Snapshots: Day 58
The Snapshot: “When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised….” (Ex 12:25) The Exodus is not the main goal, judgment on Pharaoh is not the main goal, entering the Promised Land is. Coming to Christ, being saved by the blood of the Lamb (Jn 1:29), is not the end goal, your ongoing life is not the end goal – life with God in eternity in the new heaven and the new earth is. Do you see the three phases: saved, being saved, saved? You’ve come to Christ – you are saved. Now you are ‘being saved’, the ongoing work of God in our lives while we are still on this earth. Both of the first two phases are essential to reach the final phase. Go for it! Never give up, persevere to the end. Each phase means losing your life to receive a new life. Each phase more wonderful.
Further Consideration: Jesus declared, “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” (Mt 10:39) There is this strange paradox in Jesus’ teaching that in order to find life you must give up your life. Indeed the opposite is true as well: if you strive to find meaning in life by your own life, you will find you come up against a brick wall of meaninglessness, the terrible realization that of ourselves we are inadequate to bring meaning and purpose; it comes only through the knowledge of God.
Living for the moment or living in the moment as one popular fad from Eastern religion suggests, may bring awareness of the preciousness of the moment but it does not reveal the bigger picture of not only the whole of life but also of what follows it. There can be much speculation about what follows, but it can only be the claims of revelation that take us beyond the material world of the present.
Israel were just like us, getting so caught up in the present that they struggled to comprehend and then apprehend the whole concept of the next phase of their lives that God was giving them. Throughout the period of the plagues and then throughout the period of the wilderness wanderings, both before and after Sinai, they struggled to cope with the present and that struggle meant they needed reminding about their ultimate destiny, the Promised Land.
We too focus on today, the affairs of today, the trying circumstances and the worries that beset us and, because we allow ourselves to become ‘now-focused’, we lose sight of the vision for tomorrow, whether that be for our individual lives or our lives as churches. To extend that, few think of the future of our communities or countries. (I have just had the privilege of talking with a Chinese refugee in the USA. Will his country always be under the yoke of Communism? NO! Watch this space in the years to come. God has other plans!)