Transcendence

Being a Christian is like literally trying to live in two worlds.

There is the natural world, where we must deal with student loans; high rent or mortgage and a slew of other living expenses; various job duties, tasks, and responsibilities; unemployment or underemployment; tyrannical bosses, backstabbing coworkers, and/or difficult, merciless clients; a dysfunctional family and familial obligations; flaky so-called friends; non-stop political turmoil, the false Left-Right paradigm, ushering us ever so closer to the unveiling of the anti-Christ; and a host of other noises, irritations, and demands.

Then, there is the spiritual world, where there is the holy, glorious presence of our beloved Lord Jesus Christ and the beautiful silence, tranquility found there.

So, as I go about my daily life, my body is interacting with the noisy, stressful, crazy, unstable natural world, but my spirit is attempting to remain at His feet.

This is often no easy feat! We are trying to extricate ourselves from this world while remaining in it–like trying to swim in a pool and get out of the pool at the same time!

I am often envious of those who lived in biblical times: In Bible days, one could literally escape to the desert or some other far-off place. There, one could take one’s time seeking after God, seeking His face, meditating upon His Word. If we were to spend an extended amount of time away from civilization, we would lose our jobs, our bills would not be paid, our familial obligations would not be met, and so on and so forth.

So, what is the answer? How can we escape, run away with our Beloved (Songs 2:10-13), while remaining shackled to our stressors?

On a practical level, I think Ephesians 5:18-19 (particularly verse 19) is a large part of the answer (Colossians 3:16 is similar):

Ephesians 5:18-19
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

When I am on the job and, rather than acknowledging the 101 things I have done right, my supervisors chew me out and publicly embarrass me for the one thing I did wrong, I might cry a little bit, then I lift up my soul to the Lord (Psalm 86:4Psalm 143:8). I remind myself of the Preciousness that I possess–Christ, God Himself–and this fills my heart with joy. Thoughts of Him and of His Word fill my heart with joy!

Also, I try to remind myself that nothing in this world truly matters–not my jobs or career, dysfunction within my family, or any other noise in this world.

The spiritual is more real than the physical, the natural.

I try to remember that it is the time I spend with Him and the time I invest in His kingdom that matter.

Hebrews 11:13-16
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Woman looking toward kingdom

Galatians 1:3-5
3 grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,

4 who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Though we have an outer life, we must learn to live (and remain in) the inner life, where our Beloved dwells. There, we can find peace in the midst of the storm.

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