Friday, July 20, 2012

More Than Conquerors

Life can get messy.  We can slip into a miry pit of despair; discover we're smack-dab in the midst of a spiritual battle; find ourselves drowning in sin; and barely remember the journey on how we got there.  A slow drift then blindsided by reality; circumstances beyond our control. One of my favorite songs right now is "I will rise" by Chris Tomlin. 

I will rise on eagle's wings
before my God fall on my knees
and rise, I will rise

The only way to rise above our circumstance - above the pain, hurt, disappointment, sin - to really soar - is on our knees in communication with our Savior.

Romans 8:28-39 NIV

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died —more than that, who was raised to life —is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (emphasis mine)

Verse 34.  Do you see who is pleading for us?   Jesus himself, sitting on His throne leaning into the Father asking on our behalf!  Glory!!  Not only did he lift believers up to the Father on earth prior to His death, (John 17:20-26) but He continues to intercede for us.  He's sitting with ear down, waiting for us to bow down.

God never promises we will sail through life on smooth waters.  On the contrary He promises persecution, trials and hardship.  But rest assured what He promises He has already overcome.  The battle is already won my friends.  He just asks us to remain faithful.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Romans 12:12 NIV

We can have joy and hope as Christ has already been victorious and this life is temporary.  We can pray in faithfulness knowing He hears, Jesus intercedes and the Spirit groans on our behalf.  But God's timing is God's timing and that rarely lines up with our own. Who am I to put a time limit on God's work?  I know He's not done yet.  I know He has a plan that is sovereign and His timing is perfect, but the waiting...the waiting is the hardest part.  And to stay faithful in the waiting is a challenge.  Isn't that what impatience really is?  A temporary lack of trust and faithfulness in Who He is?

Remember Romans 8:29?  " be conformed to the likeness of His Son."  It's during these times of waiting and testing that we truly begin to grow our Christ-like character.  We have an opportunity to grow and learn and ultimately conquer through Him.  Worthy is the Lamb!

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