Thursday, October 17, 2013

Out of Scope

I have never had a problem believing God for my salvation. I believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:2), the finished work on the cross (1 Peter 3:18), and access to grace by faith (Romans 5:2). I believe in all of that! I can make mistakes all day, but none of my "badness" is greater than God's "goodness" when it comes to grace/forgiveness. I'm not afraid of my sin, because of my faith in Christ's blood.

But when it comes to my day-to-day struggles, I find myself filled with fear that nothing is going to work out. Absolutely nothing. I kid you not. I can get pretty gloomy. 

Somehow I often do something that should be impossible: I split divinity from humanity.

Not saying that I, Kristen, am divine (for I am a wretch undone). But there is a divine element to the life of a Christian:

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? - 1 Corinthians 6:19

I belong to God. All of me. My days. My nights. My future. But somehow, because there wasn't a direct and specific promise about my career, my social life, or my felt difficult to overcome fear in those areas with faith. It was difficult, because (in my mind) God's grace wasn't for my petty, earthly, first world problems. There was no specific promise to me regarding those things like there was for my eternal salvation.

They were separate.

Which leads me back to Hebrews 11. And maybe you're not going to see this the way I saw it...but I see it like this:

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. - Hebrews 11:23

This scripture kills me, because it displays a different kind of faith than I think is shown in the other verses. Prior to this moment, we're dealing with people who have had direct and specific interaction with God (Cain/Abel, Enoch) or people who had received direct and specific divine instruction from God regarding a specific matter (Noah, Abraham/Sarah), or were patriarchs of a direct and specific Promise, who acted in direct faith and belief in that promise (Issac, Jacob, and Joseph). 

But this is different. This Moses verse is different.

Background info: Pharaoh has commanded that every Hebrew male child was to be killed (cast into the Nile to drown).

These parents are in the hall of fame for doing something amazing without having a direct and specific reason other than their own desire. What do I mean:
  • What happened? By faith, Moses was hidden. 
  • Why did they hide him? Because they saw he was beautiful and they wanted him
  • How could they hide him? Because they weren't afraid
They hid a baby that was supposed to be dead, not because an angel came and said he was the chosen one and that everything would be okay. No. They did this without angelic intervention. Without thunder and lightning. Without a booming voice. Without all that, they believed. And their belief chased off their fear. They weren't afraid when they should have been afraid. They were slaves, already afflicted by hard labor in Egypt (Exodus 1:14). An execution probably wasn't out of the question.

They believed without a plan. They believed without a promise. Based on what? Their over-arching knowledge of God coupled with their overarching knowledge of who they were. They were Israelites. Children of promise. And even in bondage, they knew that meant a LOT. In a time when tons of other parents were tearfully tossing their baby boys into the Nile to drown, they said "not mine."

Don't you see that a person could toss their son in the Nile, but still believe that they were going to a land that flowed with milk and honey. Because that was promised. The life of their son wasn't. That was "outside the scope."

But these parents felt like everything was in scope. And it got them in the hall of fame.

Everything is in what are we excluding?