More Than This

“There has to be more to it than this.”

Have you ever sat in a church pew and thought that? I have. I remember it clearly. I had lost the passion and urgency of that early blazing faith. I had swallowed lies one spoonful at a time and became good for nothing. I had lost my zeal. Lost my passion. Lost my first love.

I moved through unsatisfying Sunday motions even as my husband trained for ministry and served on church staff. I wondered, what was the point? If this was all there was to following Jesus, it wasn’t enough.

It’s Not Enough

Have you been there? Have you visited that apathetic place hovering between hypocrisy and duty all dressed up like a whitewashed tomb?

By God’s mercy, He opened my eyes and I saw my faith dried into a shallow pool of activity. I was busy for the Lord, real busy. I was doing good things, but had missed the best things. I was right. This wasn’t enough.

Called to More

God has called us to more. He has called us to passionately pursue Him with everything and be willing to pay anything. He has revealed himself to be worthy of all of our praise. Everything that is in the heavens and on the earth belongs to Him. He is head over all, reigns with majesty and strength, and will not be moved. There is none like him, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders. He deserves all of our heart but what do we do when our empty hearts cease to care?

We ask the Lord to do what only he can do. In obedience, we continue to come before him, confessing our need for him to ignite our passion. We confess our lack of desire and inability to create desire. We declare our dependance on Him over and over again until He does what He promises He will do: until He reveals Himself.

PRAY

Lord, you said if we seek you that we would find you, so give us the desire to seek you. As our bodies thirst for water would you stir a greater thirst for You. As we nourish the physical would you grow a greater hunger to feast on your Word. Would you open eyes that need opening that lost souls might turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to You? If we want forgiveness from our sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Christ, we need you to impress upon our hearts a desire to repent from our lack of desire. Our hope is in You, Lord. We are nothing without you. You must do this work. It is by your mighty hand. We are clay in your hands completely at your mercy. Have your way in us.

Don’t let another Easter go by swimming in the shallow pool of religion. It’s time to dive into the depths of God’s love and learn His ways. If you don’t have a church family, you are welcome to join ours to celebrate Easter. We meet at Brantford Christian School (7 Calvin Street, Brantford).

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The Black Moment

Every good story has an emotional black moment where all seems lost. The hero laments in the ashes of his shattered dreams. Betrayal, abandonment, you-fill-in-the-blank, all prevent the desired happily-ever-after. There is no solution in sight. The villain is bigger, stronger, and more powerful than first thought. Evil celebrates certain victory—or so it seems.

This pivotal point in the story resonates with readers because good fiction is patterned after real-life. All our lives lead toward a black moment, a moment when we sit at the crossroads and know our choices, our lifestyle, our sin have separated us from God and there is nothing that we can do to recover and make it right. In that moment we fully recognize the cost of our sin—inevitable death. The black moment may be an exciting crisis point in a novel, but in real life it brings horrifying, soul-crushing, devastation.

In my black moment, the reality of my wretchedness fell heavy over me and I was incapable of taking it away. The weight of my sin devastated my lost soul. The enemy celebrated, whispering lies into my ear, “I have won. There is no hope.”

Us fiction-junkies know better than to close the book at the black-moment. We keep reading, clinging to the hope that somehow good is victorious. We don’t know how, we don’t know when, but we fervently flip the pages desperate to learn how good triumphs.

Good fiction is patterned after reality. In my darkness I longed for that last-minute rescue from my own wretched sin. Deep down, I wanted a hero to swoop in and save the day. I couldn’t fathom how it was possible, yet that hope burned inside refusing to die. In my darkness, God turned the page and I discovered that nothing—and I mean nothing—can derail God’s plans for His children.

Way back in history, a black moment came upon Egypt. The Israelites were demanding their release. Pharaoh refused. Judgement was coming. All the first-born sons were to die.

Years later, on a hill named Golgotha, darkness fell over the disciples. Everything they had believed in breathed His last on the cross. Evil stole Hope. The villain was bigger, stronger, and more powerful than first thought. With no answer in sight, the disciples lamented in the ashes of their shattered dreams. They had lost everything. This horrifying soul-crushing crossroads stole their happily-eve-after—or so it seemed.

If we stop reading here, both historical accounts end tragic. But God turns the page and reveals that nothing—and I mean nothing—can derail His plans for His children.

In Egypt, the people of God were instructed to sacrifice a perfect lamb and then take the blood from that lamb and spread it over their doorposts, marking the inhabitants of their homes as belonging to God. The Spirit of God would “passover” that home and allow the child to live.

Three days after Golgotha, Christ is risen from the dead proving that death has no hold on Him, or on all who believe in His name. That reality gives hope to every black moment. He will rescue all who call on His name. He will reveal the way of escape.

As a black-moment judgement comes to my wretched soul, I can, by God’s mercy, be saved by a passover of sorts. God has provided the perfect lamb, His Son—the Lamb of God. The blood of Christ is spilled once and for all and washes clean those who come to Him in repentance and faith. Christ’s blood marks me as His own when I surrender to God. The blood of Christ protects my soul from deserving judgement.

In that surrender I find, like Israelites and the disciples found, that in the midst of dark and desperate days, Hope is not dead. Whether it has been dark for 3 hours, 3 days, 3 years, or 3 decades, resurrection Sunday gives hope a name – His name is Jesus.

If you’re in a black moment, at a cross-roads, and all seems lost, don’t stop here. Evil doesn’t have to win. The page has been turned and you can surrender to Hope. His name is Jesus.