Monday night, our team met again to pray and seek the Lord together. We wanted to. We needed to. Grace and peace abounds in the presence of God. Grace levels all of us. It means no one is worthy or right on their own. It means what we have and who we are is all a gift from Him. Peace means He is here. In our midst. In our circumstances. Peace is evidence of Jesus. A gift for glory. A deep settled conviction that He is God, and that we belong to Him.
One dear friend prayed, "God, more than anything else, more than our plans, more than our job, more than what work looks like, more than our preferences, more than.... and more than.... and more than.... and more than... and more than.... We love you."
A year ago, our U.S. staff team visited Hong Kong to pray about what serving in the city could look like. We were overwhelmed with hope. We saw a glimpse of heaven that week and were blessed to join hands with Passion and see a couple thousand young adults fill a room with the praise of God in HK. A year-ago, we were part of an amazing community of faith on the campus of Auburn University (that still lives on!). God asked us to say yes. To walk away. To hand it back. We did. He shined through our circumstances. Today, He is asking you and I to say yes. Yes to trusting Him for more. We are asking him to shine through our circumstances.
That may seem obvious, but not really. We love ourselves. We are committed to self. To self-preservation. Self-medication. Self-obsession. Self-promotion. Self-devotion. We belong to Him who knew no sin. He became our self-consumed sin, that we would become the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ... and that we would be such men and women who would consistently live in grace, that many would see God's offer of reconciliation through Christ. How much clearer does the redemptive purpose of God shine through in our lives, when things get uncomfortable, unpredictable, uncertain... and in faith, we choose to exalt the One who has redeemed us in the midst of inconvenience.
Wow. That still blows me away. Grace exchange. From guilt to glory. In Christ alone.
My encouragement to anyone reading is this: Remember what is true. Recognize that even if your circumstances change. If trials come. When they come. That NOT EVERYTHING has changed. In all likelihood, what needs to change the most, is simply your perspective.
He is God. We are not.
He is Lord. We are not.
He is wise. We are not.
We make plans. He determines footsteps.
He opens doors. He closes doors.
He provides. He refines.
He calls. He redeems.
He brings freedom and joy.
He invites us into His unending story.
He blesses us through his purposes.
He fulfills His purposes through our lives.
He. Is. God.