“Grace lets you off the hook and places you on a higher one” – Alisa Keeton
We are called to go higher and deeper with Christ. It is our duty, it’s in the job description as Christ followers. A higher standard has been set.
Often we think about this as loving each other, encouraging on another, going higher and deeper in our relationship with Jesus. But it also means we are called to go higher and deeper when most wouldn’t. We are asked to sit with those mourning and grieving. We are asked to walk alongside those who are hurting. To love well those who are recovering, discovering and exploring. We are asked to love our enemy and forgive when the world says it is unforgivable. We are asked to repent. We are asked to have a heart that breaks for those things that break His heart.
We are asked to exchange our own brokenness for his wholeness. But to make this exchange we must first recognize that which is broken, and then let God into those deep wounds.
This is the hard and holy work of Jesus. This isn’t easy. This isn’t pretty. This doesn’t always feel good. But it is the higher and deeper that we are called to.
We would be remiss if we believed Christianity meant that we could live a life of safety, comfort and convenience. We would miss the entire point if we thought it meant we could just show up on the high notes, pray before dinner and give thanks for our success.
I know, it’s not what you want to hear. It’s not what I wanted to hear either. But God reminded me that it is when we do this – the hard and holy, hands in the dirt kind of work. The uncomfortable work. The works that brings us to our knees. The work that the world doesn’t expect but desperately craves. It is in this work that His light will pierce the darkness. His light will shine through us. And that’s the whole point – to allow his light to shine through us. Because we are not only heirs to his kingdom, we are ambassadors for heaven on earth.
And the beautiful news is that when we submit to this calling, Jesus gets to really show up for us.
It’s an invitation into our weakness. And his power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
That means the gospel gets to be a living and breathing part of our every day life – not just something we simply read and believe. We suddenly can do that which once seemed impossible.
We can reconcile when our flesh wants to divide.
We can break down walls and soften our heart when our flesh wants to protect and shield.
We can forgive when our flesh wants to condemn.
We can repent when our flesh wants to justify.
We can love when our flesh wants to leave.
We can mourn when our flesh wants to forget.
So let’s not shy away from the uncomfortable or difficult circumstances. Let’s be willing (dare I say eager) to do the hard and holy work so that we can invite Jesus into every circumstance and experience a piece of Heaven on Earth.