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Saturday-Mixed-Up

 

All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

 

Philippians 3:15,16

 

Somethings in life seem to be really simple. They don’t take any special talent of education. Everybody just seems to understand what’s going on. You don’t need to watch some DIY video to get it. You just walk up and start doing it. I remember the first time I got behind the wheel of my parents 1956 Buick Special. I was about 10 and my dad let me drive it on an empty baseball field. There was the key, the gear shift, the gas, the break, and the steering wheel. That was it. I was able to start the car, put it in gear and safely drive the car around the field. I put the car in park and turned it off all without hitting anyone or anything.

 

But now, it seems like everything is so much more complicated and difficult. The list of simple and obvious things has gotten smaller and smaller. It might be because things are getting more and more complex. You need advanced degrees just to do the simplest thing nowadays. In contrast to my parents’ car, my Tesla doesn’t have a key. To unlock it, all you have to do is walk towards it with your phone. To unlock, just walk away. But you better not lose that phone. There’s no dashboard either, but there are enough screens and options to choke a horse.

 

If you’re looking for complex, just take a look at my life this week. Since we live in Florida, we need to keep things cool. So, just this week I had a ductless air conditioner[1] and a paddle fan[2] installed in my office at home. We’ll talk about the reasons why I needed both at another time. Anyway, I went from not needing any hand-held remote controllers in my office to needing two. And these new remotes aren’t all that simple. They’d give the remote to our flat-panel TV a run for its money. One has nine different buttons, settings, and adjustments. The other has 14 buttons along with a screen that has 24 different indicators, settings, and options.

 

Paul’s technology life might not be all that complex, but he had all the same challenges when it came to living the Christian life. He had to change so that his life was lovingly under God’s control. He wanted his life to be lived two ways for Jesus.

 

  • Internally. God wants to be our Heavenly Father when it comes to all that we are inside. He wants our spirit, mind, will, and emotions to be filled and controlled by His Holy Spirit who’s living inside us. He made his home inside of us when we received Christ. This once-and-for-all indwelling is God’s deposit, showing his eternal relationship and ownership of us[3].

  • Externally. But there’s more to this life than what’s going on inside. It must leak out to the people and world around us. That’s why he says that we need to live up to it. Living up to something isn’t “one and done” like salvation. Oh no, it’s a continual, ongoing lifestyle that’s filles with all sorts of daily decisions and choices.

 

So, when Paul says that we’ve already attained, he’s talking about getting something in the past. We’ve already got it. We possess it. We own it. It’s in our pocket and no one can take it away. We can’t drop it or lose it. It’s ours forever and ever. Amen. This is our salvation and relationship with God.

 

But things are different when it comes to living. We’re still involved with living. It’s still going on. Our living is what’s going on in our daily life here on planet Earth. Yes, we’ve got our relationship with God through Jesus’ death on the cross. But that has to work it’s way out in the way we speak. In our actions and reactions with people.

 

When Paul says that we are to “live up to what we have already attained,” he’s telling us to be actively putting our lives in line with who God is and what he’s done. We are to walk through life, doing and saying things that are empowered by God and point people to him.

 

In Jesus, we have been made perfect from a heavenly point of view. From God’s eternal and relational perspective, we are complete and holy. When God looks at the person that’s received Christ, he sees them in and through Jesus. This is what makes us perfect. Complete. Not needing anything else. But in this life, in this world, things are different. Our words, thoughts, actions, and attitudes are broken. We can never measure up to God’s design and plan for us. We will always, always, always come up short.

 

That’s why we need to come daily to God. We need to ask for his power to live this day for his glory. All our words should be heard like they are from God. All our actions should be seen like they are God’s. All our lovingkindness should be a mirror that reflects God’s love to a hurting and broken-down world.

 

In this mixed-up world, no one can show God’s love in the same way that you can. Only you can demonstrate who God is in the way you can. So, let’s get out there and do some living for God.

 

Noodling Questions

 

  • Describe something you do that took no special training or skill.

  • Explain the balance between living for Jesus both internally and externally.

  • How can God use you in a unique and powerful way to bring others to him?


[3] Ephesians 1:13,14

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