Focus 40 Day 31: Extreme Living—Growing by Christ’s Protection
Prayer Focus: Pray to be pure and blameless – Phil. 1:9-11
Extreme Living—Growing by Christ’s Protection
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
—Colossians 1:17 (NIV)
I HAD JUST FINISHED working on a lesson plan for our Christian Growth Groups. Just before I pressed the save button, I noticed a strange code in View Codes: “UNKNOWN.” It was a virus! When my cursor touched the code, the whole document exploded as if a SCUD missile hit it! Sentence fragments, single words, and letters jumped all over the document, totally out of order, completely disorganized, with fragments of one sentence appearing in the middle of another sentence or on another page. Words moved from the top to the bottom, the middle, the side, and other pages. Blank spaces and lines turned up everywhere. Strange characters and symbols emerged all over the document. It was total chaos! In order to salvage the document I spent two days copying and pasting every letter, word, fragment, and phrase back in order. As the document creator, I knew how it was supposed to be organized, and I put it back together!
A computer virus can invade the computer’s operating system and totally disable or destroy it. It can cause a hard drive crash, causing you to have to replace the drive and reinstall the operating system and all of the programs. Programming will lock up and not function properly—if at all!
Sometimes, there are virus-like forces that attack your core being, and your whole life crashes. Attitudes, temptations, motives, desires, and relationships lurking beneath the surface have the potential to destroy the hard drive of your inner life. The result is often called burnout, moral failure, ethical breach, or breakdown—spiritual, emotional, or mental. Your whole life and your relationships plunge into chaos, and you feel as if you’ve been invaded by some destructive, devastating force! And you have been!
The good news is this: Jesus Christ, our Creator who knows how he intended us to be, can make us new and hold all things together (Col 1:17)! He is the One who provides the principle of cohesion in the universe—the balance between gravity and centrifugal force—that gives it unity and solidarity, which keeps it all from being pure chaos. He can protect us from those destructive forces of Satan, the evil world system, and people who would seek to destroy or debilitate us from the inside out. He can hold your life and mine together! Trust him to do it! This is the path to extreme living in Christ.
Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for being the One who holds my life together regardless of attitudes, temptations, desires, people, or events that would make it a chaos. Please provide the inner and outer protection from the virus-like forces like the UNKNOWN virus code that would attack my core being, causing my whole life to crash. Please order my life around your love and plans for me. Lord, please hold my life together in you. Thank you. Amen.
Dr. Sam Bruce
Pastor, MACU Professor, and Transformation Team Member