Hebrews 11:15-16 (New International Version)
15If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
On Saturday, I went to pick up my book order that was waiting at the Treasure House, our local Christian Bookstore; four copies of the little book by Watchman Nee; Sit, Walk, Stand. I wanted to give them to some friends who were also eager to read it after I had shared how much the book had impacted me. While I was there I ordered an additional 4 copies. At a little over five dollars, this little book is a treasure.
I've been listening to Malcolm Gladwell's book, The Tipping Point, on CD, and have been fascinated by his description of the "tipping point" that occurs as a result of something small happening, resulting in a momentum that causes an effect out of proportion to the original event. I wonder if our little band of readers could cause such a tipping point for Watchman Nee's books and if suddenly all over the place people might start to read them. That would be fun!
I was talking on the phone to my friend Frances about Pastor Nee's book on Saturday evening, trying to convey to her the freedom I have grasped and that I realize now was there along. She said that she couldn't wait to get her copy of the book on Sunday morning at church.
There has always been something missing from her faith, she said; victory in some of her struggles. Much in her life has changed as a result of faith in Christ, but like many of the rest of us, there are still struggles; still addictive behaviours, and anger that blazes quickly and leaves shame and regret in its wake. She had thought that perhaps that was the best she could hope for in this life. But now she was finding a glimmer of hope that maybe there was more...something better.
"Yes," I said, "There is more; I'm sure of it. The way many of us live our faith--and I know this is a really poor analogy--is like holding a winning lottery ticket and never cashing it in!"
We laughed at the thought!
Isaiah 53:5 (New International Version)
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
By faith we can claim not only grace for our transgressions, but also freedom from our iniquities, or proclivities; peace and healing. As children of the King, we can draw on our inheritance; his life available to be lived in and through us; his Spirit and its fruit growing in us.
Philippians 1:6 (New International Version)
6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.