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Pull Off the Gloves



But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”


Ephesians 4:7,8


Ever been in one of those frames of mind when it just seems like nothing goes right? When everything you try just winds up in the emotional trashcan? It might have started out so good, so beautiful, with so much potential. Things were going so well. But then something happens.


At first there’s only a small bump in the road. But then there’s another bump. And another. And another. Then things start to shake a bit. Then they shake more and more. Now things start to go wrong until all of life just flies apart.


It’s like that scene in The Martian[1] where they’ve launched a rocket to send supplies to Mark Watney who’s stranded on Mars. The engines ignite and the rocket lifts-off without a hitch. It’s soaring into the heavens, and everyone is cheering and applauding excitedly.


But then it starts. At first, it’s only a small vibration. But it gets worse. And worse. And worse. Until the rocket starts to go off course and it breaks into a million pieces.


You may think that your life isn’t really as bad as it seems. What’s going on inside your head, what you’re feeling, isn’t as dark as what you think. But then everything just starts drifting down a path and doesn’t change course. It looks like everything is just going to get worse and worse.


It’s at times like this that you have to change both you’re thinking and what you’re thinking about. You have to change your focus. You either have to give yourself a pep talk or go where some friends can give you one.


This is why we love the TV shows we do. Think about it; Big Bang Theory, Friends, and so many others have characters that get into trouble and then they return to the group for admitting they were wrong, healing, and restoration.


But instead of relying on other people, or yourself, why not rely on God? What could it hurt? If you’re anything like me, I’ve made such a mess of things that not doing anything, not changing anything, is perhaps the dumbest approach known to mankind.


And let me say one other thing – what makes you think that the people or philosophy that you’re currently resting on are any better than God? Are they smarter than him? Wiser than him? More powerful than him?


The only thing your current approach might have going for it is that it’s what you’re familiar with it. It’s what you know. It’s what you have experience with it. But with your track record, isn’t it worth a shot to try something else?


And when you turn to God, he doesn’t just hear you, he responds. He takes off his gloves and comes out swinging. He does this in three ways.


  • Ascends – he gets above everyone and everything. No one’s on his level. They’re all below him.

  • Captives – he takes all the evil and takes them away. He puts them in chains and forces them to get away from us. They have no choice.

  • Gifts – he doesn’t just leave us there to figure things out, he gives us presents to celebrate his victory, and for our benefit.


This is a shout of victory. A song of praise for his taking evil away from us, for delivering us, for saving us. But he does more. He’s with us daily, uniting himself with us. We not only escape eternal separation from God, but we also come to experience himself each and every day.


Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.


Psalm 68:19,20


I can’t speak for you, but these words, these promises from the Lord, God our savior, are music to my ears. With all the noise distracting us in this life, here is God who carries the weight of this life each and every day. There’s never a day when he’s not with us. When he’s not reaching out to connect with us.


Believe it or not, God wants to be with us. He wants to save us. He wants to be our protector. Our defender. He wants to be the one who rescues us, so that we escape from death.


Isn’t that a savior worth investigating? Worth looking into? Worth exploring? Worth reaching out to?


He is.


Noodling Questions


  • What do you thing when you’ve been told that you’ve received grace?

  • What makes relying on God so easy? So difficult?

  • When was the last time you gave a shout of victory to God? Why?

[1] https://youtu.be/0DqGksZ2iCg?t=78

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