Saturday, June 25, 2011

I've Got a Golden Ticket

Do you remember the song from Willy Wonka, I’ve Got a Golden Ticket?  If not refresh your brain here…

I got this in my head the other day and it really got me thinking… more on the spiritual aspect of having a “golden ticket.”  What in the world are you talking about you say?  Well, I mean the thought that once you say your “I ask Jesus into my heart prayer” you’ve pretty much done your part of the deal.  You get your golden ticket into heaven.  As long as you act pretty alright and go to church…you’ve accomplished what it’s all about. 

Can I tell you that it is so much more than that?  Not meaning so much more to add to the list of “being good.”  I mean there is SO much more to life in sweet Jesus than that.  He wants us to have life…abundantly.  Abundantly in our relationships, abundantly in our pain, abundantly in our emotions, abundantly in the blessings he so freely offers.  That heartache you have been carrying around for so long (possibly right under the surface), those relationships that are tough, those financial struggles, that lack of peace, lack of purpose, those bad habits and cycles…in  ALL of those things He wants to give you freedom, healing, and victory over.  He wants to set the captive free.  And you know what….it’s a whole lot less work on our part than most of us believe.  It isn’t a list of to do’s and don’ts.  It’s not sitting under the weight of horrible condemnation, realizing how terrible we are and will never “get there.” 

Did you know in His word He tells you that He rejoices over you with singing? (Zephaniah 3:17)  No matter if you are in the biggest mess of your life….He rejoices over you with singing.  He delights in who He made you to be.  You are not an accident. You are not a screw up.  You are a masterpiece, created by a God who loves you….who made you for a purpose…He created you out of the overflow of His love for you.  Not an object to rule over harshly or hurl constant commands at. 

I get so sad thinking about the millions of church goers all across our country who really do not have any idea about abundant life in Him….especially here in the south.  We’ve got all the answers if someone was sent to ask the question...Do you know Jesus?  The quick reply is, “Yes.” Well of course we know the stories of Jesus…I mean who grows up in the south and doesn’t know the story of Jesus dying on the cross?  But truth be known, that’s about where it ends.  I am convinced that one huge reason is because of fear and the other is because we don’t know how to do this thing called a “Christian life.”  We have had too many make it too hard.  We’ve had too few to show us and truly teach us.  We have seen many who can spout out Bible trivia like nobodies business, but when we look at their lives, they don’t seem much different than the next person.  They may even make us feel inferior because our lack of knowing all they do.  Now, let me get back to fear for a moment.  Some just don’t know what to do.  They only have heard of a God who is so full of wrath and anger that they are afraid they are gonna get zapped at any moment…so why even try? 

Our churches are filled with pews full of people who are dead on the inside.  Oh, how this grieves the heart of our loving Father.  There is so much more He wants to give us…freely.  He wants  to awaken your heart to life…with passion, with joy, with purpose.  He wants to remove that cold heart of stone and replace it with one that is flesh…alive and beating and well.    He wants to give us a “golden ticket” to be cashed in for the here and now.  Of course, what we have waiting on the other side of this life is so much more amazing than we could ever imagine…but He wants us to experience little pieces of Him every day.  He is so mindful of us.  Ask Him for a tangible expression of that truth…Lord, would you show me that you truly are mindful of me?  Be prepared to be blown away.  He will eagerly answer that request!
So, this all sounds good, but how in the world does this happen tangibly, you ask? Stay tuned to this blog for more…bits and pieces to come here and there.  He is so good, and faithful, and trustworthy, and slow to anger and abounding in love!!