It’s a fairly safe guess, we have all gone to see a doctor.
Now, when we go to a doctor, it is not usually a social call. We go because we are ailing or hurting and we want to know why. We need an answer to the question of our sickness or pain. So we go to someone who is supposed to know about the things that make us sick, or make us hurt, so we can stop being sick or hurting. We go because we want what ails us, to go away. And, in our minds, doctors are supposed to make this happen (at least, they are a good starting point!).
If we have something seriously wrong with us (like cancer), we want nothing less than to be cured. Cancer does not go away on its own – it has to be eliminated. It has to be cured. We don’t just want to feel better. Or have more strength for the day. Or have the pain minimized. We want cancer gone. Cancer is deadly – and we don’t want to fight a long, losing battle. We want to win!
But before we can see any deadly disease defeated, we have to know what it is we are fighting. We have to have our foe defined, so we can step into the “ring” and take it on. There is no victory until we know our opponent.
There is a parallel in our Christian faith. We have a deadly disease that is killing us. It seems to delight in beating us “around the head and shoulders” daily – and there is little (it seems) we can do about it. Most of us live out our lives, surrendered to the idea that this malady is just part of our human existence – and all we can really hope for, is to get some help along the way… to “manage” our condition.
We might even turn to God (because we need powerful help) but we are pretty much resigned to the fact that our affliction is going to get the best of us. Our only hope is to delay the inevitable for as long as we are humanly able – until that day comes, and we can permanently leave our infirmity behind (i.e. when we die!).
But what if I were to tell you that this dreadful battle is already won? The unbeatable foe is already defeated? The incurable sickness, within us, has met it’s match? The conflict, we all seem so powerless to win, only exists in our minds?
And what if I told you that our inner struggle with everything that constantly ails us, and derails us, is a struggle we are no longer intended to fight?
This is EXACTLY the message of true Christian faith. The Great Physician has come, He diagnosed our terrible disease, He carried our malignant malady for us – to a cruel cross where He suffered and died, to put our deadly disease of sin, to death.
But that is not even the best part of the story… When He came back from death, He did something utterly amazing – He made it possible for all of us to be raised to share in new life, with Him.
He gave us a new existence. A life totally free from the infirmity of our sin – and a life liberated from the stranglehold of our sinful nature.
He even gave us a new identity (which we will explore in the days ahead)…
This new life is no fairy tale – or wishful thinking. This is the life God has called each of us to live. It begins by receiving Jesus, and what He has done for us.
But it can only reach its fullness when we fully embrace the new life He has provided to us. When we re-train our thinking to leave the “old me” behind – and live by “the new me.” This is the challenge before us…
Prayer focus: God, I am longing to live in Your fullness… open my heart to all that You have provided for me.