Hi there! This post is part of a 31-Day writing adventure I’m embarking on. I’d love for you to join me and read along. You can find the introduction to the series, and a “Table of Contents” as each day goes live, right here. Thanks so much for dropping in!
Yesterday we chatted about the glorious goodness of Jesus, who unexpectedly arrived on the scene as a human, instead of some slightly more mystical being that would have perhaps made it easier for people to believe. One appropriate conclusion was that Jesus looked just like us because He wanted us to understand that it is what a person does that makes them who they are. It’s what’s in the heart that matters.
In the beginning, when Adam and Eve were still walking in that garden paradise with the Lord showing up for a stroll in the cool of the day, there was not yet any sin, and everything that was done was done with the knowledge of good, and the knowledge of God in mind. But the fall — the decision to pursue knowledge at the expense of obedience to God, and the decision to believe in the possibility that God is not altogether good, and He is withholding something good, was the moment that drove a wedge into history.
Our own sins are the source of our separation from God, and we each inherited this sinful nature, birthed in the Garden, all with that simple “Did God really say…”
When Jesus arrived on the scene in human form, one of the many amazing things He did was demonstrate what a life lived with God at the center would look like to a world that had long forgotten. It looked like a lot of giving. It looked like a lot of compassion. It looked like selflessness, and gentleness, and a life slow to anger and quick to love.
Jesus set the example of how to make a declaration of un-independence: how to say, Lord, I’ve been going my own way, but I would rather step into the knowledge of You, submit myself to Your will and follow Your lead for the rest of my days.
And the piece of the puzzle that connects us back is another gift of unexpected goodness that no one could have predicted:
In the Garden, the Lord walked alongside Adam and Eve. But after Jesus came to live out love and to die for our forgiveness, the stage was set for the God of the Universe to come and live inside you and me.
In His Glorious Goodness, when we pushed away, God drew ever nearer.
And what are the results of that gift of the Holy Spirit? Well, if you’re willing to receive Him and yield to His presence, if you’re willing to choose un-independence, these are the characteristics that should be yours:
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
What made Jesus so remarkably different from every other human who ever lived was the life that He lived. He taught with authority, turned what people understood about living for God upside down, and then got busy about the business of actually living that out with the time He had to spend on earth.
Perhaps you believe all this to be true but you’re not sure you are seeing these same gifts in your own life? That might be a good topic for tomorrow — so look for more on making your “Declaration of Un-independence” then!