Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Remember To Breathe
Truth. What do you do with it?
There’s a lot of stuff that’s true: it gets light in the morning and dark at night; when it rains, stuff gets wet; if you don’t eat, you’ll get hungry; politicians want more money. Right?
But what about eternal truth—what do you do with that?
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, . . .” (Colossians 3:1a)
Well? That phrase is worth at least a pause.
When you received Jesus and became a Christian, you were raised. The facts are that you won’t one day punch your ticket and finally be raised to heaven because you already have been. When you and I one day leave our bodies behind, we’ll go to where we already are.
While that might sound odd, suffice to say that we are no longer people of the earth since our second birth was not only a new beginning, it made us new creations with a new point of origin—heaven. We’ve been born of the Spirit, and now have the nature of our Father. Jesus said that in the same way He was not of this world, neither are those chosen and changed by God (John 17:14-16). Not only are we new, we’re from heaven. We’re very much like the beings in heaven, where things invisible to our eyes are visible to theirs—they can see the facts, but we’re learning to live by faith in the facts. We’re learning to live by the truth.
In truth, new Christians aren’t first trying to change and behave better because they’ve got a lot to do, they’re getting their bearings because they’ve got a lot to believe. Get that order wrong, and, well, it’s going to be a mess.
You were raised with Christ. I don’t know why we pray, “Oh, Lord, be with me now,” since not only is He with us, we’re with Him—forever and always. We’re in Him, united with Him, and everyone in heaven knows it. This is one reason why you and I need regular revivals, great awakenings to who we are and where we’re from. Think of it as getting desperately needed oxygen, not because you’re so high up and there is no air, but because your earthly experience is so low down and the air is awful—and foreign. Our interaction with Christians often has a lot to do with giving them the air from home, the oxygen of heaven. Picture a scuba diver many feet deep in the ocean of this world, and you’ve pretty much got the idea of a Christian’s experience in this lifetime.
There have been many occasions where, burdened by the things and situations of this world, I began feeling like I couldn’t breathe. With the pressure getting to me, never have I felt better by simply working harder. What always saved me and what saves me today is the air of my homeland—the gospel, the truth of God, which the Holy Spirit uses to oxygenate my blood. I’m revived because I’m breathing fresh air again, the air of heaven.
That’s why I love the Bible—It’s pure oxygen, baby!—and why I’m always on the lookout for great Christian books and music that fill me with the pure air of heaven. Get all you can—you can’t live without breathing. (See my recommended book list at www.lifecourse.org.)
These days are a foreign missionary experience in the depths of this world, where dangers abound and breathing is at times difficult. But I look forward to the day when I’ll pop up on the surface of heaven, mask, tanks and burdensome wetsuit removed, and take my first breath. I know I’ll recognize the air.