Next month, Larry and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and I’m very excited that we’ll be celebrating on a Hawaiian Islands cruise. So I’m getting things ready so that I can really relax. I’ve already started cooking our meals and freezing them. That way I’ll spend less time in preparation. Although I’m a little worried because I’m not sure if there’s an oven in our room or only a microwave oven, so I’m making sure everything can be microwaved…
“Wait a minute,” you’re saying. “Kathy! Are you nuts? You don’t need to cook on a cruise! The food is included in the price.”
Oh! Really? Oh, wow, that does sound great. Are you sure?
And of course you are right and I’m being “nuts” in order to make a point. Some of us Christians are like a woman who cooks beforehand for a cruise when the food is included. We’re Christians who are operating as if we still have to earn and work for our “keep” or to convince God to provide what we need. Maybe it feels like your sin is just too much to be forgiven. Or maybe it seems too hard to love someone who is unlovable. Or at times you aren’t “good enough” to be counted as a worthy Christian.
Of course, learning to love the unlovable is often a process but 2 Peter 1:2-4 promises us, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” (NASB)
When we believe we don’t have everything needed for life and godliness, we are like a woman cooking for a cruise. Our holiness is already ours “in Christ” (Colossians 2:10), we just have to learn to live it out. Again, I know that’s a process but this truth omits the possibility that we can ever say things like:
“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive him..”
“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to love him…”
“I don’t think I’ll ever get victory over that sin…”
“I don’t think I’ll ever (what’s your current challenge? Include here…)”
I’m convinced that when we struggle, we’re often not appropriating everything we could to take hold of the promises and power God makes available to us.
I realized that this morning when I was reading a book that talked about a dying woman who listened to praise music. When I recently experienced such pain that it was hard for me to concentrate on the Lord, someone recommended that I listen to praise music. Because I rarely listen to music in my house, I discarded the recommendation as “that’s not the way I am.” But looking back, I really think it would have helped to keep my mind on the Lord. I don’t know why I wasn’t motivated but I would do it differently. And I think then I will access one of the “promises” God would make available to me to strengthen me.
How about you? Do you need a “heart change” of trusting that God has everything available to you that you need for living and for your holiness? Let’s not strive to cook food for a cruise. Instead, enjoy the food on the ship–it’s already been paid for just like Jesus already paid everything needed for you to be complete in Him.
PS Rejoice and praise God with me! I’m typing this sitting at my desk. The first time in 11 1/2 months that I’ve been able to sit here. Laptop, you served me well, but goodbye!