If it doesn't count for Christ, it doesn't count.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Boxer Upper? or Box Buster?

We buy something that we know or hope someone else will enjoy having. We take it home and put it in a box and wrap it up in pretty paper and add ribbons and bows to make that box look better, more appealing. We hope they will pick up that box and carry on a bit about how pretty that box looks. Eventually, they will unwrap the box and take the gift out. And, maybe, it's just what they wanted. And they treat it as though it came from the box. We all do. The thing is, it didn't come in the box. It came from somewhere outside of the box.

I'll just say that you might like your box. It's kind of like your mother's womb. You can feel the limits of your box and it is a very secure feeling. Your whole world is wrapped up with you in your box.  You like your box, but you want more.

Everything you want, certainly everything God wants for you, is somewhere outside of your box. Just like that present came from some place outside the box, God's greatest gifts are outside of your box. He didn't create you in a box and doesn't want you to spend your life there. "Whom the Lord sets free is free indeed" carries a lot of meaning. Maybe among its most profound deliverances is that you are free to leave your box.  

"Every good thing comes from God." He lovingly takes care of us where ever we are. But, I don't see Him reaching in and sticking more and more and more in this box with us. If you feel slighted by God, or confused as to why things aren't working out, or you just can't seem to take hold of that which you know He has for you, maybe you are bound up by all the familiar things and ways in which you take your security. Maybe the prospect life in a new and uncertain territory is scary. At least you know what you have here. Going back to that gift we started with, you had to go to the store to get it. Maybe you didn't know what you were going to get until you found it on the shelf. And may be you saw it and said, "This is just the thing for . . . ."    We will never know "just the thing " God has in store for us until we go to Him to receive our gift from Him. And He has so much for us. 

 I sometimes wonder why God surrounded us with an apparently limitless universe.Well, for one thing it shows His limitless power and ability. It displays His limitless creativity. This vast created thing is dwarfed by the Creator Himself. God is all about unconditional, unlimited love, mercy, and grace. His blessings set us free from where we are and continually call us to new challenges, new faith, and new steps into His grace. Jesus said, "I am making all things new." Think about that. In this world new things grow old. That new car or truck will be old in a matter of years. That new outfit will soon be old and out of style. "New" discoveries are made daily, but this universe in which they are found is old itself. So, we are discovering old things. 

"I am making all things new." Jesus' "new" does not grow old. His work is not to make something that is going to get old. The fact that He says "I am making" proves it to be eternally new. So stepping out of that box is the beginning of a great God-ordained journey. From faith to faith. From Grace to grace. . . . always new!

Chains come in all shapes and sizes. They have all kinds of purposes. We are told that some prisons are akin to country clubs. Maybe a closer look at that box you're in will reveal that it actually is a prison of sorts. It's comfortable. It's secure. It looks nice. But it has walls, limits. It controls your way of speaking, your way of thinking, your way of living. It keeps you from being all you can and should be. You might see that those pretty ribbons you are all wrapped up in are actually chains binding you to a lesser way of life, the bows are locks that you hesitate to break. The pretty paper wraps you up in a satisfying style, but keeps you from seeing the great gift that is just outside of your box.

So, break the pretty ribbons that have you all tied up. Throw off the bows that you love staring at. Tear the pretty paper, break the tape that holds that box together and get out! Reach out and take what God has placed before you.

"How do I start?" A suggestion - What is it about yourself that has always been the same? What is one thing . . . physical, mental, emotional, material . . . that you have never been willing or able to change? What is the thing that you have never even thought about changing? It may call for some open-minded thought, but it will come to you. Well, change that! Do so as a reminder to yourself and a sign to the world that you have left your box. It might not seem to be a spiritually related thing in any way, but it does signal to yourself that a door is open. You are reaching for newness and change. You are saying in a tangible way, "OK, God, let's go!"   You're following God into newness in your life. . . . a spiritual newness and all that comes with it.

You won't find anything new sitting in that old box. And, the great thing is, you don't do this alone. He will guide you along the way . . .every step. We just have to be willing to make the step and obedient to go where He guides. We must face the truth. When it comes to breaking out of the box, getting out of the boat, breaking chains, . . . whatever you want to call it . . . we have no such power within ourselves. Where can you find such power? Watch the video.Bust that box!


And then it would be nice to take a look into God's telescope, but just remeber if you're here, He's not finished with you yet!