Thursday, May 19, 2011

Confirmed Reservations

I travel from time to time and often with a group, in which, I am the leader and am therefore in charge of making reservations at hotels, conferences, auto rental establishments, and things of that nature.  Not many things incite more of a feeling of chaos as arriving at your planned destination only to find out the reservations that you planned out are not there, or have been mistakenly placed for the wrong date.  In fact, it is such a terrible feeling that I do just about all I can to make sure it doesn’t happen.  I make an extra phone call, shoot out an extra email, text, whatever I can to communicate and make sure everything is set, even though often unnecessary.

Even though this is done, occasionally, there is still a mix up.  

I also never win contests, at least it seems that way.  I have won a time or two in various things, like a coloring contest when I was about four.  It is hard to believe when it does happen.  Recently I saw on facebook that a facebook friend of mine, Logan Martin, would be in our area of the state and would go to whichever the first church that had a pastor email them. Let me give you a little bit of background, Logan is a musician that is a very talented worship leader, song writer, and all around great guy.  I heard Logan for the first time at the LIFE conference in which he led about five thousand people in worship. So, I saw the post, and randomly emailed him, almost talking myself out of it...

but I decided to try.

Shortly thereafter, I received an email back saying I was the first and Logan Martin was coming to our church for a Sunday.  

I was in disbelief for about a day.

It is strange that we often get so used to losing that we, at times, stop even trying to win.  

I wonder in what ways we could win if we decided to try?

A neat thing that happens, in the spiritual sense, is that when we believe in Jesus and the work He did here we have reservations to “win” spiritually.  We don’t deserve it, we can’t make it happen without Christ, but we win.  Just by believing in Him and letting Him guide us along the path He has for us.  There is another big scary word in the Christian faith, justification.  Some say justification means, “Just as if I’d never sinned.”  It kind of is, and yet it is so much more than that.  

Justification is basically when God declares us to be in right standing with Him.  It is a legal term meaning “declared righteous.”  Basically, it would be similar if you were in court, you were guilty, someone (Christ) stepped up and said He would take the blame, and so you were now not guilty and free from the results or consequences of your crimes.  

That is marvelous.

That is the biggest win ever.  Because of Christ doing this work, we have reservations to this undeserved relationship with God, an undeserved eternity, a life with His leading us by being connected to His Spirit so He can guide and direct us along the journey.  We win; we are undeservedly put into right standing with God, and have reservations that will be kept to continue on with Him.  

Justified, to be declared righteous, to have a kept reservation, to receive an undeserved win, it seems overwhelming.

We can see this in the eternal sense, but what would it look like to live out a daily justification?  What if each day we began striving to live a life that realized in a greater way that we are free(because of Him), we have won and can win in various areas of our life because we do not need to be slaves because He has set us free.  He has paid the “Atonement”, we have not only an eternal reservation, but also a daily reservation to speak with Him and spend time with Him and to hear what He has to say.  This reservation is not for some hotel, car rental place, or conference.  It is with the almighty God of the universe.  

It is absolutely underserved.

Imagine, a daily life growing in this realization, this revelation, this truth.  Would our lives look different?  If they would look different, why?  Can we live in this victory?  I, so easily, get stuck in the mode of just going along for the ride without looking deeply to see if, maybe by chance, God wants to change me for the better in a daily manner.

Justification happens at the point of salvation, but it continues in the midst of our continual process of being set apart for His work (sanctification).  It is a large part of the journey in which we continually come to realize the work that He has done in our life, is continuing to do in our life, and will continue to do in our life in the future, and for eternity.  Living a life where we fully experience being justified is a goal we should shoot for every day.  We may be believers, but we experience our salvation in a greater way every day, it is similar with justification.

May we all understand what it means to be justified in a greater way today.  May we realize the we have been set free as innocent by Christ’s work.  May we walk in that knowledge and continue to grow in that realization, and because of that, grow in our freedom that Christ has bought for us.  

Christ, thank you for confirming our reservations to the heart of God.

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