Back Into Truth
10 June 2010, Back in Columbia on the screened in porch.
Job 10, Romans 14
For the Kingdom of God (God’s saving, reign by the Holy Spirit) is not about eating and drinking (our lists of dos and don’ts), but about righteousness (Christ’s righteousness on our behalf and freedom from sin) and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17
The above is a rich verse that, if understood correctly could serve as a moment by moment filter and guide for my life. I’ve seen many scriptures which could do the same.
Found myself preaching in the mirror to myself at the beach the other night. I was fresh back from a great walk on the beach listening to a John Piper sermon on Joy and Hope and soaking in God’s ‘words’ to me spoken without words in the beauty of the sunset, the pools of running water from the canal to the surf. Joy was truly invading my soul.
Then --- I started to watch the Celtic – Lakers game. I was so ‘into’ the Celtics’ success. The game turned sour and the Celtics never recovered. I found myself hitting the hotel bed in anger as I watched.
Wait a minute. Wasn’t I just in a state of Joy in the Lord? What happened?
I went into the bathroom and looked myself in the mirror. “What are you doing?” I asked myself. “Why are you so upset about a game on TV?”
Then I started preaching, right at the man in the mirror. “What difference is this game going to really make in your life? Will it change your financial situation in anyway, your health, your job, your relationships? No, no, no and again no.”
“Back up,” I told myself. “Back away from the details and see this for what it is – a game. Back into truth.”
I finished preaching to myself and finished watching the Celtics lose. However, it really was okay. I spent the rest of the night and all of the time since then exactly the way I would have if they had won.
Great life lesson that can be applied to situations that really matter. Example: If I have financial issues or health issues or work issues or relationship issues, can’t I apply the same principle? Preach to myself. Look into the mirror if I have to. Back away from the details until I find the truth to hope and cling to. Perhaps a situation might be so hard that I have to back into eternal truths that in the end I’ll be resting in my Savior’s arms. Or it might be simple that I must back into the truth that man’s opinion is not what I seek.
Whatever it is. May I back into the truth that does not disappoint.
11 June 2010, Columbia on the screened in porch, packing for Wilmington.
3 "I am Joseph! Is my father still living?" But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come close to me." When they had done so, he said, "I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. Genesis 45:3-7
Wow. What tremendously powerful truths in the above verses. Two that stand out:
1 -God uses even our sin for His purposes.
2 – As bad as we have been personally rejected, have we been thrown into a pit and sold into slavery by our brothers? I would say no. However, we may have been betrayed by those closest to us or been put down in some way by others. Regardless of what it is, we can apply what Joseph did with his brothers. He backed into truth 1 above and forgave his brothers. His years in prison probably gave him the solitude and silence to work through the bitterness and forgive his brothers. Now, he has nothing but grace to give them.