Thursday, November 21, 2013

Searching For More?

By Kristen Leigh Evensen
Athletes and artists, professors and musicians.
When we encounter a human being who is utterly gifted in a specific realm or talent, we exclaim, "They were made for that!" Listen to a symphony, watch an Olympic swimmer butterfly, dwell on the brushstrokes of a painting, observe a teacher passionately instruct--and it becomes clear that certain people are endowed by the Creator with an unmistakable need and desire to be who God created them to be, to use their gifts faithfully and to the utmost. 

It is much the same for you and I. It may be that you were made to speak, write, compose, compute, design, read, critique, solve, or plan; but more intricately woven into the fabric of your very being is the need to be perfected. To be complete. To be whole. To be glorified.

You were made for perfection in Christ.

As I was walking through my neighborhood just now, I exhaled loudly all the cares of these past few overwhelming days. On weeks when my mind feels jumbled, my body tired, and my heart worn from battling against sin I am reminded of how temporary are the struggles of this life. Though certain stretches of time may be more difficult to endure than others, I ponder the blessing of their hardship: they reveal our deeper need to be glorified alongside Christ, and then we yearn for Him all the more in the present time.

Stick with me here as we read 2 Corinthians 5:1-10. Paul writes to the Corinthians, and to us, about how we are made for perfection in Christ:

5 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

Think about it: the fact that we have a great, deep need groaning from within points us to the Creator by revealing just how unsatisfying the world is. We cannot find answers here on earth for our longings to be made whole. In that place of vulnerable desperation of body, mind and soul we also see revealed our need for a sinless Savior, the perfect Son of God, who brilliantly embodies all that we were originally intended to be! Before man fell from glory and sin entered the world, man walked with God. Man was untainted, whole, perfect.

The lack we feel, and our subsequent groaning, points us to Christ.

Paul gives us a few insights about perfection in Christ:

ONE: Eternity with Christ is cause for hope. "If the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed..." How often we see destruction of worldly things! I consider the Philippines this past week, ravaged by the typhoon. I consider cancer and Alzheimer's disease. Are earthly home is not eternal. Our groaning for perfection speaks of the hope we have in Christ, who reconciled sinners to the Father and gave us a place with Him in heaven. Though our earthly tent is destroyed, we do not despair--no, we groan for precisely what we were made for in the first place. 

TWO: Our groaning can purposefully point our hearts and others to Christ. There is complaining and grumbling, and then there is groaning. Paul says that we are burdened "that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life." Your burden for eternity is an opportunity for gratitude towards God and all He promises in Christ, and also for showing others the hope you have been granted in Jesus. The person who chooses not to complain but to meditate on eternity is a person compelled by hope, fixed on Christ and focused on eternal glory. 

THREE: God has prepared us for perfection by giving us the Holy Spirit. He is the guarantee of our salvation and our eternal inheritance. 

FOUR: Our groaning prompts us to aim to please God in everything. "We make it our aim to please him." Since we know what glory we one day will see, we are filled with good courage and gratitude to please Christ, who prepares a place for us. Our hearts overflow with love, joy and satisfaction in Christ and so we aim to walk as He walked, while we await perfection forever with Him.

FIVE: What we do with our groaning will be judged. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat." If you are searching to fill the void within you via earthly measures, know that you are brushing aside a blessed, merciful dissatisfaction that God has given you to draw you near to Himself. Your desire for fulfillment, wholeness and perfection is proof of a loving Creator who desires you to know Christ. Do not resist His loving kindness. Draw near to Him. His arms are extended in grace and love to those who see their need and trust in Christ. 

Gracious, merciful Father, Thank You for creating us. Thank You that all creation proclaims Your handiwork, and the heavens declare Your glory. I pray that we would declare Your glory each day as we walk in You and fix our eyes on Christ. Help us to know You more. We aim to please You alone. We long for the day of Christ Jesus!

Amen. 


[As always, I would love to have a conversation with you about Jesus Christ and the good news of life abundant He brings. If you have any questions or want to talk about the gospel, email me at kristenleighevensen@gmail.com.]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please refer to my Comment Policy, should you have any questions about content. Thank you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...