Every year for the past years, there seem to have been single words that have stuck out, words that have stayed on my mind, marinating my entire being in its essence.
Last year, it was union – The simple Truth that Christ did what He did so we could be together, and together forever (He’s never gonna give me up, never gonna let me down, and He’s never gonna turn around and hurt me <that’s right, I had to get that out of the way [hey look, caption-ception]>). The prevalent thought of my unbreakable union with Christ has set me free.
I mean, I’ve never felt more free. I’ve never felt more alive. It’s as if every day was, as we would sing in our church, sweeter than the day before.. like the light of dawn, brighter and brighter towards the full day.
Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. The Truth of the absolute union I have with Christ has me pegged, confident that we will always be together. Even in the absence of a heightened awareness of His presence, the Truth remains that He is with me. Even in the presence of heavy loneliness (which was prevalent last year and continues throughout this year), the sobering and encouraging Truth remains that He is with me.
Yes, no matter what happens, He is with me, 100% of the time, all the time. He couldn’t be any closer to me – He is alive in me, and I am alive in Him – we are one, as all who believe in Him are literally one with Him!
I don’t know where to begin in elaborating how this has just been so eye opening, so mind blasting for me! I no longer fear saying the wrong thing, because I know that Christ was true to His word by making all things work for my good – down to the smallest actions, and the littlest words I say! I lead worship, knowing that His life in me is not dependent on my performance, but absolutely real, before, during, and after each song!
I restrain less, and give more of myself, knowing that in lack or in plenty, Christ is always mine, and I am always in Christ. I think more clearly in my decisions, in my work and regarding family matters, because I have been set free of worrying if what I decide would boot me out of His favor or not. I have more time to consider what really matters, such as actual advantages of one item over the other. I face actual risks and consequences to actions with more time and thought, free of twiddling my thumbs, fretting over if God wants me to do this or that…
Food tastes better, and drink more refreshing.. the Pakistani milk tea I’m having now just tastes more full, richer as I write this. I’m not joking. And damn it, I can keep going.
Call me overreactive but, dude, this is where I’m at right now. Let me tell it to you straight up. I’m a pastor with lingering struggles with smoking and pornography. And swearing. So yeah, I make mistakes. And yeah, I will keep making mistakes.
But even in times where I seem like I’m letting go of God… the Truth that stands and remains is, Christ will never (Chris Jericho) eeeeeeeeeeeever (end Chris Jericho voice) leave me, nor forsake me.
Joseph Prince always has a theme of each year for his congregation.. and he always emphasizes that the declaration for the new year doesn’t erase what was proclaimed last year – it compounds. I believe the same thing for my words for the year – I mean, that’s a great place to start, to have the Truth of my union with Christ just so embedded and steeped into my entire being.
These are truly turbulent and tribulative (?) times… and in the face of all the death and failure we are forced to see, well, I just have to say, Christ paid the greatest price of all, not just to give you life and peace, but so that you and the Creator of the Universe, the Good Father, would dwell in you, and that you would dwell in Him, enjoying true life, and perfect peace.
Yun yon. Union.