The above picture is an actual photo of
a wooden dowel with two rings on it being suspended in mid
air. To me, it was fun to make and amazing to watch the dowel
float in mid air. In simple language, gravity pulls the dowel
with the two rings downward; therefore, there must be a greater force
to lift it up and suspend it in mid air. The rings on the wooden dowel
are magnets and the rings below are also magnets. The opposing forces
of the magnets suspends the weight of the dowel. The plastic
shield at the front of the dowel keeps the dowel from moving forward
and falling. Once the dowel is placed in position, one can actually
spin it for a time, but eventually it will come to a complete rest.
In like fashion, the cares of this life,
traumas, the temptations of this world, and the lies of the enemy, all,
pull us down.
We also need something stronger, to lift us up and
point us in the right direction.
This illustration is one of the best
illustrations of God's grace that one can use. The weight of
the cares of this life pull us downward. We may become burdened, angry,
and depressed. The harder we try to overcome, the more that
we fail and the more frustrated we become. Some well meaning Church
members may tell us that we just need to try harder. The enemy at the
same time may whisper in our ears that we might as well just give up
and yield to the temptations that he lays before us. The
reality is that we need a power greater than our own power to lift us
up and to point us in the right direction.
This is God's grace! Jesus
said, "Come unto me,
all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you
rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek
and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my
burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).
In reality, it is impossible
to live the Christian life
if we are trying to live it in our own strength. I
have been there and tried that. It is a dead end street.
However, we as Believers are created to be overcomers, but
only when totally rely totally upon the grace of God. I have
often heard it said in church that the Christian life is so hard, but the Word
says just the opposite. "Good understanding giveth
favour: but the way of transgressors is hard"
(Proverbs 13:15). Jesus told Saul, who would later become
Paul, it was hard to kick against the pricks. "And he said, Who art thou,
Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard
for thee to kick against the pricks" (Acts 9:5).
In contrast, Jesus tells us that living the Christian life is EASY.
That does not mean that we will not have tribulation, but
that God gives us grace to overcome.
When Paul later, as a strong Believer,
was faced with issues that made him feel weak, God told him that His
grace was sufficient for him. "And he said unto me, My grace
is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the
power of Christ may rest upon me" (II
Corinthians 12:9). Then Paul declared, "Therefore I take pleasure in
infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in
distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong"
(II Corinthians 12:10). The greater the problem is the more of God's
grace that is available.
Grace is the power both to be a child of God
and the will
to live as a
child of God. "But
by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed
upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all:
yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me"
(I Corinthians 15:10). One is "to be" the other is "to do."
My own will power only goes so far and I fall flat on my
face, but look at what Paul said. "For it is God which worketh
in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure"
(Philippians 2:13). Therefore, we are simply to YIELD our
will to His will in us and to live by His power. When we do
this, then the Christian life becomes EASY! It is then that He will
lift us up and point us in the right direction as with the anti gravity
illustration. As long as we hold on to our own "cares" God
backs away to allow us to fall. However, if we will cast all
our cares upon Him, then He become responsible
to care for us. "Casting
all your care upon him; for he careth for you"
(I Peter 5:7). If we don't cast our cares upon Him, then we
get to face devil, all by ourselves. "Be sober, be vigilant;
because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about,
seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8).
Furthermore, he is not toothless!
However, when we turn everything over to
God, then we find peace and enter into God's rest. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect
peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee"
(Isaiah 26:3). Like in the above illustration, we will come to find
peace and rest to the degree we come to depend upon God.
Although the problems will tend to pull us down, we can
remain in a position of overcoming. Jesus said, "These things I have spoken
unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have
tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world"
(John 16:33). Because he has overcome, we can also.
When I attached the cross in the above
illustration, I purposed to place it below the end point of the dowel.
Many churches teach that we are to live a crucified life and
in one sense that is true. "Then
said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him
deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me"
(Matthew 16:24). However, they often fail to complete the
picture. They fail to go beyond the cross event to
see that we need to live a
resurrected life. Yes, Jesus was crucified, but the third
day, he was also resurrected to live forever. In Christ, we
also are to live the resurrected life. "Now if we be dead with
Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that
Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more
dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once:
but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye
also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through
Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:8-11). Paul
prayed that the Believers would see "... what is the exceeding
greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working
of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him
from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places"
(Ephesians 1:19-20). We are to live the RESURRECTED LIFE by the grace
of God then we can find rest and peace even in the face of various
cares pulling us down.