Today I went to THE doctor.
You know, the one when you tell people that you went they they go "Ohhhh".
Yes I went to the doctor that also happens to be the one who delivered my children. My kids wondered when I picked them up from school why I was dressed up and it was not even a Sunday.
Sad, I know.
Questioned once again about my outfit choice for the day- as if they were shocked I actually DID something while they were at school-I figured I would spur conversation with my answer...so I told them that I saw the doctor that delivered them-the doctor that helped bring them into the world.
Not sure what reaction I was expecting-maybe the opportunity to tell them their birth story or something. But then came reality...
They were completely unimpressed.
Although I did get a polite, "Oh really?" from Jonathan which turned into short lived interest as he then began reciting the word "deliver" in different ways, as only an 8 year old comedian can do.
Realizing the conversation had been lost, I traveled into my own thoughts, taking with me the word "deliver", where-as often happens in this crazy brain of mine-a song was triggered: "My Deliverer" by Chris Tomlin.
As the song played on a round in my head, I began to think about what that word "deliver" really meant.
When I was talking to the kids about the doctor as their deliverer, the one who delivered them, I thought about how he brought them into the world. The focus was not on what he delivered them from, but what he delivered them into: fullness of life.
But then I realized that when I think about the Lord as my Deliverer, I have the opposite tendency. I tend to think about what He delivered me from, never fully focusing on what He has delivered me into.
I think as Believers, we often get stuck in thinking about what we have been delivered from and forget to actually live in the place that He has delivered us to.
This isn't a new problem.
Remember the grumblings of the Israelites after being delivered out of slavery in Egypt? I am sure at first they simply talked about how horrible it had been in the place God had brought them out of, but after dwelling on it too long, they were actually wishing they could go back! And no, the conditions of where they were may not have been wonderful, but come on! They were living under the favor and covering of the One True God! They were delayed from moving into a greater place of communion with and provision from the Lord, not because God hadn't made it available, but because they only had eyes to see what the Lord had delivered them from and not the place of new life and growth that He had moved them into.
"But it was because the Lord loved you...that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery...know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God , keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments."Deuteronomy 7:8-9
Praise God! He has delivered us from death! But that is only the beginning! What He has delivered us INTO is a fullness of life, an abundance of grace, an unfailing love, an unequalled power that can only come from the One True Deliverer.
What would happen if our lives were the fragrance of what Jesus Christ has delivered us into, rather than the stench of what He delivered us from?
What if we stopped considering ourselves first and foremost as former slaves, and actually saw ourselves as redeemed children of God, with full access to the priceless inheritance made available to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ! In His great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade..."(1 Peter 1:3-4)
We need to live and grow as sons and daughters of God rather than babies who wish they could go back to a place where, although predictable and familiar and seemingly safe, was a place where the touch of the Father could never be felt!
When a baby is delivered, it isn't born knowing how to function fully and completely in this place it has been delivered into, and neither are we as Believers.
We have to learn how to glean nourishment from God's Word, how to drink in His presence, how to walk in His ways, how to speak His wisdom.
But every step and stumble of the way is worth it all! What was left behind in delivery could never compare to what we have been so graciously delivered into.
"...the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives inside and out. Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God!"(Hebrews 9:13-14 The Message)
Don't reduce your Deliverer to One who only brought you out of death...glorify Him as the One who has also delivered you into teh abundance of life in Him!
"...I have come that may have life and have it to the full." (John 10:10)