Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I Need to Get a Life!

For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 
2 Corinthians 5:4

“I need to get a life!” We’ve said it and meant every word. Sometimes life is the pits. Situations blow up in our face. People hurt and disappoint us. We work hard, only to see that through no fault of our own, everything falls apart. Circumstances suck the life right out of us. We’re in a 2 Corinthians 5:4 experience.

James 4:4 describes life as, “a mist that appears for a while and then vanishes.” In view of eternity (which is now and not some future event) our time on earth is miniscule. Locked in a prison called Time, it feels so much longer. Paul wrote that something inside of us desperately wants to stage a jail break and escape the limitations imposed by mortality. If we believe there’s just got to me more, we’re correct. Our spirits yearn to return to their original condition, the way God created them to be in the beginning.

We were designed with unlimited and unimpeded fellowship with God in mind. Our job was to expand the garden until it covered the whole earth. Work was to be enjoyable and satisfying, not back breaking or an exercise in futility. In our fallen state, we’ve achieved great advances. Imagine how much further ahead we’d be now if God’s original design hadn’t been altered. Life would really be…living. Unfortunately, things didn’t go according to plan and now we’re try to make the best of things in an imperfect world. How do we survive what feels like an existence and not a life?

David was someone who knew what it was like to have his life go from bad to worse and stay that way for an extended period. When Samuel arrived at David’s home to anoint the next king of Israel, Jesse, David’s father, left him in the fields with the sheep. Only when the prophet insisted was the young son summoned. David’s willingness to take on Goliath was met with criticism from his cowardly brother and skepticism from King Saul. He paid neither any attention and went on to win a great victory for Israel. David’s faithful service to his country won him the praise of the citizenry and the wrath of a jealous king. Forced to live as a vagabond, David spent years on the run in order to stay alive. Presented with opportunities to kill the mad king and end the senseless persecution, David declined. He wouldn’t touch the Lord’s anointed. As king, David faced insurrection from within his own family. His own blood attempted to steal his throne. Through it all he remained humble and ultimately prevailed over his adversaries. David could write the book on Hardship 101. How did he not give up and quit while under such intense pressure?

“If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.” Psalm 119:92-93

David’s key to success was to focus on God’s word, not his circumstances. His skill as a fighter; his power and position as king; his wealth – none of these could do for him what God’s word could. This is how David survived his 2 Corinthians 5:4 events. It worked for David and it can work for us too.

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