Captive for Christ
Updated: Oct 4, 2021
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34
No one enjoys trouble. Or heartache. Or pain. Of course, we would each rather have sunshiney days with no distractions and complete freedom to plan our calendar and live unencumbered by problems. Unfortunately, life just doesn't work that way.
As much as I crave simplicity, I'm honestly thankful my sovereign Heavenly Father knows what to allow in my life to continue stretching my faith and spiritual maturity, while guiding me ever closer to Him. How wonderful it is to know and trust that I will never be close enough to God! How freeing it is to believe that He is watching over me, over each of us, understanding us well because He lovingly crafted us for a purpose.
Only God sovereignly knows what will bring us ever nearer to him and draw others with us as we step deeper into His embrace.
Life is a journey, literally meaning we progress from one stage to another. Although we don't always get to choose the obstacles, pit stops, mountains, or valleys we encounter, we do get to determine the destination.
Are you headed toward Him? Are you preparing for eternity in His arms?
Any life issue, whether great or seemingly insignificant is seen by God, the Author of Life, the Perfector of our Faith.
When we seek every moment for Him and release life issues as an offering to Him, we honor the life we have been given, and in extension, we praise God.
Hebrews 12:2-3 says, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
The word "perfecter" translated from Greek means "completer" or "finisher" as it conveys bringing something (or someone) to its conclusion. As we ponder these two words in the context of the Bible verse, we understand that Jesus creates and finishes our faith. He also sustains our faith; the gift that can never be lost or stolen away.
Because of Jesus.
Jesus watches over us through every struggle, gently soothing and mending our heart as we release our troubles to Him. He weeps with us and stands guard over our spirit, tenderly loving and protecting us in ways we cannot fathom.
Allow the Lord to use every piece of your life to draw not only yourself, but others to Him as you proclaim the goodness and mercy He exhibits as He provides the stepping stones and guardrails through your life travels.
2 Corinthians 10:5 says, "We tear down arguments and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
Allow God to use the hard and the easy to draw you nearer to Him so that He may draw nearer to you. We already know this world is not easy, yet life was never intended to only be about what we desire or how much "fun" or "stuff" we can have.
Deep and everlasting joy comes from one Source alone.
Our life is meant to honor and obey Him.
Jesus warned us to be watchful and to trust in Him.
"I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!” John 16:33
Take each moment, every situation captive for Him.
Phillipians 4:8 offers advice on lving through the trials and tribulations of this world. "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things."
Despite the schemes of the evil one, the fleshly desires of our heart, or the trials and pitfalls of this fallen world, we have a firm foundation to stand upon. No matter whether our trials are caused by our failures and mistakes, testing, or the simplicity of this broken life, we can trust that God will never forsake us. Let everything move you closer to the life Jesus sacrificed His for, and which He is proclaiming as good for you.
"By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one must be careful how he builds. For no one can lay a foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 3:10-11
Build your life, attitude, reactions, and desires on the foundation that stands.
Then allow the Carpenter to transform you moment by moment, through the mountains and valleys of your life. Jesus offers the only way to eternal joy and a life of clarity and peace, despite circumstances.