Do you remember being in school as a kid and looking forward to that last bell of the school year - when you knew school was out for those summer months and you were going to 'luxuriate' in all the fun and games summer offered? It was different hearing that final bell at the end of the school year than all those bells announcing the end of a school day, wasn't it? It had a sense of 'freedom' or 'liberty' that you were excited to embrace. It meant you were going to be able to sleep in, frolic in the pool, have sleep overs, and even perhaps enjoy a family vacation somewhere. If you were honest, you almost were giddy with excitement at the possibilities laid before you with all that freedom at your fingertips! I wonder if we feel that same sense of anticipation and almost 'giddiness' with our freedom in Christ - the place where we lay down all the stuff that burdened us and then launch off into a new found freedom. It is a place where we find ourselves being told to 'go ahead' and then 'keep going', but do we really move forward, or do we march in place right where we have been?
My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.
We have been given so much in Christ Jesus, but do we go ahead with it? Do we embrace it fully and then put it into application within our lives? For example, we are given the peace of Christ, but do we always live in perfect peace? We are given liberty from our past sins, but do we let go of them? To 'go ahead', we have to move forward. We cannot march in place! We have to realize we have all the 'rooting' we need - but we may still need to grow a little bit, right? Does that mean we don't move forward? No, the tree that is well-rooted doesn't just settle for being a seedling - it sprouts more growth and allows the development of the growth it already has until the size of the trunk is massive and the boughs of the tree spread wide. Why? That is the purpose of the rooting - to grow!
Most of us 'know our way around the faith' pretty well, but what do we do with what we have been given? If we are marching in place, we are not spreading the wealth of that faith! We are hoarding it all up for ourselves and that isn't God's plan for us. We are to put our faith into daily practice. That means we are to pray for each other, minister to each other's needs, and build each other up in the faith. It also means we are to allow the love of Christ to touch those the world might label as 'unlovely'. Many will say they are a little reluctant to move out in faith. They don't think they 'have enough' faith. Truth be told, we have 'heard the last bell' and school's out! It is time for some of us to begin to live in the liberty we have been given instead of focusing so much on what we don't think we have yet.
It is time for some of us to 'do what we have been taught' - to begin to live out the liberty we have been reading and studying about for quite some time. We don't actually understand the application of what we are studying until we are living with it being put to use in our lives daily. I never knew why I was forced to take Algebra in High School. It seemed like learning all those exponential equations was just kind of useless. I 'learned' how to solve for 'x', but did I realize how to actually use this type of equation in real life? Nope! Until one day in nursing school when a drug came up from the pharmacy and my instructor told me I needed to 'solve for x'. I looked at her in astonishment as she said I had this drug in this concentration and I needed this dose for the patient - solve for 'x'.
"X" became a whole new thing to me at that point! It is quite possible we have been learning all manners of things in Christ's school, but until we are 'living it out' in our daily faith walk, we won't know what the real use of our faith is! Just sayin!