We had a whooper of a storm blow through last night! They had been predicting a increasing chance of Thunderstorms as the day progressed, but the day ended up being partially cloudy and rather pleasant… until around 8:00 pm. We were watching a movie on TV when we noticed flashes of lightning through the windows and realized that it was pouring outside. A quick glance out the patio confirmed that it was probably going to get worse before it got better.
A little while later the lightning and thunder intensified with one pop of thunder actually shaking the room. Then without much notice a bright flash of lightning enveloped our living room as if someone opened the door and shone in a bank of high intensity lights and whoosh… the power went off and the thunder boomed! It all happened so fast that all I could say was, “Did you see that?” My wife simply looked at me with a smile on her face while the dog who had nestled earlier at (or rather ON) my feet looked up with wide-opened eyes!
Piper was probably remembering the time back in Oklahoma when we were home alone in the middle of the afternoon one day, huddled around the computer paying bills when a terrific blast of thunder hit and shook the room and rattled the glass so surprising loud and hard that we literally jumped! Then we laughed so hard that we almost cried!
What was so surprising last night was the way it came through the patio windows and lit up the whole room! Well, the power was only out for a few moments, but we lost our satellite connection for the rest of the night! Afterwards I peeked outside to make sure the building was okay and watched the water cascading down from the heavens and the little stream that had formed in our backyard. All was fine for the rest of the night and the rain finally subsided around 10 pm.
As has become our habit, I turned on the local classical radio station in our bedroom as we prepared for bed. Then in between the National Weather Service’s emergency flash flood warnings that were being broadcast, I read from our healing scriptures confession sheet to my wife. When I got down to the bottom of the first page, I thought of Romans 8:1 and stated aloud: “There is therefore NOW NO condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (KJV)… and a revelation hit me! As my wife nodded in agreement, I heard myself saying to her that “those who had come against us should have known that they could not speak out condemning words because this verse says that we NOW cannot be condemned!” These were mature Christian people who were well-versed in the scriptures and that basic truth should have registered with them!
At that moment it became even clearer to me that they had spoken from a false foundation of fear that allowed their spiritual (and physical senses) to be clouded. What really confused me at the time was that their accusations were so blatantly incorrect that I was aghast in unbelief that they could reasonably accuse me of such atrocities! After the shock finally wore off, I was actually embarrassed for them.
This morning as I awoke to a beautiful day complete with bright blue skies, I turned in my Bible to Romans 8:1 and continued to study where I had left off when I tuned the lights out last night. As I read I came to two conclusions about the revelation I had received. Most importantly when the accusations began, I too should have immediately realized the fact that my wife and I could no longer be condemned due to our present tense position in Christ Jesus. And secondly… not only did the accusers have NO right to condemn us, but that I also had NO right to RECEIVE their false judgments or condemnation!
Romans 8:2 clearly informs us that “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the adverse sentences and convictions of the law of sin and death.” (KJV- personalized using the Greek definitions of the words in the verse) Therefore you and I have been set free and should walk in the freedom that Christ has provided for us! That freedom allows us to respond to the atrocities in the world with a rapid response of God’s love and grace!
During the storm last night I heard, sporadically through the night, the sirens of the First Responders as they responded to various emergency situations around the city. As First Responder’s in the kingdom of God, we too should immediately respond with the love and grace of God when involved with those who should know better than react in the adverse way they do in certain situations. According to Romans 8:1, not only do we have the right to do that, but it is also the RIGHT thing to do… no matter who or how another responds to the fear that suddenly comes upon them.
Many individuals who respond heroically in stressful situations will tell you that they didn’t even think about what they did… that they just automatically responded to the need. As believers, I think that we should be so steeped in the truth of God’s Word that we too just automatically respond in the way that His Word dictates us to follow! I sure like it when I do it that way… and while I may not do it right every time, I am working toward that goal! What do you think? Are you First Responder material? That’s the way God sees you. He sees you as fully equipped in Christ! Give it a try! Have a great day. Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting to RESPOND LIKE today?”