How do you define your value in the in-between? The cross complete and the tomb is sealed shut and if you are following Jesus what do you do?
Tonight I want to talk to you about the in between. The place in life when the resurrection is not yet. If you are following Jesus and you don’t see the victory what emotions are you feeling? What decisions do you make? Do you even have the strength?
If you are Matthew, do you have decision fatigue? Do the math it shouldn’t have added up this way. That dead guy, Lazareth was raised. Massive miracles were a regular occurrence around Jesus. None of the expectations led to this result.
Roughly 70 times a day we are making decisions. What to wear, eat, what route to take on your way to class or work, whether to call him or her back you get the picture? Matthew trusted a Kingdom was coming and that Jesus would bring it. And it totally went left when he saw it going right. Have you been there?
You can relate when the competition is complete, the run finished, and the outcome is questionable. The way an Olympic athlete performs only to wait and see if others will surpass their scores or times. This can be an in between.
All of us need vision and purpose. There is a satisfaction in doing what you feel called to do.
JOSH my brother-in-law had that in his job in the Air Force.
When you discover who you are you become satisfied. He enjoyed a ton of incredible experiences and toward the end of his career worked on Air Force One. He had found his purpose. Josh knew and similarly they the disciples knew, God had called them. I remember in one conversation Josh sharing with me an experience he had giving his life to God and the powerful purpose that had brought. In the light of that conversation the outcome didn’t add up. When he was still so young Jared and I received a call Josh was dead at age 33. We missed it. We didn’t see this coming.
Just like they missed it. We placed his value in an outcome. And the cross is trying to speak a new definition of value over our lives. A value beyond outcomes and expectations. A value that shatters the confusion of death and defeat.
The cross is the ultimate statement of our value. A value for all the in between spaces in life. It is the only way to handle the changes.
Sooner or later the best of us will misunderstand what God is doing. Tonight don’t misunderstand God in your current season. God in Jer 29:11 says I know the plans.
That message came to a people in captivity. That promise came to a nation in a dark time. God knows what He is doing. That is what the cross is trying to show us. In our decision fatigue God chooses for us. He reaches into our darkness and grabs hold of our lives right there. Jesus is taking us beyond belief. Beyond what Matthew could even comprehend.
The cross defines the power God has over every dead circumstance. The cross defines the power of God to ransom every captive place in your life. The cross defines the victory we can know is coming in every in between place. Jesus has authority power and the right to make us family of God regardless of our defeats and our track record.
It was there at Calvary that God gave us access to eternal life, and the life was in His Son. Perfect replacement for our shortage, our lack, our failure. Jesus is there knowing ETERNAL LIFE is ours.
How does this relate to my golf game? Stay with me here. It was Tiger woods worst score on the first 9 holes on mother’s day. It was my best. We scored the same. I was full of elation. Tiger’s worst day was bridging the gap between my game and his. He was in a downturn and a frustration the media was eagerly broadcasting. Yet as we see his come back, chasing 82 wins
would completely shatter the disappointment of that score. The momentum is astounding. I watched his most recent win in the Masters Tournament with my dad, an avid golf lover over FaceTime.
Tiger Woods battles a crowded leaderboard and ultimately wins his first major in 11 years and his fifth career green jacket by winning The 2019 Masters Tournament. ESPN
Tiger would drill through the wall of doubt against him to win the Masters this year. Similarly Jesus endured the shame and suffering, the fall from the glory of the triumphal entry. He would fully experience the human body’s brokenness to identify with us to defeat the mental stronghold of doubt we all experience. He did this so we could celebrate the come back, the victory with him.
You may have heard this before but literally the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will raise us. The decision fatigue is done. God made the call. He chose you. Now, choose Jesus even on your Saturday after the earthquake of Friday. Take relief in your in between that the decision was made and God completed it. He said upon the cross before the powerful glory of a resurrected body, “IT IS FINISHED.” His mental state was sealed, HE would return to glory.
How can I have the mind of Christ? What decisions can I make in the in between?
I said it before first, choose Jesus. Paul author of thirteen books of the New Testament wrote some great insight for us in suffering. He personally knew a whole lot of suffering and endured many challenges that came along with the exhilaration of God’s calling.
He laid it out for us, do whatever is the true thing, the honorable way, the right way, the pure thing, the action worthy of praise because JESUS is worthy. If is is excellent choose it. Choose to acknowledge like Christ did on that cross that God is listening. There in the face of death Jesus says, “into your hands I commit my spirit.” Commit the decision to HIS hands. Commit your way to God. Commit in the hard place to a life of conversation with God. Live responsive and guided by HIM.
He will do the extraordinary in you. And Jesus was raised so that you too will be raised. Let the doubt, fear, sin, and selfish thoughts die. Let your personal hunger for more go. Surrender with Jesus and trust right here in the in between. Trust that John 10:10 is true, HE IS the way to life and life abundant. And the same way it was for Jesus it is for us. There isn’t any way around the cross, you can only go through.
So keep moving forward.