Saturday, July 28, 2007

I Prayed For You This Morning

Dear "Between Two Worlds" Readers,

Believe it or not, even though I don't know any of you personally, I prayed for you all this morning. I was pleading with God to graciously grant you all the things necessary to press on and strain forward today: wisdom, discernment, humility, resolve, courage, patience, and joy. These are not qualities that we can muster up on our own. These are qualities that Christ alone perfectly possesses. But if we are in Christ, they are already ours. The Bible makes it clear that in Christ, God provides us with everything we need for godliness. My prayer for you this morning was that you would come to a greater understanding of, and appreciation for, all that already belongs to you in Christ.

Our Christian forefathers used to lament that “Christian’s too often live beneath the level of their privileges.” We fail to recognize that if we are united to Christ, then all that is his is mine (humanly speaking). He has made it possible for us to be all that God originally intended for us to be. In his book Grow in Grace, Sinclair Ferguson notes that “Jesus is the captain of our salvation.” He is the pioneer of our faith. As the pioneer of our faith, he has made it possible for us to follow him. He is the great trailblazer. He has beaten down a path for us to follow. He came to regain for us all that the first Adam had forfeited. He is, as I often tell the people at New City Church where I pastor, “Adam in reverse.” Ferguson goes on to provide this vivid illustration: “Picture an army captain hacking his way through a jungle during a battle with guerilla forces. He leads his men from danger to safety by first facing the dangers, impediments, and tests himself. Similarly, Jesus is the Captain of our salvation. He has not only tasted all of our experiences of temptation but he has gone further. He experienced them in their full strength, when they unleashed all their powers against him. Where we would stumble and fall, he has pressed on. He overcame temptation, conquered death and drew its sting. Now he beckons us: ‘Follow me, the pathway of faith is trustworthy for all of you to use!’” My hope and my prayer for you is that always and everywhere you will hear the voice of our Captain saying, “Follow me—the way has already been paved.”