The Energy and Joy of Assurance

     The flower of  new understanding has been slowly blooming in my mind.  Doesn’t it so often happen that way? And yet it makes so much sense. Every new piece of truth we gain is by the grace of our dear Jesus through the work of His Holy Spirit. When the knowledge of a new truth begins to dawn upon the horizon of our minds, it comes like the rays of the sun. Even if we want to close our minds to it–the knowledge of it is ultimately irresistable.  Indeed, the daylight seen through eyes shut tightly is lighter than the darkness of night.

     For most of my life I have lived taking great care of my soul.  I was taught to do so. Evaluate all things. Avoid evil. Choose the right thing. Search the Scriptures. Obey God’s commands. All these things are true and none of them should be ignored.  But as I have grown in my knowledge of the Word, I am realizing that Christ has already taken very good care of my soul. Because He has paid the debt of my sin, my soul is safe in His hands. So you see, a subtle but ever-important shift is taking place in my mind. As I relax in that knowledge, I feel joy welling up and sense a new freedom to focus on acts of service and mercy.  After all, I am coming from place of spiritual plenty–I am safe. Now what about others?

     Can a lack of assurance about our position in Christ drain us of the energy and joy we need to fuel service to others? Can introspection become a subtle form of self-centeredness? To my mind, one of the best things we can do for ourselves and others is to get a handle on the reality of our salvation. From a firm conviction of our sonship through Christ, we have the freedom to forget about ourselves and focus on the needs of others around us. We will have energy and joy to spend on others  After all, what good news do we have to share, if we aren’t sure of it ourselves? My suggestion: pray for the grace of faith and joy.  Surely that is a prayer in line with the will of the Father!  Pray that you will be “rooted and  grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of His love], and to know [His] love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”  Ephesians 3. This “fullness of God” is what will leak out of a soul that comprehends what has been done for it.  This knowledge was also the source of Christ’s service to us.  One of my favorite verses reveals this: “3Jesus, knowing the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet…” John 13. Through His power, I hope to increase in my ability to be other-centered–now that I know my own soul is in very safe-keeping!