of days we think we are entitled to on this earth. It is only by Jesus that we are saved and able to enter heaven, and I understand Hell is not a fun place to be. Last I heard we are all guaranteed to die unless that trumpet call comes first.

To the believers~ wake up. Please wake up. Why do we think that God is entitled to give us cotton candy and pony rides during our passing days on this earth? Do you not understand that you are on enemy territory? This is a fallen world ruled by Satan himself. Do you not understand that you cannot sit idle in the midst of a war? Do you not realize that there are high costs and the casualties will hit close to your heart? Where in scripture are we guaranteed a spot on the Lazy Boy recliner while the battle is being fought? Are you fighting? Do you realize the enemy is outside your door, even in your own home, in your living room, in your heart? Sin is crouching and longs to master you dear one. Where will you turn in the day of your own testing if you have not built your foundation now? What God are you serving? Are you serving the God of the Bible? Do you know Him? Do you know His word and His promises and His warnings? He's not kidding. One day it will be you who stands before His throne.

He has offered freedom my friends. Freedom from our sins, freedom to serve Him, freedom to suffer for Him because it brings Him glory in a way we cannot understand this side of heaven. Choose this day whom you will serve because it has eternal consequences. This freedom is only found in the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. There is no other way. If He is beckoning today answer today because there may not be another tomorrow or another beckoning. Wake up, please, wake up.

Do you know what God requires to enter heaven? Perfection according to His standards. He considers hatred to be murder. He considers lust to be adultery. He does not share His glory with whatever idol we create. We have become masters in denying our own sinfulness, but God sees through it and hasn't forgotten. For all have sinned (yes, even you and me babe) and fallen short of the glory of God. There is nothing we can do in and of ourselves to make ourselves right with God. The only hope is to beg Him to save our wretched selves. And He says He will.

God says all who call on the name of Jesus Christ, those who believe in His name and what He did on the cross, will be saved. Our sins were layed upon the very son of God on that cross so He could become the perfect sacrifice that God required for payment and forgiveness that we may enter His presence. But it's not about raising your hand at the camp fire to accept Jesus into your heart. He also says you need to deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow Him, no matter the cost.

What does this mean without the "christianese"? It means you give it all up. Your pride in saving yourself, your plans for your own idea of the perfect American lifestyle, your own ideas of God, you must surrender all. It means letting God lead in His way, letting Him be Lord over your life, letting Him forgive you.

But, oh, how deep our sin and our pride goes. How we would rather stubbornly hold onto our own ways and our own plans and shake our fist at God than let His plan for salvation be so easy. Rather than seeking the Bible for learning who this God is we have replaced Him with a wealth and health gospel and the latest book or idea. Rather than a sovereign God who is coming again to judge the world for all her sins we have created a Santa Claus in the sky grandfather who winks at our sins. God says He loves His children, but He will not tolerate their sin.

Is He sanctifying you? Are you becoming more like Christ as layed out in Scripture? Search your hearts and know where you are with God. Only those who endure to the end will be saved. May we be willing to fight the good fight at all costs and bring honor to our God by holding onto His word. Wake us up Lord that we might reveal you to this dark world.

The Romans road to salvation:

Romans 3:23; 3:10-18; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9; 10:13; 5:1; 8:1; 8:38-39