How often have you been approached by your credit card company offering you an upgrade from silver to gold or gold to platinum, listing all the additional benefits that will come you way? If you interrupt to ask the price, they will say, “Oh but wait, that’s not all, listen to this”. But finally comes “the bottom line”, the cost. And then you have to decide if what you’re getting is worth it to you for the price you’ll have to pay.
If you are reading this Blog, you have probably read my book, “In Our Image“. I began writing it because I was searching for a more personal relationship with Jesus I felt was lacking in my life. I’ve come to have the closeness I longed for and work to keep it from slipping away.
But as I was reading scripture during this Lenten season and meditating on it, something struck me. I had wanted that intimate connection to Jesus because He embodied not only a Divine but a human nature, with all its frailties and limitations save sin. I can relate to that!
We come to know so much about Him through the gospels, entering into a relationship with Him is not that difficult if we want it badly enough. But God the Father, for me was a different story. How can a finite being like me begin to comprehend the Author of the universe and He who begot the Son? So high on a pedestal did I place Him that He became impossible to reach, and I far too unworthy to approach.
Then a sort of epiphany happened. John says it so beautifully and so plainly. “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” 14:10, and “In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” 14:20. So what exactly does that mean? It’s an offer for an upgrade.
So what extra do we get by bringing the Father down from His pedestal into our hearts when we welcome His Son? Jesus Himself said, “…the Father is greater than I.” John 14:28. We get the Father’s strength when we are faced with trials, sufferings and temptations. Just as He sent His angel to strengthen Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane as He wept and pleaded with the Father to remove the chalice of suffering, God will give the power of His own strength to us, His children.
How many times have you wished you knew how to proceed…what to do in a situation…or what to say? Maybe I should ask how many time a day, if you’re like me. Jesus told His apostles, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you always…” John 14:16. So you will get the great wisdom of the Father, wisdom that surpasses all understanding.
Wait, there’s more. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7.
The wisdom, strength and peace in the magnitude of the Father Himself can be ours if we unify ourselves with Him, let Him melt into us to dwell forever. God never knocks down the door to our hearts, He gently knocks and waits for us to open the door before He will enter in.
“So what about the bottom line?” you may ask. What price will we pay for this upgrade? A lot. For His wisdom, we must give up our need to control every situation, to determine the right outcome and find and execute the necessary steps to accomplish what we have determined is the best course of action.
For His strength we must no longer rely on ourselves alone to overcome the trials, obstacles and sufferings in our lives. Furthermore, we must look to the cross Jesus bore and carry our own crosses along with Him.
For His peace we must separate ourselves from the temptations, corrupted principles and worldly concerns that attack our sense of order and peace of mind on a daily basis. This is by no means an easy task, for we live in the world and must function in it. To be in the world and not of it is what God asks us to do, but His peace, regardless of what surrounds us, is our reward.
So there you have it. What do you say? Can I interest you in an upgrade?