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As I am sure you have heard already, Dunkirk is a relatively new film based on the World War II military operation in Dunkirk, France. It is a beautifully shot and directed film that gives a fresh look on survival and resistance in the Second World War. It tells a harrowing story from multiple perspectives of the evacuation of British and French troops from the beach.
From a coastal civilian family and friend sailing into unpredictable odds, to a pilot willingly sacrificing his aircraft, safety and family, this story depicts an incredible act of heroism that leaves us not only at the edge of our seat but also with a unique sense of pride for those who have served in our military.
Through this snap shot of this historical operation, I couldn’t help but get emotional as the parallels to the gospel became clear on the massive screen in front of me. The image of the group of soldiers on the beach, completely helpless and almost desensitized to the repeated aerial attack from the enemy reminded me of our human condition. These men, surrounded on all sides, were as good as dead. All other efforts of rescue were failing and it would only take an unprecedented act of humility and service to bring these men out of the grave that was being built by the enemy on that beach.
The Word of God describes us, His people, as dead in our sin and helpless in our striving toward righteousness. Attempts at rescue had been proven faulty, as it seemed like nothing could overcome the grip of the enemy on humanity. Yet, God in his rich mercy provided a way through his own kin to bridge the gap and rescue his people. Jesus selflessly gave up his body and spirit knowing the pain, torture, and even the unknown to do the unprecedented to save humanity from the clutch of the enemy.
In the spring of this year, I began waiting for Sept. 12th - Reading all the news leaks, reviewing expert opinions and praying for affordability. I, like so many others, waited for the announcement of the iPhone X. The leaks were accurate, opinions were mostly on the mark but my prayer for affordability was denied - $1,100 for a phone? Did you know the whole menu at Cracker Barrel ($900) costs less than an iPhone X?
The day after the big announcement I see a huge L.E.D. bank sign. You know the one with the changing messages in bright colors. As I’m thinking about the technology of iPhone X and the L.E.D. sign, the wind blows the trees and my gaze shifts to the trees. It was almost as if “Someone” said, “ Hey, look at how amazing this tree is.” I started thinking about how the Technology of God is even more amazing than the phone or sign. With a spoken word God creates a tree that converts sunlight into food, produces oxygen and even when it dies the tree provides resources for our comfort. How easy it is to get distracted by the ‘shiny things’ of life and miss the wonder of God’s creation.
And His creativity doesn’t stop with nature. His greatest workmanship was us, His children. Yet, He puts in all of us the desire to have friends. I read a great quote, “I am a friend because I have lived without one.”
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.
You know the Technology of God is very simple – Have friends. God wouldn’t have created us for community if it wasn’t important. Together we share experiences that help us grow together in Christ. The iPhone X wasn’t designed by one person, it took a team, a very well paid team based on the price.
Call/text your best friend right now and tell them you are thankful God allowed your paths to cross. If you don’t have someone to call/text, ask God how you and Him can fix this situation.
Remember circles are better than rows.
a-ban-don v. ---- 1. to leave completely and finally; forsake utterly. 2. to give up the control of. 3. to yield (oneself) without restraint or moderation. 4. to surrender one's claim to, right to, or interest in. 5. to give up entirely.
Abandonment, I have never been good at it. I am the one that might be quick to surrender but even quicker to run back to the foot of the cross and take what I just surrendered back. Why do I do this? I know my Savior is the best prize, and nothing else on this earth will satisfy... but sometimes I don't feel that. I try to speak truth to myself, hoping that my heart will catch up to my head. I play songs like "King of My Heart" on repeat, praying if I just continue to sing the lyrics, I will start to believe them without any doubt. The doubt starts to creep in on the hard days. The days where "my" dreams are not coming true. The days where my friends are getting married and/or having children. The days where I feel like I am drowning in the midst of a storm. The days I don't fully believe in who the Lord says He is.
This past month the Lord has been doing some work on my heart when it comes to this topic. One morning I just sat with the Lord and asked Him: "How do I obtain reckless abandon?" I want eyes that focus on "the things that are unseen, because the things that are unseen are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18). I desire to surrender every part of my life to the Father. I declare His ways are always bigger and better than mine... but I so easily forget. I forget His goodness. I forget His timing is perfect. But that morning in India, He met me. My Jesus met me right in the middle of my doubt and uncertainty. He met me to answer all my questions.
He took me to Colossians 3 and gave me 3 things to focus on to obtain a life of reckless abandon.
I do not know what life is throwing at you right now. You might be dealing with financial hardship, your marriage might be on the rocks, you might just be trying to keep your head above water. But friends, remember... our faith must remain greater than our pain and our fears. We need different eyes, a different mind. One that lifts us above the seen and our short time here and above the fears that invade our lives. One that seeks the Kingdom, puts on love, and worships our Lord. May we abandon our lives recklessly before a WORTHY KING.
Remember Cinderella? She’s the perfect princess, and every girl’s dream; but why? Is it the fairy godmother who magically solves a great problem? Is it the perfect dress with those fantastic shoes? Or maybe it’s those cute little mice who sing songs and help her clean. Every girl has an opinion, and every girl has a dream; but I don’t think it has anything to do with circumstances. I think it’s the “happily ever after” that’s so appealing – that ideal relationship that never has a hiccup, never misses a step, and never grows old. We yearn for a perfect relationship, but we never seem to achieve it. We long for the ideal mate who anticipates our every need and meets it perfectly. So we search and engage, again and again; but our efforts so often lead us to the ashes of defeat.
When God created man and woman, He made them to crave close and intimate relationships; and He did this for a reason. He made us in His own image, with His desire to live in relationship with others. God deeply desires to live in relationship with His children. We aren’t created for each other; we are created for God.
God chose to create the first woman from the flesh of her spouse – but don’t let this fact confuse you. Her earthly fulfilment may have come from her husband. But earthly fulfillment is only one part of the whole. You see, Adam and Eve weren’t alone in the Garden. God walked with them in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8). Yes, God physically joined them in the Garden to walk with them and talk with them. Can you imagine how awesome that would be – just once, to have God join you, in the flesh, in the back yard for an intimate conversation? Adam and Eve experienced that kind of relationship every day until the day they chose to sin against God. From that day forward, God was absent in their lives.
Eve, as the very first woman, was created to walk in fellowship with God. Because of that, she knew very well what it was like to feel fractured and empty – to lose the very thing that was necessary for happiness. She also had a very keen awareness that she was responsible. Her own decisions led her down that difficult road. She keenly understood what it was like to feel less than whole; and if she were here today, I believe she would tell you that the pathway to wholeness is a transformation. Yes, a shriveled, broken and empty woman can be transformed into an extraordinary child of God.
If wholeness is what you seek, then move beyond what you see in the mirror, and consider that you are body, mind, and spirit. The body is fickle, and it doesn’t take much to fulfill it – good food, a quiet conversation, a gentle touch. The body is often quite easily pleased and satisfied.
The mind, on the other hand, is another story. A woman’s mind craves someone who understands her. My mind wants to know that you are really listening when I speak, that you really care about what I think, that you are concerned about the things that trouble me, and that you genuinely enjoy spending time with me. Ultimately, a woman’s mind seeks someone who will share a lifetime—someone who loves you in spite of your faults, and who constructively helps you to be more whole today than you were yesterday. Christian women need Godly relationships in order to fulfill these God-given needs. But ultimately, our earthly relationships will fall short of our expectation because people are flawed by sin and crippled by shame. As Christians, we may be forgiven, but we’re still far from perfect.
As women, our minds yearn to be loved unconditionally. But we also long to be trained and challenged. We need to be tested, tried, and proven in ways that only God can understand; because he created us to need these things. Our problem is that we try to fulfill these needs in our earthly relationships, and we fail miserably.
Are you seeking a love relationship that only God can provide? If you are, then you’re right…only God can provide it. Stop looking for love in all the wrong places and start looking to God for that particular need. Take out your broken heart, lay it on the altar, and ask your loving Father to transform it into something useful again. Tell him that you long to be whole; and hear his transforming words, “Rise up and walk!”
Assignment: When you look back through the days of your life, how many broken relationships do you find? Are there unresolved emotions lingering around these memories? Does guilt, anger, bitterness, or unforgiveness linger? Do you face issues and problems in your relationships today because of these emotions? After you’ve finished your inventory, consider this: How do your broken relationships affect your personal relationship with the Savior? Do they make you reluctant to engage in the wholeness he offers? Take all of these issues in prayer as you seek wholeness from the Savior today, and as you do, here’s a song to keep you company.
Turn Your Eyes by Nicole Nordeman
Psalms 139:16 “Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.”
Since the first time I saw it, I have enjoyed the show “Undercover Boss”. I never quite new what it was about it that struck such a chord with me until recently. I think the reason that I enjoy this show is because it is an incarnation of sorts. If you have never seen the show, the CEO will go undercover in his or her own company to see how things are going at different levels of employment. This CEO will be disguised and given a cover story. At the end of the show, the CEO reveals his identity to a lucky few who he met during his time undercover. This CEO invariably blesses these people in different ways which usually involve monetary gifts.
And then it hit me.
This show is a beautiful picture of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Just as a high ranking member of a company humbles himself to a lowly position to serve those below him, so too Christ “emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:7), and incarnated, or came down to earth as a man and died to save his enemies so that they might know Him. This is glorious. Christ not only died to save us from the penalty of our sins but secured for us “...every spiritual blessing in the heavens, in Christ...” which far outweighs any monetary sum a CEO could give us. Because of our not-so-undercover God we have access to the best thing He could ever give us, namely, Himself.