Yesterday dawned blue and true with beautiful clear blue skies and the true warmth that prevails in the midst of a warm spring day… even though it was only the last day of January! With the promise of temperatures in the mid to high sixties, my wife and I jumped into our Mustang, put the top down and headed south down the meandering US Highway 401 toward the metropolis of Lillington and beyond! Along our way we traversed through the little communities of Chalybeate Springs, Kipling and Cape Fear before reaching the county seat at Lillington. After perusing the little old town we moved on past Harnett with a final stop at Bunnlevel where we gave in to the still a bit too cool weather and put the top up before retracing our path home!
The further south we got, the more country-like the surroundings became. At one point I turned to me wife who seemed to be enjoying our adventure and declared that it was like a completely different world out here when compared to our former home on the northern west coast of California.
Little country churches at the center of the little communities, some that date back to the 1700’s, fields that are being prepared for the new year’s planting of cotton, remnants of the pine forests that used to cover most of the county but were decimated for the navel stores needed for the wooden sailing ships of yesteryear, numerous creeks, the Cape Fear River that was once one of the main routes used for the early settlers to gain access to central North Carolina, a few swamps and lots of fresh air, breath-taking views of a gorgeous countryside and lots of quiet broken only by the birds singing their sunshine songs. (There are some additional perks to having the top down as you can really get in tune to the sounds and smells of the areas you pass by!)
As we pulled into our driveway a few hours after we left, I found myself thinking how it seems like most people in the world have the same vision of Christians as I did of the countryside out here. I get the idea that they see us as being from a different world… one that they have no conception of! Our beliefs, our Bible based morals and our way of life are often described as being out of touch and not relevant to modern life. And I had to laugh, because from my point of view and probably most of you who read this post believe… they are the ones that are actually out of touch with the true plan of life... the one that Papa God “carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ephesians 3:11 God’s Word ©)
But you know… I also believed that this attitude and the direction that the world system has gone has not taken God by surprise! Remember, His plan was and still is for the church to “let the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places know his manifold wisdom.” (Ephesians 3:10 God’s Word ©/English Standard Version) And He not only has a plan for us, but He has also given us the tools and ability to work His plan… in and through His abilities and power… not ours! (See; Ephesians 6:10) One of the first things that each of us has to come to terms with is the authority that you and I possess as members of His body. Just before Jesus ascended to heaven to take His position at the right hand of the throne of God, He told his disciples (as well as you and me and every Christian) “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go Ye THEREFORE and…” do My work and complete the Father’s plan for all history! (Matthew 28:18 KJV)
As the church,we are His body and are wholly connected to Him as the head! We are called to submit our wills to Him, to obey His commands and do the things that He, the head, directs us to do… with the same authority that the head walks in… backed by the manifold wisdom, power and authority of the throne and kingdom of Father God Himself! Whew! Why don’t you chew on that for a few days, and I’ll continue on Wednesday with the first place we should focus that authority in.
Have a great week as you begin to fully acknowledge what it means to be a member of the body of Christ… and keep asking yourself… “Who’s authority am I expecting to walk in today?”