God is a myth; the universe exists apart from any supernatural force claiming credit for creation. Man is born, then dies… and his consciousness ends. Life is one big exercise in the chaos theory; no overriding code of justice has any jurisdiction or authority: you answer only to yourself. Trusting anyone or anything but yourself is a guaranteed one-way ticket to CrazyLand and a recipe for betrayal.
The preceding paragraph would be a self-description for most liberal political contenders – and an outtake from the doctoral thesis for most contemporary university professors on secular campuses – but it represents the antithesis of a personal biblical worldview. I reject it, absolutely!
Here’s a tragic observation: many – most? – Christians in our generation live as if those declarations are “just the way things are,” despite their claim to beliefs that oppose them.
We’ve said it here for the last few weeks: we work alot on getting the beliefs right in our heads, but until those truths settle into our hearts – as evidenced by an abiding trust in the Higher Power who is the God of the Bible – we lack the power to live what we believe.
What’s at stake? Answer: plenty. A life founded on fear – which is the absence of trust – is debilitating. A life of misplaced trust – when confidence leans on anyone or anything that disallows the continuing active engagement of the Almighty in the affairs of life, here and now – is delusional. A life characterized by unyielding trust in God – whose control of eternal history and life’s nanoseconds are sure – is liberating and life-giving.
David, the eighth son of Jesse – whose life took a turn for greatness when he was an adolescent tending his father’s sheep – spent nearly 15 years from the being anointed as Israel’s second king to realizing that role. In between, he was Saul’s mortal enemy and at risk for his life. How do you live with vulnerability as a constant threat? Here’s his journal entry: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise – in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?… In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise – in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4, 10-11).
“That’s great for Bible heroes,” the modern skeptic would respond. “What do you do when you live at risk from cataclysmic threats by the crosswinds blowing in international and domestic politics, the inability to ensure that the marketplace dynamics will allow ongoing commercial viability, potentially overvalued public markets putting personal holdings into high-risk, and the uncertainty over the control of the pandemic – for personal health, for herd immunity, or for societal calm? How should I sleep at night – or function by day – with the odds of trauma and tragedy multiplying?”
David had 15 years – from his calling to his crown – in the laboratory where his trust in God would be tempered and hardened. For Paul the Tentmaker, his life as an apostle mirrored David’s: from his calling in Antioch to his martyrdom in Rome, he spent 15 years fulfilling his life purpose (with 40% of his years spent incarcerated for his ministry messaging). What would his outlook be, given that kind of personal challenge? His call-out to the believers in Rome revealed his strong foundation: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13).
We lack gauges to measure the forces at work in our hearts; if one existed, the red extreme would track fear while the green extreme would evidence trust. Which exists at the majority level in your soul?
If Easter teaches us anything, it is that the power of God and the promise of the Resurrection are most explosive in the face of certain defeat. Don’t leave this week and its essential headline without injecting the declaration into your innermost being: He is Risen; He is Risen, indeed!
PS: Jesus 1.0 – forever past, in Heaven – was incredible. Jesus 2.0 – incarnate, on-mission on Earth – was unprecedented. Jesus 3.0 – out of the grave, alive forevermore – is the ultimate! Watch your inbox for our announcement: TMP 3.0 – coming out of the covid lockdown – will be our best-yet service to leaders! Just after Easter… we’re coming to serve you with more!
Morning. Another gifted message.
So great to be back in the classroom.