Standing on the Precipice

My Dear Precious Children,

Even though I am not quite old enough to be your mother (haha), I love you all as if you were my flesh and blood. Several years ago as we faced an ever lengthening adoption process, a dear friend shared that she believed God had given me spiritually adopted children to love and care for while we waited for God to answer our prayers for a child from Ethiopia. And what an amazing gift each of you are to me. The love I feel for you is not my own, but truly comes from the heart of our Heavenly Father and I want you to know it is wide, long, high and deep.

So, as we finish this Beyond Belief study I feel compelled to share what the Lord keeps impressing upon my heart as I pray for you. It is no accident you were in this study this semester. He has a very special call and purpose for each of you. Seriously, not just a “you are going to do a few nice things for Jesus” call. I mean He is asking you to lay down your lives for Him…completely…and to count the cost and in losing your life for Him and for the gospel you are going to find purpose, meaning, and most importantly come face-to-face with Jesus himself.

He did not rescue you from the dominion of darkness and set you apart in order to just live a nice, happy, “good girl” Christian life. That is what it looks like to simply have beliefs, not live BEYOND them. Our beliefs are the starting point, the foundation. But they must be executed and put into practice by faith in order for them to actually be valuable and useful for the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said in Matthew 7:24, 26: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.”

So we stand on this precipice with God’s kingdom stretched out before us in all of its splendor and glory. Behind us is the world, with a beauty and allure of its own. Jesus stands before us, with the tender, most gentle words of love, light, and truth, calling us His beloved children and asking us to step toward Him in faith, by His grace, trusting in His limitless love.

But we often hesitate at this point of our faith journey because of the awareness that taking a step toward Jesus and His kingdom could mean death. The death of our dreams, our hopes, the assurance of a comfortable life, or of a predetermined outcome.

However, the reality that I believe Jesus was trying to communicate to us in the parable of the wise and foolish builder is that, things are not as they appear. We can keep standing on what appears to be the solid ground of our self-constructed earthly kingdom, “believing” in Jesus as a mental practice but never actually doing what He says or living like He has commanded. But one day, either the trials of this life or the end of our time on earth will arrive and reveal where we truly stand. We may sadly discover that the seemingly solid footing of this world is actually shifting sand and we will be left disillusioned, broken and at worst, eternally separated from the One who loved us most.

Or (this is SO E X C I T I N G), we can take the step off the cliff of our kingdom and this world and fall into His loving arms. The death we are so terrified of actually brings freedom from the entanglements of the world and the anxieties and fears that plague us. As we follow Jesus, in humble trust and obedience, like the saints who have gone before us, we discover the ground under our feet is firm, solid, immovable. We gain an eternal life in Jesus that stands unwavering in the midst of the storms of life and even physical death.

So, as you stand on the precipice between the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of heaven, considering the call to follow Jesus beyond merely belief, I beg you to head the exhortation found in Hebrews 12:

See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. 12:25-29)

Do not believe Satan’s lie that Jesus’ commands are harsh or burdensome. This falsehood is refuted in 1 John 5:3. Trust instead that ALL His ways are loving and perfect, even when they seem so strange from our human perspective. “And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt. 10:38-39). As we cry out to Him for the grace to lay down our lives by faith, we will find ourselves dancing on the firm Rock of Jesus and leaving the shifting sand of merely mental belief forever.

And the most amazing, beautiful thing about living beyond belief is that Jesus is glorified and we come to enjoy Him fully. I leave you with the stories of those who have gone before you in this journey of faith. May they inspire and encourage you to press on and step off the cliff. I love you dearly and am praying for you to trust the perfect love of your Savior that casts out all fear.

And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. (Heb. 11:32-34; 13-16)

All My Love from Your Fellow Sojourner,


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