Sunday, January 11, 2015

Bored With The Box

GENESIS 32:24-32

This morning we moved into our second week of our “ALL IN” campaign. Maybe you are reading this today and have been keeping up since we started last Sunday. Let me commend you for following through and keeping focused. If this is your first time to read one of these devotionals, you can click on the “ALL IN” banner at the top of this page and it will take you to the archives of the other readings we have sent out. I want to thank Spencer Moreau for getting these devotionals posted on the blog and James Heath for sending them out on the Casa View Facebook page. And I want to thank YOU for reading this. Many of you have shared these with friends and family. I pray they will be touched by the Lord in a powerful way. I just want to do a quick recap on what we talked about this morning. If you were not in service with us, feel free to listen to the message online. The link is Click on the message entitled FAITH.

So many Christians today live in a box. They are surrounded by four congruent walls that provide them a quaint little security. Their box is familiar and cozy. Some even have it decorated to make it feel nice and homey. Life in the box is simple. Not a lot of change happens. Not a lot of excitement. Just a safe, simple existence that suffices for those who choose it.

People outside the box look at those on the inside with a bit of wonder. “Why do they want to live in the box? I mean yeah it’s predictable and safe, but it’s also boring. What a bland way to live out your days.” But people in the box don’t think this way. In their mind there is only what is in the box; they don’t realize there is anything outside the box. And the ones who wonder if there might be sure aren’t prepared to part ways with the comforts that box living affords them. So they carry on day after day, year after year. The box is all they know. The box is all they want to know.

And then you have those crazy people who believe there is more to faith than what the box has allowed them to see. Granted, they don’t know what. But from somewhere deep down inside them, they crave more. They prefer the risk and uncertainty of life outside the box over the familiarity and contentment of life on the inside. With an audacity matched by few, these “anti-boxers” actually believe that God has more for them. With holy discontent they push and press, seeking a faith so big it won’t fit in the box. They don’t have a full capacity to know what God is up to, but they believe it’s big. And they believe it’s for them. And so they get in the dirt.

Did I lose you? If you were at church this morning you will understand why dirt just entered our conversation. If not, let me catch you up super quick. In the book of Genesis we see the story of a man named Jacob. He is camping out alone on the bank of the Jabbok River. Sometime in the night a man (who we later find out was sent from God) comes to where he is. A struggle ensues. Jacob wrestles with this “God-Man” all through the night. The sun is rising, casting a brilliant golden orange on the Jabbok. The God-Man asks Jacob to let him go. But Jacob is tenacious. He refuses. He has grappled in the dirt all night long. He is not about to let go until he gets what he came for. “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” His request is granted, changing his name from Jacob (deceiver) to Israel (struggles with God). His whole identity has changed. It happened at the expense of one night’s sleep. Additionally, the struggle in the dirt has left his hip wrenched. He will be walking differently the rest of his life, both literally and spiritually. He came face-to-face with God, and not only lived to tell about it, but came away with a different name. A different life.

And there you have it. You have those who are fine with life in the box. No hope or expectation of change. No desire for change. Let’s leave things as they have always been. And then you have those believe that God honors audacious faith. Those who grab a hold of God and refuse to let go until His blessing is upon them. They will grapple in the dirt until they are changed. These brazen believers want a new name and a new walk. And they won’t let go until they get it.

So where do you find yourself today—cozy in the box or are you wrestling in the dirt?

Do you have the faith to believe that there is MORE on the other side? That God wants to bless you?

That your future can be different than your present?
That you can be free of the hurts, habits, and hang-ups?
That you can be an influencer in the Kingdom of God?

If you find yourself today feeling a restlessness of the soul, get in the dirt. If you are bored with the box, get in the dirt. God honors bold and audacious faith. What is it you are needing that only He can do for you? Grab a hold of Him in your prayers. Shout out his name through your tears. Wrap around him and refuse to let go until His blessing rests upon you. It might be messy and it might cost you one night of sleep. But that’s a small price to pay for a new identity and a new walk.

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