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Not Somewhere Out There

“What if it was less important that anything ever gets fixed than that nothing has to be hidden?

“There’s a way of seeing God… Millions buy into it. It’s that whole vision of Jesus ‘there’ and you ‘here,’ and your sin a trash heap in between. It’s saying you believe you’re a saved sinner, who’ll always be a saved sinner. Nothing’s really been changed in you. Maybe you get some fairy dust, if you beg hard enough. Maybe the Holy Spirit does something. But you are basically a not-very-good person who’s trying to be very, very good. You’re just a sinner who’s going to heaven because of something God did. Not much more. Millions of folks are living their daily lives out of that conviction.”

Such a picture doesn’t buy the astounding reality of Christ in you. Instead, He’s ‘out there.’ It doesn’t believe you are actually righteous, only theoretically righteous. To them, you’re just righteous enough to get in the gates, but not nearly strong enough to face your own issues.” —The Cure

I saw a movie as a kid called, “An American Tail” about a little immigrant mouse who comes to America but gets separated from his family and has to find them as he navigates a new country. The big song from the movie was “Somewhere Out There,”

Somewhere out there, beneath the pale moon light
Someone’s thinking of me, and loving me tonight

Somewhere out there, someone’s saying a prayer
That we’ll find one another, in that big somewhere out there

moonlightThey dream of being reunited “somewhere out there, out where dreams come true.”

Sadly enough, I’ve lived there in my Christian walk. He feels as far away as the moon. I see Him disappointed and disapproving because I’ve blown it again and I need to work my way back after losing Him. I’m just a dirty, rotten sinner who needs to try harder, and maybe, just maybe I’ll get a little closer to Him if I can prove I mean it.

I’ve written about this previously as we’ve discussed this book, but I need to say it over and over. I am changed. I am a new creation. I have a new identity and position as a son that is based not on merit or earning but completely due to His gift of grace.

To stay in the “I’m just a sinner” camp is to stay hidden in some measure. It’s the appearance of humility while you try to hide and work on your junk (at least it was in my case). God didn’t offer me a righteousness through Jesus that would get to heaven’s gates by the skin of my teeth. He offered me something much greater.

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. –2 Peter 3:9

The context surrounding this verse is about God’s judgment, but I believe it holds true that it’s not only talking about a salvation that saves from hell. Jesus determined to give us life and life to the full, but so many choose to work on things by themselves as if they will make any headway.

You can fall into that trap because you feel like if God were serious about His promise, you wouldn’t be dealing with these struggles any longer. Subtly, you are drawn away from trusting Him and pure grace and into making the promise a reality. After it doesn’t work, you fall back on “I’m nothing but a saved sinner” and settle into the groove.

But His will is that none would perish–not for eternity and not in this life. His goodness and kindness leads us to repentance. Repentance brings us back to grace. Over and over.

How awesome is His love and patience with us! The only thing that truly separates us is our thinking and/or emotions, sort of like a friend you’ve wronged and it’s feels like you’re far apart even when you’re in the same room. The way back is always repentance, but what a beautiful turning it is.

What do you think? Are you tempted to think of God as “somewhere out there”? Do you consistently lean on your identity in Christ?


cure2Welcome to week 1 of Chapter 6 discussion of The Cure (disclosure) by John Lynch, Bruce McNicol, and Bill Thrall. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. Once again, we’ll be taking 2 weeks per chapter as these are dense and thought-provoking words. If you have a response on your blog, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for her thoughts and the widget to add your post. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please dive into the conversation!

6 Comments

  1. I used to view God that way but have since learned of the close intimacy he desires. My identity in Christ is the real me, not comparisons or what others think our what I believe about myself. Facts over feelings, and the facts show His desire be known.
    Kari Scare recently posted..Living to Please GodMy Profile

    • Exactly. Amen. When my feeling or experience doesn’t line up with His word and His heart (also expressed through His word), I have to submit those things to Him and trust that He’s there. Thank you, Kari.

  2. It’s awesome when God shakes our theoretical knowledge of Him and shows us new aspects of Himself and the relationship He longs to have with us.

    A major crisis in my life moved my faith in Christ from “getting out of hell” and into God is ALIVE. My faith was in question and as I sought answers, God revealed how wrong I’d been and He began showing me how real He is, how near He is (inside me) and how much love He has for us all.

    I’m so thankful for that crisis. It changed my life. I still have growth in Him to do, but we all do. And He’s awesome to do more than we could ever imagine.

    • God is so wonderful! He’s not the author of the crisis, but He uses every one! I’ve been many similar situations where I’ve come out better than when I went in. Not that we can compare ourselves to sinless Jesus, but it reminds me of the verse that talks about if the rulers of the age had known, they never would have crucified the Lord of glory. If the enemy fully knew, they wouldn’t press us so hard because we come out more filled with His love, life, and resurrection power. Their only hope is in our giving up. His grace endures in us if we submit! Thanks so much, TC.

  3. Excellent post, Jason. I tend to use my weakness and free will as a crutch, pretending that it wasn’t an act of free will… but that doesn’t fool our Father. He is there to be the shield… not the footstool…

    • It would be so much easier if we were robots, right? 🙂 God didn’t set it up that way because He invited to real love and to truly know Him. So thankful for that. Thank you, Floyd.

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