A 2nd Little Word on Faith
7 And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years.
8 Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years
When I spoke earlier, and also many times in the past as well, perhaps I might have seemed to have relegated faith to special times and especially difficult situations.
And rightly so, for it is that. There are indeed special moments in our lives, when God speaks as a thunderclap in our being. These are the moments that undergird the rest of our lives.
But what about the rest of the time? The times when we are just living our lives, doing the things we do -- working our jobs, picking up the kids, taking the car in for repair, mowing the lawn, and the thousand other "mundane" things we do every day? When there is no "special word" from God that day; it's just the day that followed the day before and lived pretty much like every other day we can remember.
That's why I noticed Abraham's life. Isaac, we all know, was born when Abraham was 100 years old, Sarah 90. The "promise" that God gave Abraham had occurred 25 earlier, and after the promise was fulfilled in the birth of Isaac, Abraham lived another 75 years. For my money, that's a lot of time. What in the world was he doing all that time?
Just being a desert patriarch I suppose. Whatever it is that they did all day. Maybe check out the sheep herd, the supply of dates and wine, see if the dancing girls were doing ok. (Not that Abraham had dancing girls, but all I know about "desert patriarchs" I learned from Hollywood movies, and for the most part, they all had dancing girls, sheep, and dates and wine. If that's inaccurate, no attempt is made here at historical accuracy.)
But my point is this. Life is mostly NOT those rough moments. Those times come, and as I said earlier, strength in those moments in found in Christ in a way beyond what we know. But it isn't those moments I'm talking about here.
It's the regular every-day real-life moments that seem like "just us" living and we're walking through the day & handling the consecutive moments of life, just being "ourselves" with maybe no particular thoughts of God. Dealing with traffic. Fighting for our rights at fast-food restaurants ("I said NO onions"). Opening the mail. Watching the weather. Arguing over the phone with adult children. Cooking supper. Taking out the trash. Catching the game.
Here is the crux of the matter. This is where the rubber meets the road. Because, wonderful as they are, experiences on the Mount of Transfiguration are few & far between. We live most of our lives in the "in-between." Really low lows followed by really high highs are not the norm. Mostly just "in-between." And the "in-between" is the sanctified life.
From the moment of God's pronouncement upon Abram, that his faith was counted as righteousness, the sanctity of God fell upon the whole of Abram's existence. All of Abram's, now Abraham's life, was the life of God's Spirit in action. His name became in Abraham to be "father of many nations." But just living as a regular human person of his day.
Probably 90% or more of Abraham's life was spent just doing regular stuff, just like we ourselves do every day. It was different stuff, to be sure, than what we do. But it was just regular human living, for his day, and life is the same in our day as well. And Abraham's "regular human living" was the life of God, Christ, being expressed in his patriarchial world.
The lesson for us is that once the stamp of God has been placed on our lives, from the moment we realize it and are carried along in the faith of God, God's sanctity rules our lives. It doesn't matter whether we're grilling burgers in the backyard or preaching to heathens on remote islands, the same Christ is operating fully as ourselves in our daily lives, in each moment of our daily lives, and ALL for His own redemptive purposes.
And by redemptive I mean a continual calling forth of life in the midst of what appears to be deaths of different sorts all around us. I mean no "special thing" when I say a "continual calling forth of life." It is Who we are in the mundane as well as Who we are in the theophanied moments that is the same WHO in each, whether mundane or transfigured with visions. The very presence of ourselves IS the "continual calling forth of life" in redemption. Christ is ALL in ALL. I and my Father are One.
So bottom line what I'm saying is this: Christ is Christ in the Monopoly Board and checkout line as much as He is Christ in the Deepest Heavens of the Father (for they are the same). In the resurrection He is NOW living by us He has sanctified all our existence. His sanctification of our lives is based on Himself living in us, and not on anything we could add to the equation.
God dwells in heaven. God dwells in us. Seeing heaven within us is seeing heaven everywhere. And seeing heaven everywhere is seeing God everywhere.
And this is a vision, perhaps not of sight, but of faith. Everyday faith. Unconscious faith, just living.
Today, believe the Truth -- Christ the Lord is being YOU today! This moment. I will dwell in them and walk in them and be their God.