In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth” - (Ephesians 1:7-10).
|Somewhere on the African Plains - Where's the road?|
Growing up on the periphery of the great Serengeti Plains was a fantastic privilege. If only I had my I-phone! Well, on second thought, I am glad I didn't have one because I have noticed a growing reliance on the thing. Not only am I obsessed with staying in constant communication with far too many people, but I am increasingly becoming more reliant on Siri’s voice in my ear bud to tell me how to get places!
Most of you may not see any problem with that, but too me it is a big deal. To understand, why let me take you back to my childhood in Tanzania. First, understand that in those days there were many times that the roads we traveled were nothing more than tire tracks across the Savannah, and at times even they would disappear. A game my father would play with me was once out in the middle of nowhere, he ask if I could find my way home. He was amused by my uncanny ability to get back to where we needed to be without the help of a map, compass or even an I-phone.
Truth be told, I have always had decent directionality, but the key to my success was that my father taught me to be aware of my surroundings. Therefore when you head out into the bush it was essential to be are aware of hills, trees, etc., so they can be used as points of reference to get yourself back.
To this day I use landmarks to remember where I am to the point that I often can’t tell you the names of the roads. But sadly, I am concerned I am starting to lose that skill. Yes, it may be the aging process, but I think it is because I get caught up in my thoughts and simply trust the voice in my ear bud to tell me where to go. The problem comes when Siri loses that essential GPS signal and all of sudden you have to figure out where you are! When you haven’t been paying attention and don’t carry one of those old fashioned paper maps, that’s a problem!
I have found that many of us live our spiritual lives in the same fashion. We get so caught in the present that when even a minor glitch occurs it is tremendously disruptive. No, this not the fault of all of our gadgets, but has been a problem since the Fall when sin polluted our lives and consequentially we gained a tendency toward self-absorption. The more into ourselves we become, the less we are aware of our surroundings and specifically for Believers the more we miss that God is doing something glorious. As a result we often feel spiritually lost, not know where we are, or what to do. We lose perspective.
However, the God of all grace who has forgiven His children of the all their trespasses, also promises grace to help us see the picture when all is lost. In fact, He lavishes us with wisdom and insight into what He is about. On the micro level that is an awareness of our sin, and His wealth of grace that covers every sin, past, present, and future. He has always loved us and always will! On the macro level it is that He has a plan that is being worked out right now for “the fullness of time”. Pause and think about that for a minute. God loved His children “before the foundations of the world” and has a plan that takes them through the “the fullness of time”. That is incredible!
This “fullness of time” began when Christ came to earth (Galatians 4:4), where He began a glorious re-creation process of taking us back to a big and better garden where there is a uniting or reconciling of all things in Christ. The new heavens and the new earth will be free of the consequences of a fallen world. In fact, ““For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now” (Romans 8:22).
Here is my point. As you look around please understand that if you are a Believer in Jesus Christ you are not lost! He has you in His hands, and as we will see in the next blog, He has given you something far superior to an I-phone to get you home! If you are looking around and are concerned that our world or our country is lost, please know that King Jesus reigns over all things and His kingdom is expanding right now! Nothing can stop it!
You are not lost, and all is not lost! Now that is good news!