Thursday, October 11, 2007

Just Breathe

If we don't live by code or law, if there is nothing we can earn or merit, if our records do not effect our salvation, how do we then live? The simple and straight forward answer is that we live out of the Spirit that God gave us when we were born again. We live inspired, not perspired, lives. Our existence is a promenade with God--we walk hand and hand with him where he's walking. If he goes right, we go right, if he goes left we go left. What he does we do, what he says we say. It's not about passing some proficiency exam, it's about grace that allows us to live in partnership with the awesome God.

Folk that want to live by a code are not generally folk that experience God. When they keep trying to jam their good deeds down God's throat, is it any wonder he seems to gag at their company? At best, they're like little kids insistently crying, "Look at me, look at me!" That gets old fast, even for grandma! What can it do for God, who sees all their works (all the failure, all the sin, all the self-serving, self-centered acts of willfulness) not just the ones they want him to notice? Our good deeds can never erase the bad ones, so it's a dead end street trying to earn or maintain favor from God by our works.

In an emergency, the desperate cry that's often heard is "Somebody, do something!" In our desperation to be at peace with God, our panicked souls often invoke that same cry reflexively, but the something that needs doing has already been done by someone else. So perfectly, in fact, that nothing else could be or needs to be done in addition. Our rescuer stands by us, alive and well, the victor over hell and death, with an oxygen mask in hand. Life has been offered to us, all we need to do is accept it and breathe in.

The devil says, "Look what you've done!" The flesh says, "Look what I've done!" Faith says, "Look what Christ has done!" And the Word says, "Just breathe."