Snapshots: Day 73
The Snapshot: “out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.” (Ex 19:5) Chosen. A mixed blessing. On the one hand the amazing blessing of having encounter after encounter with the living God, but the other side of the coin is all about obedience: “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.” We cannot fully enter into the experience of being a ‘treasured possession’ without obedience because the blessings flow when we do the stuff He has said. There is a difference between being it and experiencing it. I am a father but unless I relate to my children it is a meaningless title. Just calling yourself a Christian or genuinely entering into the fullness of the experience? Title or reality?
Further Consideration: I suspect we take for granted much of what has happened to us to make us Christians. Perhaps our conversion experience was many years ago and we forget the process that we went through – or maybe we weren’t even fully aware of the life-crisis we went through that brought us to the end of ourselves so we surrendered to God through Christ. However it happened, it was ultimately a time of surrender; we gave up our old lives, we died to them as Paul says in Romans, and we surrendered to allow Jesus be our Saviour and then go on and be lord of our lives, to lead us and guide us and teach us and change us. In the apostle Peter’s words we are, “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.” (1 Pet 2:9) That is our equivalent to God’s words to Israel on Mount Sinai. That was the starting point. l
Perhaps we started reading our Bible, and the New Testament in particular and suddenly we became aware that there were lots of do’s and don’ts in the writings of the apostles and we came to realize that obeying these were part of the package of Jesus being Lord. I remember first really studying Hebrews. Chapter 1, all about Jesus was wonderful. Then came chapter 2: “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” (Heb 2:1) Wow! It is possible to drift away? I must pay attention to all I am reading and hearing on a Sunday morning! Lot’s more explanations and then, “let us hold firmly to the faith we profess,” (Heb 4:14) but then, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence.” (v.16) Not only exhortations to hold on to what I am receiving against the enemy attacks but exhortation to come to God and come confidently. That is reassuring. This new life, I learned, was going to be a combination of a battle against the lies of the enemy, and receiving the good things God had for me, and entering into them through the powerful word – obedience. Back then, and still now.