“When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” (Col. 3:4)
When God connects with people of faith…the result is unconventional.
A biblical-quality journey of faith is not interchangeable with worldly conventional normalcy….they are on two different levels…two entirely different domains of reality.
Yes, it is blasphemy to claim to be the Son of God…but only because Jesus and His mission did not fit the worldly horizontal expectations of the leadership in Jerusalem and a large portion of the populace…who were told for centuries to expect a warrior/prophet king in the mold of a Moses or David or one of the judges…as Messiah.
All of the humiliation of the inflexibly close-minded, stubbornly blind rejection of Jesus Christ is condensed down into the cross of Calvary.
But if we unpack it and spread it out backwards in reverse order leading up to Calvary, part of the rejection of Jesus is based upon a rejection of God-composed, risk-filled journey of faith life-scripts that begin with Abraham (Lk. 11:52; Jn. 8:39-40), starting way back in time in the 12th chapter of Genesis…the first book in the Bible.
The narrative stories of faith recorded in the Bible are at the core of Judaism in the Old Testament and Christianity in the New Testament.
A journey of faith like that of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Ruth, Samuel, David, Esther and Mordecai, Elijah, Jeremiah, and Daniel, to name only a few, is precisely how the new covenant “least-to-the-greatest” believers all get to know God personally (Jer. 31:31-34).
A biblical-quality journey of faith has no parallels with worldly conventional thinking.
This is not a new interpretation of the Bible. This is not some version of self-energized asceticism.
God displacing our ways with His higher ways in the real, concrete events and circumstances of the lives of believers is the core central theme in the biblical narrative stories of faith…that bears repeating over and over again from many perspectives…from many angles…in any Christian book attempting to adjudicate the multiple competing narratives awash in our modern culture.
This concept of the cross of Christ in our lives is right there in plainly spoken words and action-examples throughout the Bible.
I particularly like the classic quote by G.K. Chesterton…that Christianity has not been “tried and found wanting” but “found difficult and never tried” (see God: The Evidence, by Patrick Glynn, page 149).
Committed Christian discipleship, over time, leads to a manifestation of the positive fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) within the characters of Spirit-born and Spirit-led Christians.
A God-composed journey of faith is the best and highest route to take…in all of human experience…even when this route involves a difficult and challenging good-works ministry to mankind in a particular area of need…or the extreme outcome of outright persecution and possibly martyrdom.
In other words, a biblical-quality, God-composed adventure of faith is a better alternative to the mediocrity of worldly conventional normalcy…when our spiritual vision is aimed vertically toward eternity.
The reality is that a perfectly lived journey of faith as exemplified in the life and ministry of Jesus the divine Son of God, leads directly to the cross on Calvary Hill.
Jesus instructs His followers to pick up their crosses…not to shun or ignore the cross element in our journeys of faith.
God displacing our ways with His higher ways is the essence of the danger zone of a Christian life of faith.