When the Foundations are Shaken: Retreat, Recalibrate, and Ramp It Up! Part 2c
For this last part of the series, we’re picking up where we left off last week with Part 2b, when the circumstances of life are particularly shaken, fractured, and apparently falling completely apart, it’s time to Retreat… Recalibrate… and Ramp It Up.
Especially during times of cultural or personal “free falls”, it’s vitally important to remember, the thief of our peace “comes only to steal and kill and destroy. Jesus—our rock and foundation—came that we may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
And by God’s sovereignty, and the Spirit living within, Jesus is victorious for those who have faith in Him (Hebrews 1:1-4; John 14:26)! Period. No circumstance or power in this broken world can prevail against the atoning and redeeming love of Christ (Romans 8). But the word “remember” is used some 300+ times in the Bible for good reason, right? God’s merciful and we forget.
“Foundations Are Us!”
Of all the things one could say about what all humanity has in common, the fact that we were created to love God first and neighbor as self second as the means to exist and flourish and do all things—from the itsy-bitsy to the most grand imaginable—firmly planted on a rock-solid, existential and practical FOUNDATION… is absolutely, beyond-all-else, essential… foundational as it were!
All of mankind—as Image Bearers of God—is made to love and live with his or her faith and feet firmly planted on an unshakable, natural and supernatural, rock-solid foundation.
Go ahead, do the anecdotal research for yourself: Ask anyone you encounter how he or she is doing today. And once (and if…) you get beyond the “fine” or “really busy” facade you will discover ANY iteration of what’s said by any person on the planet will be either, “The (temporal or eternal) foundations are secure for me.” Or, “Frankly, I’m in a free fall (of varying degrees) right now.”
If we’re paying attention and looking into the eyes and heart of someone for any period of time, the peace and security of being on a foundation, or the anxiety (of yesterday) and worry (of tomorrow) of being in a free fall will reveal itself. And it’s our role in life to help anyone we meet Retreat… Recalibrate… and SHORE It Up! This is why our loving and compassionate Savior and Lord encourages us, Build Your House… Your Heart… on the Rock (Matthew 7:24-29)!
The Bible is the only articulation of God that presents God as, a) Who He actually is (first and foremost) for the purposes of b) presenting mankind as who we actually are. And if we were to place the entirety of God’s redemptive plan in the context of our subject at hand we could put it this way:
1) The Triune God of the universe created all things and set them on an unassailable foundation of His Love and Truth (Genesis 1,2);
2) mankind chose to live life based upon a foundation of his desire to be god, and God’s foundations “fell out from underneath man” placing all mankind into a state of spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical free fall (sin entered into the world) (Genesis 3; Romans 1:18-32);
3) God sent His one and only Son to die for the sins of the world (those who would repent and place their faith in Him) and stop the spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical free fall so that mankind could be at peace and back in relationship with God and be with Him on His mission to redeem the world until (John 3:16; Hebrews 1);
4) Jesus returns to do a “complete foundations reset” by ushering in a New Heaven and New Earth to make it possible for those who have trusted in Him to be in Union with Jesus for all eternity (Revelations 21).
Psalm 104:5—“He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved.”
Union with Jesus Christ: The Context for all God’s Work (as quoted form my book, The Weeping, the Window, the Way)
“If anything is clear from the plan of redemption described here, it is that God alone is the Initiator and Actor. He either does the work directly (as in justification), or he makes that work possible (as in faith and repentance). While we have a duty to respond to his actions, what should be equally clear is the absolutely astounding fact that God gives us a new heart and everything that flows from it as free gifts and expects us to receive them with joy and gratitude. He gives them despite the fact that we are so undeserving. In fact, we deserve precisely the opposite!
Still, you may be asking, “Since I am so undeserving, how is it that God offers me these gifts?” Good question! He offers them to you based on something called “union with Christ.” In brief, this is a phrase the Bible uses more than 160 times to describe God’s working an “intimate, vital, and spiritual joining together of Christ and his people, in virtue of which he is the source of their life and strength, of their blessedness and salvation.” Adopted children of God receive his blessings because Jesus deserved God’s blessings. Since God put us in Christ, we get to enjoy God’s blessings, too! (Please re-read the bold.)
For example, in Christ by faith, we died with him on Calvary’s cross. In Christ by faith, we rose with Christ when God raised him from the dead. Similarly, all the other blessings that come along with the new birth belong to us, all because the Father has placed us in Christ. Celebrate these astounding provisions of God today!
Union with Christ is the central truth in the whole doctrine of salvation. All to which the people of God have been predestined in the eternal election of God, all that has been secured and procured for them in the once and for all accomplishment of redemption, all of which they become the actual partakers in the application of redemption, and all that by God’s grace they will become in the state of glorification is embraced within the compass of union and communion with Christ. Not only does the new life of regeneration faith, repentance, justification, and adoption have as its inception being in Christ, it is also continued by virtue of the same relationship to him.
For now, we live in Christ as we go about our everyday activities. It is in Christ that believers are dead to sin and that we are resurrected. When Christ returns, the union will be complete. Glorification with Christ at his second coming will mark the beginning of that consummation as Jesus makes all things new and ushers in the New Heavens and New Earth.” (emphasis added)
Amen! And Amen.
Please mediate on Union with Jesus Christ today, each day, every day, as you begin and end your day—especially as we move along the journey of Advent. Pray the Holy Spirit will graciously yet assuredly fill your heart with a new measure of this astounding True Truth. And place it into action—get out and get some traction—by imparting some measure of this reality in you to another Image Bearer… Who may be on a firm foundation, or in a free fall of some kind, but needs a reminder and encouragement of God’s provision in Christ.
Until we sup again, run the good race!