“Long before He laid down earth’s foundations, He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love.”
Paul (To the Church in Ephesus)
WHOLE + HOLY
It was always intended this way, from the very beginning. His plan is that His love would make all of us complete through His love. That obviously implies that we were incomplete.
As a leader who resides in the United States at this point in history, how does that word “incomplete” hit you? There is something in me that recoils at the thought. An author I love says that we are all “unfinished” men and women. I feel a little better about that word, but nonetheless, both imply that there is something lacking. How dare they?
I spent the first 20 years of my spiritual journey working my tail off to try to achieve the “holy” half of that equation. I regularly listened to all the right radio stations, read all the right books, attended all the right bible studies, and fastidiously worked to keep the rising post-Christian culture out of my home and my mind. The reality is that despite all the work and effort I was putting forth…
I was failing miserably.
I was not allowing His love and a deep understanding of my sonship to have its’ intended effect. I was just aggressively working (applying every tip and technique I could find) to try to make my life appear more that way. As a result, the veneer (the appearance) of my life, might have looked a lot more holy, but my frustration and disappointment was rising. I felt no relief. I was operating as an orphan, on my own, trying to make it all work. Something didn’t feel quite right. Do you know that feeling?
A dozen or so year’s ago, came the revelation that I wasn’t supposed to do this on my own. Despite everything my life had taught me up to that point, I was not intended to do life as an orphan. I needed to not only walk in close and deep fellowship with other men, but more importantly I needed to bask in the full weight of my sonship.
“…He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will...”
Walking with a band of men and developing a much deeper understanding of my Father’s desire and intentions for me, changed many things. I am understanding a strength and nobility, as a son of a King, that makes the journey to holiness much more scalable. I am not fully fearless, but I operate with a heck of a lot less fear.
But that is only half the equation…
The offer is so much greater than that. We can not only find a life that is more holy in His love, but also enjoy an inheritance that carries the opportunity for healing… to be made “whole.” This is a much newer category in my life, but each step into true restoration is so powerfully transformative that I wonder how I ever got any traction before.
We are the focus of His love… to be made whole and holy.
It was always intended this way, from the very beginning.
We were not meant to walk alone. We need deep and authentic fellowship with others.
We are not orphans. We are the sons and daughters of a King.
Our wounds (and all of us have taken a few shots in our lives so far from Eden) were meant to be healed.
How is the pursuit of holiness going for you?
Are you basking in the affirming strength of deep fellowship and understanding of your sonship?
How whole, finished, or complete do you feel?
Are you even aware enough of your pain or desire to do something about it?