Sunday, March 23, 2008

He is Risen!

Easter is amazing. It reminds me that in what feels like our darkest moment, God is up to something behind the scenes that goes beyond what we would dare to think, ask or imagine. I've been thinking about something for most of the day today. It seems to me that the devil has no choice but to concede Easter, after all, how do you argue with an empty tomb? There's no doubt that he is working to distract people with the Easter Bunny and probably a thousand other things, but that's just way too obvious. (Besides, I had neighbours who had bunnies and never once did they leave anything shiny and bright in their cage.)

It seems to me that the Easter is all about the BIG WIN. If we were kids, it was the play for all the marbles. The one battle that determined WHO would win it all. If you know me, even a little bit, you'll figure out that I'm pretty competitive and while I'm more mellow than I used to be, I'm still convinced that winning is more fun than losing. If Easter is all about the 'BIG WIN' then I want every benefit that comes from it. I want to know the power of that WIN in every part of my life. I want to know that it works in my relationships, finances, body, and for every part of my past, present and future. I understand that Easter sets me up to live victoriously in every area of my life. I don't have to be arrogant or pompous about this. All I need is to grasp it, believe it and then begin to speak and live towards it.

We sang this song in church today. One of the lines was 'I know that my Redeemer lives and now I stand on what He did.' The key to this life is knowing what He did and then standing upon it no matter what I see around me.

I mentioned earlier that the devil has no choice but to concede Easter. At the same time, he's not about to go away without sowing the seeds of doubt and deception about what Easter is really all about. In the last little while, I've been hearing something that troubles me. It's the idea that Christ and Christianity is all about 'helping me' with my issues and pain. It's almost as though all I need is a spiritual/psychological elixer that will help me along until I breathe my final breath. This is the great deception. Jesus did not come to help me. He came to TRANSFORM me. The power of the gospel is not some mystical 'panacea' that will help me 'get by' with a little help from Jesus. Rather the power of the gospel absolutely revolutionizes my life so that I am forever changed. As I yield myself to His power at work within me, I will experience transformation at a measure and level that goes beyond what I can accomplish or achieve on my own.

I think the real lie is that I have to settle for some things, that there are parts of my life that cannot and will not change. It's as though I must embrace my lot in life and forget about hoping, believing, expecting and preparing for a better day.

As I write this, I am thinking of a friend. When I met her, she had huge issues in her life that were connected to her childhood. As we were getting to know each other, she crashed emotionally. It was a tough time for her and her husband. She is a case study in what I am talking about today. As she has yielded her life to the power of the gospel at work within her, she has been completely changed. She has become a visionary, leader and best of all is completely at peace with herself and the world around her. I'm proud of her, but I'm more proud of what God has done in her life and it's all because He has Risen!

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