Empty promises lose their shine when peace and joy are already mine.
Central to Christian faith is its ancient proclamation, “Jesus is Lord!” For many, such a cry may appear politically incorrect or even naive but only for those who’ve not yet seen what the early Christians saw. For such a vision of Christ has proven more powerful than even the threat of death. They could claim that Jesus is Lord because they could see that Jesus was sufficient. May God restore to us this very same vision even today!
Jesus made some pretty extreme statements about His sufficiency and worth. He proclaimed Himself to be the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:21) and declared there is actual power in His name for answered prayers (John 14:13-14). He even said that all who put their trust in Him, even if they die, will yet live again (John 11:25).
So, built into the very fabric of Christian life and practice is this radical assertion of Christ’s sufficiency. We sing about it in our worship, confess it in our doctrine, read it in our Bibles, and associate it with our church practices of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Such familiarity can certainly be a powerful blessing reminding us of God’s saving grace in Christ. Yet, unfortunately, it can also become a bane if we are not careful. For if we are not intentional to respond to these blessings, they will soon lose their glow and eventually seem only common and mundane . . . mere ritual and boring routine.
Convinced in our Hearts
We live in a highly visual culture. We’re daily fed streams of images and ideas appealing to our senses promising a certain version of truth claiming to be sufficient to meet our deepest desires. While we probably don’t embrace the same values or beliefs of these icons and entertaining storylines, we must remember to guard our minds and especially our hearts. For if we are not stirred by a clear vision of the wonder of Christ—even if in part—our faith can suffer from the distraction of these lesser lights ceaselessly vying to win our gaze and, eventually, our hearts. So, what can we do if we lack such vision?
We must be committed to prayer. For through it we cultivate a routine of sacred space and time where frequent exposure to Christ’s presence makes us aware of His sufficiency in ways we’ve never known before. I’ve found that through such prayerful perseverance those empty promises that used to seem so irresistible finally lose their shine because true peace and joy are already mine! Next week we talk more about the relationship between vision and faith.
What Do You Think?
In what ways do you need a clearer vision of Christ’s sufficiency? How do you think this could impact your life?
♦ To see the poem this post is based on, click here.