Arrival

Arrival. The dictionary defines arrive as to reach or attain an object or condition. If we are seeking to arrive somewhere or to something there must be a journey, a trip, a going. Arrival denotes the reality that there isn’t quite a teleportation that automatically gets us somewhere. We have to experience the in-between of packing up, traveling, and then getting there. Beginning, middle, and end.

Traveling on an airplane is a trip, a journey. There are things we experience on the airplane between point A to point B. You know… those magical Biscoff cookies on Delta and the amazingly cold Ginger Ale that you don’t order any where else. Maybe as much as we would like to skip the whole 6-8 hour car ride to the beach, it is necessary to get us to that sandy, sunny, salty destination. It’s long. The kids gotta stop and use the restroom every 50 miles. It’s tough and long. But the journey is necessary in order to arrive.

This is exactly the same with our lives on this earth. The reality of our existence is that we are born and we live and we die and we will spend eternity somewhere. Our souls will live forever. The Bible says in Daniel 12:2-3, “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.” And also in Matthew 25:46, “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” We will either live forever with Jesus in heaven (everlasting life, eternal life) after we die on this earth, or we will live forever in the absence of God’s presence in hell (eternal punishment, everlasting contempt).

Where am I going with this? In 1 and 2 Corinthians, Paul uses the term “being saved” on several occasions (1 Corinthians 1:18, 1 Corinthians 15:2, 2 Corinthians 2:15). “Being saved” as in it isn’t final yet, today, at this moment, at the time of the prayer you prayed, on the day you committed your life to Jesus, on your spiritual birthday, on the day you know God got you and saved you and forgave you of your sins. Like, “being saved” is an on-going process and journey, something we look forward to God finishing. “Being saved” is all at once final and continuous until God calls us home to eternity with Him, all the while knowing we are His even on this side of eternity on this earth looking forward to either his return or our final day. “Being saved” means that on the day of our salvation we haven’t yet arrived and we can’t stop striving to grow and read the Bible and pray and learn about God.

“Being saved” is a journey. And it is hard. The paradox between being a sinner and God’s child literally blows my mind several times a week. How can I need to go to God and ask forgiveness because of this sin or that sin yet still be His? Because I am being saved. I am on this mind-boggling journey of sanctification which is a really fancy word for being made more like Jesus until His return or my final day. Christians, as they are sanctified, desire to sin less, become more quickly convicted of their faults and sins, and walk closer to God in His word and in prayer.

“Being saved” means one isn’t saved on August 29, 2006 ,and continues living in sin, for herself, demanding her own way, and not seeking to please God in all she does. Being saved means you do an about face, an 180 degree turn from your life full of sin to walk away from sin and toward God. As we are being saved, we are repenting repenters. We keep on asking God to forgive us of our daily sins. We keep on praying this

“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24)

Show me, Lord, where I have sinned and need to confess! Show me, Lord. Show me, Lord.

“Being saved” is a glorious journey from God making you His child until our final day on this earth. It is a joy, it is hard, and in it is a promise that  “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6. So live! So love! So obey! Go on this journey working toward living for Him and for His honor. He is worthy because Jesus came down and lived a perfect life, died on a cross and took all of our sin and shame on Himself for us. God poured out all His wrath on Jesus for our sake on that cross, because of our sin. Jesus died that day on the cross. But He didn’t stay dead. Sin and death did not gain the victory. Because three days later, Jesus rose up from the grave and now He is seated at the right hand of God. Our Savior, Jesus.

We will fall. We will mess up. We will say the wrong thing. We will lose the fight some days. But we gotta continue fighting the good fight of faith and keep on. Get up! Keep going. Don’t stop praying. Don’t stop trusting. If you don’t know if you are His child, ask Him to save you. Pray. Read. To Him belongs salvation. Keep seeking and reading God’s Word. He truly is enough.

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