All that is going on in this world the worries in my life is as Shakespeare said, “Much ado about nothing”. It is essentially a “tempest in a teapot”. The scenes change, the characters are different and the props are moved in and out, but they are just props. The plot however does not change. It is all about Jesus. Everything points to Jesus. Everything else is a lie. All else is a lie. All else is a sham. All reality and truth are in Jesus. Nothing, plus Jesus equals . . . Everything!
The father of lies jerks most of us around like puppets on a string. We dance to his tune when we look for life in what the world offers. It is a dance of death. But Jesus died not only for our sins. He died to sin and to this world and so have we as we were in Him when He died, was buried and rose from the dead. The strings have been cut and we are no longer puppets. We are in Christ and He is our life. Everything apart from Christ is death, but life lives in us. We know Him, whom to know is eternal life (John 17:3). Why do I believe that the world has anything to offer, but emptiness, ashes and death? Don’t I know that I am united with Him who is eternal life? All God would have me to do is believe in the One He has sent (John 6:29). He came that I might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). But it seems like a lot of the time I shuffle around in my grave clothes. I have been raised from the dead but the illusions and delusions that life can be found apart from Christ lead us to dead ends of despair and death. There is a faint whisper of truth within me that only in Him is life, peace, joy, freedom and fulfillment. But my feelings, the world and its values and its ruler are shouting the opposite to me.
Most are building their lives, houses and careers on shifting sands. They have erected magnificent props on a stage that can be removed overnight. When God brings the curtain down on this comedy of errors then this world we love and cherish and all the vain things that charm us most will be destroyed. Everything but Jesus will be turned to ashes. Jesus will remain, as He is eternal. So will I as I am in Him and He is in me (John 14:20). I am eternally one with the Eternal One. I am immortal, indestructible ad bulletproof. We are God’s children and what we will be like has not been revealed, but we know that when He appears, we will be like Him (1 John 3:2).
But the world totters, Satan rages and my feelings run wild. I don’t feel safe, it doesn’t look like victory and I am sinking. Like Peter I have taken my eyes of Jesus and am looking at the waves of oppression and deception that threaten to overwhelm me (Matt. 14:28-31). Where is the way out? What is truth? Where can I find life? Jesus says I am the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). It is nowhere else to be found. Why do I look for, strive for, struggle for and seek what I already have? I have it all. I have Jesus. I have everything. I am complete in Christ (Col 2:10). I know that it sure doesn’t feel like it, seem lie it or look like it, but so what? All the opposing forces raised up against me are simply shadows in this valley of death I am walking through. There is no substance or reality to them. Victory has been won. It is all over. It is done. It is finished! Satan is defeated (Col. 2:15). Sin and everything against me has been nailed to the cross (Col. 2:14). The world has been crucified to me and I am dead to it (Gal. 6:1). What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Rom. 7:24, 25).
I don’t feel victorious and if I do it doesn’t last long. But given the choice I would rather be victorious than have fleeting feelings that I am victorious. Christ is VICTOR! Death is swallowed up in victory (1 Cor. 15:54). What chance did it have against LIFE? But remnants of death beckon to us from this dying world. They promise, posture and pose as success, prosperity and status, but end up as ashes in our hands.
Only Jesus gives life. Jesus is Life. Jesus is all. Jesus is everything. Everything else is a lie. Jesus lives in me and I am in Him and He is my life. I am united to Him and one with Him. Is that enough? Nothing matters but Jesus and our relationship with Him. There is no life, peace, joy, freedom and fulfillment but in Him. It is really all too simple. Jesus says, Don’t be afraid, Just believe in Me (Mark 5:36).
by: Mark Cruver
Mike and his wife Julia direct the Grace Walk Recovery Ministry with Grace Walk Ministries. Mike is a former pastor who struggled with alcoholism. He is a graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary. Prior to coming with Grace Walk, he was the director of the recovery ministry for Freedom in Christ Ministries. Before that he was a counselor for Grace Ministries International. They are the parents of three grown children and have seven grandchildren and live near Atlanta Georgia. Mike and Julia have co-authored four books on freedom from addiction with Dr. Neil Anderson. The focus of the ministry is to teach, train, and provide resources for people who want to help others overcome addictions and also to have a recovery ministry where people find true and lasting freedom in Christ. by: Mike Quarles