Paul taught the Corinthians (The Message translation), “Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in His death so that everyone could also be included in His life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong…we certainly don’t look at Him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and Him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other…God has given us the task of telling everyone what He is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives…” (2 Cor. 5:14-19)
Included in a resurrection life. That seems to be an important part of life’s puzzle that often gets left off to the side by itself, not quite seeming to fit in any of the spaces we see. Perhaps that’s because we just aren’t seeing Jesus in the spaces….or, sometimes, even as part of the puzzle pieces.
To the Romans Paul explained, “for you who welcome Him, in whom He dwells…you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, He’ll do the same thing in you that He did in Jesus, bringing you alive to Himself?” (Romans 8:10-11, The Message)
I suspect there has been a general devaluing of “life on God’s terms,” because we have been deceived into believing that experiencing “life on God’s terms” is reserved for someone else – not ourselves. Yet this is “circular thinking,” for the more we search out “those people,” the more we see someone whose sister we know, whose carpool we shared, whose husband hosted the last BBQ of the season. And so it becomes “normal” to be offended that a person we know in such commonplace arenas could be messengers to speak, embrace, release, or explain an insight or encouragement from the Lord. I believe this is a trap in which the enemy delights.
May the earthly “box” by which we define each other (and ourselves) be shredded apart and cast away, so that the testimony of our experience is not, “He didn’t do many miracles there because of their hostile indifference.”