[bl]T[/bl]hese are the images I came home to last night. After three days gone, these children, this husband, this home instantly brought comfort to my tired mind. This life. The one I live. It’s beautiful and colorful.
And the life we witness right now. In this season, in this place. The one that surrounds us. It is also colorful. So vibrant. It hardly seems possible. The change happens so fast. From greens to deep golds, bright yellows, vibrant oranges, stunning reds.
I stand in the middle of my yard wanting to soak up all the color. Because I know well that soon it will be gone.
With life at it’s brightest and fullest, it doesn’t seem possible that death is right around the corner. And the land around us will become barren.
I recall the weekend.
54 women. Unique individuals, yet truly we are the same. Broken and called on a journey. We gather together as a community.
And like the earth, we go from life to death. Our flesh takes us from God’s intended places of life and freedom, and leads us into captivity.
We considered our bondage. Our sin. And not just the big bright red sin that stands out among the rest.
But anything that keeps us from living into our identity as God’s chosen people, his holy priests, and treasured possessions. Anything that separates us from Him and one another. Anything that keeps us from being available to his redemptive mission.
These are the things we need to be delivered from. For these are the things that shape our identity as slaves, rather than God’s children.
So together, these women surrendered. Through vulnerability and grace, we offered up our sin. Fear. Anxiety. Abuse. Addiction. The need to fix. Worry. Expectations. Our busy life. Loneliness. Broken relationships. Distrust. Our very selves. These collective stories of our sin taking us from life to death. We offered them to God, believing that he will deliver us and lead us back.
And we stood on the promise that God would go before us. Lead us forward. Show us where to camp. Shower down his manna. And when freedom doesn’t seem like freedom, we encouraged one other to look for God’s graces and the ways he is shaping our spirit for his purposes.
And then we faced the sad reality that we stand on the brink of true freedom and hesitate. Afraid of the enemies that threaten our abundant life. And how our holy God keeps the fearful from entering. And offers victory to the children.
For it is children who know how to be free. How to experience abundance.
But this faithful and holy God is patient. And he waits for his children to wander. To come to a place where they trust him. And like a devouring fire, he goes before them and fights their battles. And he is victorious!
It is through God’s grace and our faith that we cross over into new lands of freedom and abundance. Our journeys of faith are marked by captivity and deliverance. Not once. But a life time of surrendering that which binds, and trusting in He Who Delivers. And this journey has the promise of victory. Abundant life. Now on earth. And for eternity.
And we listened to God’s urging not to forget. In our comfortable homes and abundant life, may we not forget where we’ve been and what He’s done.
What does it look like to live as a victorious and holy people in the place that was created for us, but is now the place that holds us captive? This is the question we took home with us.
How does a holy person, set apart for the purposes of God, spend her resources? Schedule her day?
What does a holy home look like? A house, an environment set apart for God’s redemptive work?
What will it take for the church, the body of Christ, to surrender the journey the world places before us — the one of predictability, comfort, low risk, countless options and the pursuit of happiness — in order to receive the calling God has already given them? The calling to live as a holy people among a broken world. To reveal and reflect a holy God who is actively restoring his creation.
Let’s journey together in holiness.