The answer: Redemption. You, in spite of your imperfections and shortcomings, are God’s vessel to renew a broken world.
The Bible reveals original created nature to be “very good” (Genesis 1:31). But when you look at the world today, you don’t quite feel it: Overcrowded cities, vast injustice, environmental degradation, greed, blindness, pain. You feel powerless.
Do you long for restoration to God’s ideal? Are you compelled to do something? We’re told to fight for justice, champion a cause, pick up the fallen.
“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8:20-21)
But redemption’s a tall order. All is futile – at least if you attempt to do it on your own strength.
Thankfully, God starts the process of reconciliation. And we’re first on the list. And thereafter, our responsibility is to reconcile all creation to God.
In their years of slavery in Egypt, the Jews knew of their godly heritage merely as folklore. The truth is, God was experientially irrelevant to them.
Once Pharoah let the people go, God manifested Himself physically in fire and cloud, rock, sea, and the creatures. He gave them the Law. He instructed ceremonial washings, holy days, consequences for offences – whatever it took to teach them the meaning of holiness. His presence dwelt in holy places, and revealed Himself selectively to the chosen.
Likewise, God renews our minds to recognise His holiness. But His presence now extends to all mankind.
When Jesus went to Calvary, the veil was torn and God now pours His Spirit to all who receive Him (Matthew 27:51, John 1:12), regardless of merit, inheritance or past – amazing grace.
The fact that you’re even looking at a site like Thir.st, reading an article of this nature, this is a testament to this. Without the awakening impulse of God, man will not hunger for Him, let alone be curious.
Let your restlessness among the cares of this world point you to the only One who can satisfy.
But awakening is merely the first step. Further restoration hinges upon our full-bodied response, and it starts with your will.
THE SACRAMENT OF LIVING
Consider not just what we do, but why we do anything at all (Romans 14:17).
When we embrace what A W Tozer termed the Sacrament of Living, we aggressively claim God’s restoration for our broken world. Like the seven traditional sacraments, it is an “outward sign of inner grace”. Unlike them, no walls contain it. Your whole life flows from grace.
Of course, this isn’t just about having solid doctrine. It is not heart over mind. Instead, heart, mind, body and soul are tuned to God. The Holy Spirit lights up every day, every deed and thing.
By purposefully stepping into a life of worship, we move into the frontlines of two distinct battles – one internal, one external.
No longer is spiritual reality confined to the disciplines of liturgy, church walls, festive seasons, or evangelistic events. Not that we should stop these things, but instead, all ordinary aspects of our lives rise to sacredness and become pleasing to our Father.
Such boldness is not without its challenges. By purposefully stepping into a life of worship, we move into the frontlines of two distinct battles.
The first is internal: The art of dying. We wrestle with our fallen selves – deny yourself, take up our cross and follow Jesus. And let’s be honest. It just isn’t easy to imagine how God could be glorified with some of the things we do, like doing the laundry, taking out the trash, working out, or your day job, for that matter.
The second is external: Awakened souls that pursue God will not be graciously released by the ruler of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). Accused and tempted, we will face discouragement. Things may soon revert to the old normal when we become weary with doubt.
But we must push towards a new normal. Do not settle. Find peace in tension, but burn for more. Seek purpose in pain. Ask God to set you ablaze. This is renewal of mind. War. Transformation – the redemption of all things spiritual and natural.
CLAIM IT, BRING HIM IN
God must permeate through our entire being, all we do and think. Purposefully worship Him with all you do, no matter what, where, when, or how. Who? Only Him. Why? Only for His glory.
Thank Him for the times we catch a glimpse of Him, or hear His still small voice – every experience of Him is a gift. But such experiences don’t have to be few and far between.
The saddest part of modern Christian living is we taste and see once, then spend the rest of life exercising contentment.
Be the kind of Christian who gives Him the keys to every part of your life.
But you – don’t stop at pondering. Wrestle. Ask, seek, knock, that we may bask in unending torrents of His Presence. Boldly ask Him to set your heart ablaze for the renewed life. Don’t just passively receive His heart. Lay hold of it. Claim it boldly. Pursue.
Invite Him into the mundane, miserable and the ordinary. The bleak places of shame and self-doubt. Bring Him into your hopes, fears and dreams. Ask Him to tear down and rebuild.
Commit each day to Him in prayer in entirety and little constituents. Live out the rest of the day prayerfully, committing every little act to him and being confident that He accepts them as worship.
Be the kind of Christian who gives Him the keys to every part of your life. Live sincerely, and He will become your reality. Be the kind of temple whose altars burn 24/7 for Him, rain or shine.
“For such a man, living itself will be sacramental and the whole world a sanctuary.”
Welcome to the throne of grace. The greater veil has been torn. Now remove the one over your eyes. Step in.
Why on earth are you here?
Because this is your Father’s house.