Skip to main content

Not just another net

Keep on working to complete your salvation with fear and trembling, because God is working in you to help you want to do and be able to do what pleases him. (Philippians 2:12-13)

What work goes into 'completing' our salvation? Isn't everything complete in Christ? Isn't that what we are told in scripture - that his work on the Cross took care of all of our sin and made us right with God again? If this be the case, what 'work' do we have to engage in so that we will have a 'complete' salvation? I think we sometimes get 'salvation' mixed up in our minds as an 'action' done for us by another and nothing we have to do for ourselves. In a sense, this is correct. Salvation was accomplished by Christ and Christ alone. There is no other sacrifice that needs to be offered to make man right with God again. We do have to say "yes" to Jesus, though. We have to welcome him into our lives and begin to make choices directed and encouraged by his Holy Spirit who lives within. This is where the 'work' begins! We have to engage with the Spirit of God within us to no longer live according to our wants and wishes. Salvation involves a change in leadership - there is a changing of the guard, so to speak. A new ruler is on the throne and a new 'sentry' stands guard over our hearts and minds. 

When the 'exchange' of sin for grace begins to occur in our lives, we feel a sense of relief, almost like when we take off some tight shoes or jeans that barely buttoned. We get 'breathing room' given back to us in some sort of strange way. It isn't 'breathing room' or 'wiggle room' we can just use as we want to, though. Salvation makes us feel liberated, but liberated people still cannot live as they please. There are 'rules' and 'boundaries' inside which we live our liberated lives. If we take our liberty to the extreme and just do whatever appeals to us because we are 'secure in grace', we are living beyond the boundaries. If we begin to make choices that actually help us enjoy life while staying completely within the boundaries, we are using our 'liberty' as we were intended to use it. One of the toughest things we face is relinquishing control of the throne of 'leadership' in our lives and we oftentimes don't listen when the 'sentry' over our hearts and minds tells us to 'halt'! We just choose our own way.

Some obedience choices come easy to us - like not murdering or not committing adultery. There are others that come a little harder - like not gossiping, not speaking unkind words, and not having any other god before God Almighty in our lives. This is the place where the 'work' begins in salvation - keeping in 'check' the desire to be in control, giving over our regrets, envies, and misplaced trusts. We find the struggle to 'listen and obey' becomes real and we sometimes push against the boundaries to see how far we can stretch them without breaking them. It is like when we put up one of those bungee cord nets around a trampoline. We jump and hurl ourselves blindly into that netting, trusting that the net will stretch with us and not let us fall to our harm. What we don't realize is that the 'netting' we are trusting in is not at fault when it breaks - we are! We kept hurling ourselves at that same spot until the net just no longer presented any barrier to our falling.

Rather than hurl ourselves against the 'nets' of protection in our lives, maybe we should seek to understand why they are put there in the first place. They aren't there to be a thing we chafe against. They are there to be a thing we respect as providing safety and security. Keeping things out that belong out, keeping us safely within where we find his Spirit guiding us to live. Obedience will always be 'work' on our parts, no matter how much we respect the boundaries. We just need to remain consistent in vigilance to live within them, allowing the right leader to be seated on the throne right smack-dab in the middle of those boundaries. Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean

Doubt isn't a bad thing

I would like for you to consider for a moment what this journalist was attempting to share in his words: " Who never doubted, never half believed. Where doubt is, there truth is - it is her shadow ." (Ambrose Bierce) Have you ever doubted? Then it is suggested you were at least at the place of some form of belief. Have you ever considered what your doubt was attempting to reveal to you? Perhaps doubt is not a bad thing because it points us to consider the truth of a matter. Where doubt is - - - there truth is. It may be in the shadows, but it is there! We need only look a little closer and we will find truth has never been far from us.  The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy. The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes. God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold, with a lifetime guarantee. The decisions of God are accurate dow