Saturday, September 5, 2015

The escape we all long for

So many times we want to just escape – run away from the burdens of work, family obligations, to extract ourselves from complicated situations that we have no idea how we got ourselves into.  We may not always be thinking of it, but in the back our minds, it’s a constant dream.  

Trying to make that dream come true comes in varying manifestations.  To a large portion of the world, rich and poor, it’s escape through alcohol or substance abuse.  To others, it’s hobbies, sports or careers, and for those who can afford it, retail therapy and expensive vacations.  Some even use church busyness as an escape.  If they act really spiritual and really helpful, they can believe they’re doing so much good that they can ignore the negativity permanently ingrained in their own minds, which spills onto their families like battery acid.  They unwittingly contaminate their spouses and kids with thoughts of rejecting God. 

This world is so contaminated with evil that we’re not even conscious of how unhealthy the spiritual state around us is.  Like children raised in cities choked with pollution, we accept it as the only reality we know.  It’s become normal.  But every one of us feels a longing for freedom.  Our souls and spirits know that this is not what we were created for.  We yearn for God but few realize what the yearning is for. 

People who say they believe in God but don’t want to get carried away with spiritual things, are usually just self-labeled Christians.  They’re still looking for distractions, still searching for an escape through any sense of temporary relief, but no real relief comes.  They think they’re having a blast, having the time of their lives, but God is not welcomed to make His home in them.  God can’t live in bodies that just use His name as a label.  They need to be exclusively His.

All He asks is that we fully abide in Him, and that His word fully abides in us. (John 15:7)  That we live by His promises and commands.  That we hand over our lives to Him. Then He can lift us into another dimension, above the storms and evil and heartache.  And more than that, He’ll fully equip us to fight and win against the evil that attacks us.  He’ll enable us to beat back the demonic attacks on our lives and in our communities, cities and countries by our faith because we’ll know what kind of authority we have in Him.  We don’t have to hide from our world, we can change it.  Just learning about God’s authority and power is one thing.  When His Holy Spirit infills us, then we really KNOW His authority and can use it effectively.  

As we’ve taught in church for years, you can’t fill a dirty glass with clean water without contaminating everything.  Clean the glass.  Rid the vessel of your life of sin and attitudes that go against God’s commands.  Throw out the garbage that you’ve been harboring, the rottenness of grudges and pride, the refusal to cede control, the attachment to the world, the obsessive love of your own way of life.  Throw it all out. God won’t leave you empty and dry, like a dull robot programmed to mindlessly obey.  Remember, He’s the one who created this universe that flourishes with beauty and perfection from the microscopic level to the vast expanding galaxies in space.  He’s the one who can transform and equip you with the very best.  He wants to give you His own nature, full of everything good and perfect.  That’s the escape we all are longing for, and He’s holding it out to you to take right now.  

His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence, by which He has given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, so that through these things you might become partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.  (2 Peter 1:3-4 MEV)

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