‹ Return to Blog

efficacious execution

“…with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Php 4:6)

James Houston in his work Joyful Exiles writes, “Hiding ourselves when the world tempts us to exhibit our selves is an effective way of ‘dying away.’ ” (p.35)

I believe that the Christian life is death sentence. In a way, I would consider it to be the supreme capital punishment. But let’s try not to think of it in a strict legal sense.  For this practice of punishment calls one into court for wrongs done deserving death and ends in death (i.e., our sins warranting the wrath of divine justice). And that is the end goal of the process (although one may argue that the end really helps to contribute to the ongoing preservation of peace and security in society; but it is nevertheless the end for the individual). But the Christian death sentence is different. No doubt our death is brought about in a legal way, but its not for Legality’s sake.

“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death,

in order that,

just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,

we too might walk in newness of life.

(Rom 6:4, ESV, emphasis mine)

God does not intend to simply mete out justice for the law’s sake.  Rather by meeting the requirements of Justice he intends to

set

us

free.

Ah!  And here it is.  Here we find the ongoing punishment.  Here is where the rubber meets the road. Here is the root of Philippians 4:6:

We do not want to be free.

We do not want to be free.

We do not want to be free.

“Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD

in the land of Egypt,

when sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full,

for you have brought us out into

this wilderness

to kill this whole assembly.”

(Ex 16:3, ESV))

As much as we may treasure the idea of freedom, we find it nearly impossible to treasure the freedom of God; to live freely before God.

We grumble.

We complain.

We worry.

We scheme.

We justify every last second of it.

We hate people who write things such as this.

We hold Pity parties in the corner’s of our existence hoping some one will notice our anger.

We demand that God explain how he loves us in the midst of uncertainty, suffering, abuse, hardship, and slavery.

All things spoken by those in enslaved to their idea, philosophy, and theology of freedom.

So God in his love is killing our ungratefulness.

“Your grumbling is not against us

but against the LORD.”

(Ex 16:8, ESV)

We severely underestimate how profoundly and ardently ungrateful we truly are. I know not what I do.

I believe that as far as a humanly possible the Apostle Paul (and others in Christian history, I’m sure) discovered freedom.

The freedom that comes through knowing who Christ is, what he has and is doing. The freedom that is manifest in a gentle person trained to be pleased at the revealed will of God.

Are things that happen in this life unfair? Yes.  The Son of God experienced the highest degree of injustice at the hands of men and all under the purview of God’s sovereignty; His perfect will.

Yet, on the eve of his being murdered Christ prays,

“But now I am coming to you,

and these things I speak in the world,

that they may have

my joy

fulfilled in themselves.”

(Jn 17:13, ESV)

Every moment of your life today is begging you to exhibit yourself (see quote above); to claim rights; to demand fairness; to be understood; to be recognized; to be pleased; to be cared for; to be loved.

But in all these things God intends for you to find their fulfillment in Him and Him alone.

Bring your whole life and understanding of freedom and satisfaction to the will of God.

Let him kill your misconceptions.  Let the fire rage in your doubts.  Abide! Abide! Abide in Christ!

“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,

and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship,

with reverence

and awe

for our God

is a consuming fire.”

(Heb 12:28,29, ESV)

Oh God, my desire to remain a slave to Slavery begs to me to reconsider praying this but…

but I turn inside, where only You and I relate; this hidden, quiet place…

and pray…

Burn me, O Consuming Love, ’til I’m free before You.