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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Waiting For the Other Shoe ( to drop )

'What a strange title for a Christmas message!', you may say!

I know myself, that even though I often preach against it, I find myself, much of the time, living as if I'm 'waiting for the other shoe to drop'! I was thinking about it this morning, as I traveled to my place of 'work'; 'why do we use that phrase?', and 'why do we live that way so much?' ( I know that many of you might not be guilty of this, but I sure am! ). I must realize that for us, who have become in Christ, the other shoe will never drop. We, as Christians, should realize, especially in this season in which we remember especially, and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, that it is because of this miraculous birth, and the final revelation of our True Light that we need not fear for the other shoe to drop. As much, then, as I preach this Gospel truth, as much as I try to live as if I believed it; I find myself acting as if I'm not sure.

Paul said, in Romans 8:15; 'For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” He repeats this phrase in II Timothy 1:7; 'For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.'

We preach it, we teach it; why do we find it so hard to live it, sometimes?

I mentioned, in a previous article, that many Christians fail daily to live according to Jesus' words in Matthew 6:33: I am not condemning anyone! Most certainly not; God forbid, because I am guilty of the same!

On a more personal note; I know that I have often lived in an almost morbid fear of God's retribution for when I 'messed up', and did something I knew that I shouldn't. It was and is right that I should feel remorse over my sin; but it is not right that we who have been forgiven by Christ should expect further retribution from God on that account We can always expect human retribution when we 'flub up'; but like I tell my children, when they complain of their sibling 'tattling' on them: 'If you don't do anything wrong, they wouldn't have anything to 'tattle' on, would they?'

A friend asked me the other day, how we can find happiness in Christian living. I told her that we have a choice, that it is not necessarily what we are given that makes us happy; rather, it is what we do with, how we receive, what we are given. When God tests our faith, as He did in the Garden, with Job, with Joseph, David, and so many other Old Testament saints, not to mention the prophets; it has always been how they treated that 'testing' that determined whether it was a blessing or curse, good or evil, to them ( I speak in human terms )!

I have often quoted, and will continue to do so, Paul's comforting words in Romans 8:28;

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

The apostle James said, 'Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.'

God has promised that everything that happens to us, happens, not only for our good, but is good! We don't always like the manner, shape, or form in which God sends these things our way, but we can trust Him that it's all good!

When we focus on things that we have done wrong, for which we know that God would be most just to punish us; I think that we tend to forget almost, the reason that the Christ was born in the flesh, to take away any fear of the other shoe dropping: 'Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe...........'! As I said before, also in a previous article; we need to focus, not on what we can, or think we must, do, rather we must focus on what Christ has done: I think that if we truly followed Christ's command to 'seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness'; then we would find it much easier to put our minds on the job ahead, and serve God ( and each other ) with all our heart, mind, and strength, with our whole being!

As I was going over this phrase in my mind this morning; I thought that we could view it metaphorically, as speaking of the footfall of a person coming to find you out, and most likely to punish you for a misdeed, but as I was further ruminating just now, I thought; 'the reason that we don't have to fear those footfalls, is because He walks with us, in our footsteps, or rather, we walk in His', if indeed we do walk with Him, and each other, in Love!

As we celebrate, in this season especially, but all year round; let us keep in mind that it is because of this miraculous and heavenly divine Gift that we no longer have to fear the other shoe dropping. In this haman existence then, let us live for and to Him always, and stop living as if we're 'wating for the other shoe to drop'!

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