February 1, 2008

Three realms? or only two?

A Christian woman complained constantly about her health and that she was never being able to find the right doctor. I suggested to her that she ask God to give her direction regarding medical care and also that she could ask the Lord to give her victory over all her aches and pains. She replied, “Oh that is spiritual and mine is a physical problem.”

I knew her fairly well and could see how in other areas she had separated her spiritual life from her physical circumstances. It was fine that God had forgiven her sin and given her eternal life, but she didn’t seem to experience Him making a difference in the here and now. She did not understand that He is interested and able to help His children with even the smallest details of life.

Last week I heard another woman describe how she was ‘connected’ to the spirit world, but she was not talking about the kingdom of God. She was into channeling and communicating with ‘spirits’ and lamented that she “felt sorry” for those who didn’t know about this realm. Her experience was not the light of God, but the kingdom of darkness ruled by Satan and his demons.

This morning’s devotional is about Christians who struggle all their lives with the cycle of sin-repent-sin-repent and never seem to get on top of things. I wonder if that is because they have unconsciously put God and eternal life in one compartment and this life and its trials in another. By keeping Him out of everyday issues, they seldom experience the glory of His sufficiency.

The Bible is filled with promises of God’s saving power. He delivered me from the penalty of sin by the death of His Son, my substitute who paid it for me. He is delivering me from the power of sin by the life of His Son, who lives in me and gives me that ability to repent after I sin, but not only that; He also gives me the power to become more like Himself and conquer some of those sins. They are no longer my masters; He is.

Aside from His promise to someday deliver me from the very presence of sin, His grace and love are available for everything else that life hands me. He promises to be with me and to help me over or through all trials. Nothing can separate me from Him. Romans 8:35-39 says:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The first woman I mentioned let everything separate her from the love of God. Her health did it, but also some notion that God wasn’t interested in her well-being or that He stopped healing people. But God never changes. The same love that saved her from the penalty of sin is constantly available to save her from the power of sin and the powers mentioned in Romans 8, and perhaps even from the power of sickness, if that should be His will.

The second woman has also let herself be separated from the love of God. Instead of seeking His light and life, she has chosen the dark side of the spiritual world and cares not at all about the power of God that can deliver her from that darkness.

From the perspective of the Lord, both women are not experiencing all that He has for them. The second one is in the dark with no torch to guide her way, but the first one is sadder still. She is walking in the light with her eyes shut.

I know that all Christians have ‘blind spots’ and we need one another to see well. However, my prayer is that He will always give me a huge desire to keep my eyes open. I want to always know without a doubt that in the light and dark realms of this world, and in the future realm of eternity, God is enough.


The Koala Bear Writer said...

No wonder Jesus told us, "If you just have faith the size of a mustard seed..." He's waiting there to help us, but so often we just ignore that.

LC said...

I think it is our pride, don't you? We can handle the little things, and even rationalize that we shouldn't bother God with stuff "I can handle" so miss out on the wonder of Him taking care of those details!

What an adventure this is, being a child of the King!