“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (2 Tim. 4:18)
A part of me wishes there was a smoother coordination and integration of the perfection of God’s plan for my life…with the very real question of the fallibility of my half of the performance…in a current crisis. A part of me wishes it was not necessary to exercise overcoming faith in God’s ability to help close the gap…the remaining distance to cover…while the particular current life challenge is still up in the air and in doubt.
A part of me unrealistically wishes that in a biblical-quality adventure of faith there was a much lower risk of failure…with all of its negative consequences…and that a journey of faith incorporated less faith and a greater reliance upon the safe and more familiar route of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…that the leap across the gap from worldly conventional self-reliance…to unconventional risky faith in God…was not so great.
A part of me wishes that the reality of the Christian life in the dangerous zone of faith…did not from time-to-time bring me again to the seemingly impassable banks of the expanse of the Red Sea, being hotly pursued by Pharaoh’s chariot army, needing God’s divine deliverance to part the waters and to create a safe passage forward…to let go of my ways…to drift freely in the waters of the present uncertain circumstances…trusting in the promises of God to see me across and safely out the other side.
Every Spirit-born Christian today…every foreign missionary, every pastor, every street evangelist, very called-out person engaged in one form or another of Christian outreach ministry…can relate to this on some level (2 Cor. 4:7).
But the reality is that there has to be the profound test of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ before there can be the glorious triumph of the resurrection. There has to be the component of a deep despair in the seemingly catastrophic failure in the death and burial of Jesus Christ…before there can be a God-engineered outcome of colossal, world-shaking proportions in the resurrection three days later.
The enormous contrast between the death on the cross and the LIFE in the resurrection…like that between the darkest starless night and the brightest summer day…creates the separation…the gap…between the low-level of mediocrity of worldly conventional aspirations, and the elevated ways of God leading to life-transforming salvation in the highest and broadest sense…beyond human imagination (Isa. 55:8-9; 1 Pet. 1:3; Jn. 8:24).
The resurrection of Christ…and the Day of Pentecost…radically changed the disciples from being fearful and defeated by the appearance of negative circumstance…to becoming courageously uninhibited, roaring lions of the new Christian faith. This powerful transformation that “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6) comes from a divinely created territory of experience…an elevated domain of reality…that is far, far above the life or worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
The better half of me does not want my God-composed journey of faith life-script to be merely about God automatically coming through to successfully provide me with the secure mediocrity of worldly conventional normalcy. The better and more courageous half of me wants my biblical-quality adventure of faith following Jesus Christ…to reveal to me a living God who is brilliantly smart enough to channel the events of my life towards a meaningful purpose and outcome that has the power of the resurrection and the triumph of the premeditated foresight of God written all over it.
This involves an information-rich journey of faith…and that my own plans and schemes must get out of the way. No one could or would make this up. It is beyond human imagination or invention. If fiction…if false…it would not even get to “first base” in baseball. It would “crash and burn” on take-off…falling apart before it can get off the ground…without the corresponding participation of the living God.
More than anything the better half of me (Rom. 7:15-25) wants to discover that God knows what He is doing…and I am willing (keeping in mind the lesson of Peter’s statement of Matthew 26:33) to pay any price in my journey of faith now to obtain this priceless discovery (Mt. 13:44-46).
I think this may become the universal, motivating theme of every Spirit-born Christian in the challenging events of the upcoming end-times.