After feeling drawn to go off on that emotional tangent in the last post, I sat down and spent a great deal of time in prayer about the direction of the blog right now. I know I told you we would start by evaluating love and relationships (and TRUST me, I am pretty neurotic and want nothing more than to stay organized in the sequence of posts), but I really don’t believe that’s what He wants right now. So, I am going to put a pause on our study of love and relationships and rewind us a bit. I want to take us back to the basics again. I really feel like there is much more that needs to be elaborated upon and taught, pertaining to the fundamentals of our faith, so that we can better appreciate the journey. It would be a futile attempt to teach if I continue to write about what “Mo” wants to write about and didn’t listen to what He wants, so let’s take a step back and understand the fundamentals a little deeper.
One of the most important and mind-blowing understandings that I was recently introduced to was the difference between our “position” in Christ and our “condition” in Christ. Understanding this principle serves so many purposes. It has been instrumental in pushing me towards self-forgiveness. It also allows us to understand the true definition and magnitude of God’s grace. As well as appreciate the significance of the forgiveness offered to us by Jesus Christ’s life. It is all relative to our assurance of salvation and what it truly means to be saved.
Below is a really basic, really helpful visual that totally altered my outlook on my salvation when I was taught what it meant. (You’ll have to forgive the handwriting, I had to write it all backwards because the camera was flipping the image. haha.) So let’s take a look at this overview and, over the next several blog posts, we will break down exactly what it means…
Okay, so before you let your mind wander and you get confused, let’s break this down piece by piece. This is a graph that illustrates our hearts and our walks with Christ. Every single person’s graph looks different. Every single person’s is individually tailored to them throughout their lifetime. This one simply serves as an example. Along the bottom is our time here on earth (this graph stretches to 100 years). Up the y-axis is a measurement of our righteousness. In other words, it is a measurement of how “Christ-like” we are living. Synonyms for this would be our purity, or our morality, etc. This is what we strive for, as Christians. 1 and 2 Timothy are fantastic resources for “defining” what righteousness really is. If you have a Bible, jot down these verses and take a look at them–1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Timothy 2:22, 2 Timothy 3:16. (Again, Righteousness is something we will elaborate on more later.)
If you look at the graphed line, it starts at our birth. Though we are each perfectly and beautifully constructed by God, we are born into a world of sin. So we start at zero. The dark line shows our lives before we are truly saved. Before we truly accept Jesus into our hearts and recognize what He did for us. As we are exposed to the Word, we grow and mature, so that line tends to crawl upwards. However, just because we go to church and hear the Word, does not mean that we are saved. A tough lesson I had to learn: going to church isn’t just our “ticket in”. This line looks different for everyone. The variations of this line are innumerable, but they all start at zero.
If you notice, this line is in a “zone” that is shaded in red. Any red on this graph represents Satan. Yikes! I just got a little scared, too. But this is the fact of the matter. If we live our lives in the zone that is shaded red, our spirits and our souls are fair game. God grants us free will. He grants us the right to choose. He is a just God. But if we live our lives in this zone, then we are still subject to His wrath. Unfortunately, Satan still has equal access to our spirits. And trust me, Satan LOVES when people’s souls are in this zone. He thrives on it. He loves when people turn from Christ and refuse to recognize the truth or are captivated by what this crappy world has to offer. Because, sadly, this world is Satan’s playground. So think about it…what happens here? What happens if you die in the red zone? What happens if your brother, or your best friend, or your teammate or your boyfriend dies here? What happens if they live their whole lives and never recognize Christ as their Savior? I mean TRULY recognize Him?…….Do you get it? THAT’s the urgency here! That’s why it’s so crucial that, as believers, we spread the word as fast and as passionately as we can. Because if someone has been exposed to the gospel and they die in the red zone–if someone’s life is cut short, or even if they live a long life and never humble themselves to the truth, it’s game over. Satan wins that soul.
So now you’re probably wondering what the giant dot represents. Ahh! I LOVE this part! So we live our lives in the red zone for a while. We live our lives in this dangerous place. But the moment we TRULY recognize the magnitude of what Jesus Christ did for us…BAM! SAVED. Holy cow…SAVED! Can you even wrap your head around that? That instant, that moment that we truly let Him into our hearts, that moment that we are truly filled with the Holy Spirit…BAM! GAME OVER, SATAN. Good try, big guy, but you lose. AHH! Doesn’t that make you want to jump in the air and give a massive fist pump. GEEZE! God is SO GOOD! That moment that we let down our guards, that we fall on our knees to His power…in that moment, our spirits are locked and sealed and we are SAVED. Man oh man, this is a topic that I could sit here and type on forever, and we will look at it in more detail soon, I promise.
But, wow. So incredible. Okay, so we hit that dot on the graph. And if you notice, the red zone disappears and several different lines break from it. Now, what does that mean? What does that represent? Who are we after we are saved?
(to be continued…)