I’m not feeling too courageous these days. I’m feeling weak and vulnerable. But I suppose that’s not news to those who have been reading for a while. I was reading in 2 Corinthians and came across this passage concerning courage:
For we know that if our earthly house, the tent we live in, is dismantled, we have a building from God, a house not built by human hands, that is eternal in the heavens. For in this earthly house we groan, because we desire to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed, after we have put on our heavenly house, we will not be found naked. For we groan while we are in this tent, since we are weighed down, because we do not want to be unclothed, but clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
Now the one who prepared us for this very purpose (to be clothed in heaven…life after death) is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment.
Therefore we are always full of courage, and we know that as long as we are alive here on earth we are absent from the Lord – for we live by faith, not by sight. Thus we are full of courage and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. (This is why we groan, we long to put on our heavenly clothing.)
So then whether we are alive or away, we make it our ambition to please Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be paid back according to what he has done while in the body, whether good or evil. ~2 Corinthians 5:1-10
Somehow this reminded me of the fear Adam and Eve felt after they had eaten of the forbidden fruit:
As a result of eating the fruit in the garden…the eyes of both of them opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God moving about in the orchard at the breezy time of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the orchard. ~Genesis 3:7-8
Sinning…feeling exposed…covering up…hiding. Sound familiar?
If you’ve ever sinned, and we ALL have, you know what it is to search for a safe place, a place to hide, a place that will not expose your choices, a place you hope will not leave you feeling so vulnerable.
The man and the woman knew they were naked. Did they know they had lost their immortality? Did they know they were going to die? We don’t know for sure what their fear was, we only know they were afraid.
Before they were naked and not ashamed. Now they tried to cover themselves and hide from their Creator who had created them for Him.
I think their heavenly clothing was gone. The life-giving Spirit within, possibly, had left them. They were, now, spiritually dead. Death reigned in their mortal bodies.
This is true of us all, you know. Death is still the only way out of this world. We’ll all experience it at the end of our time here on earth. But the truth of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection is that now…on this side of the cross…death has no power for those who are in Christ. The sting of death is gone. We can know we will be with Jesus once our life in this tent is over.
This was the very reason for Jesus’ coming…to cancel the death sentence for us all. And, as a result, to send the Helper, God’s Holy Spirit, to walk this earthly path with us. We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, but we will not all be condemned. We can please God in this life. We please Him when we live by faith in His Son. We can also live a life He is pleased to observe. And then, we’ll hopefully hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
When I’m feeling vulnerable, due to my sin or this sinful world we live in, I groan. And yet, I’m told I’m to be full of courage. I have been given the Spirit of God as a pledge of the inheritance I will receive…life eternal in the presence of God!
This stuff is only temporary…HE is eternal!
I will be encouraged today.