In California there is a super delicious fast food restaurant chain called In ‘n Out. I love their food, and they have a secret menu! Well, we’re not talking about In ‘n Out, though my brain is telling me that I really need one of their burgers. Sorry, squirrel! Today we are considering God’s consistent message of Out ‘n In.
Out ‘n In
In Genesis 12:1, we find, “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” God moved Abram out of his country and into a land God gave Abram. While in Genesis, we can’t overlook Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham. In Genesis 31:2, we find, “And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before. Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.”
God told Jacob to get out of where he was and go into the land God promised Jacob and his father and grandfather. Over and over, God takes His people out of wicked places and puts them in places that are full of God’s promises.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’”Revelation 2:7
God will take the one who conquers out of this wicked world and put that person in God’s paradise – This verse in the book of Revelation is for every follower of Jesus.
In and sent
Now here is an odd thing. As we’ve seen, God consistently takes His children out of what is wicked and puts them in places of abounding promises. But we find Jesus doing something different:
I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one… As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.John 17:15, 18
Why did Jesus pray something that seems opposite of what God has consistently done for thousands of years? Undoubtedly, Jesus established a new paradigm. Christ’s will, as God, is to keep His apostles and, by implication, His followers in this wicked world. In fact, He doesn’t even want His followers to sequester themselves. No, Jesus sends us into the world to tell the Good News that Jesus has overcome the world, and in Him we can be saved!
Let that sink in for a moment. God put Adam in the Garden, God put Abraham in the promised land, and God put Jacob in the promised land. In the book of Revelation, God puts His conquerors in paradise. But when it comes to our lives, in our times, God doesn’t put us in someplace new. In fact, when we are reborn, Jesus sends us into this wicked world. He’s taking the fight to the evil one.
Hidden in God
Beginning in the New Testament, God’s focus is moved from working externally with people, primarily the descendants of Jacob (Israel), to living within people. When Jesus becomes our Redeemer, our Regenerator, our Reconciler, He makes a way, the only way, for God to live in a person. The way God lives in us is when we are in Jesus. Throughout the New Testament, God’s Word tells us that to be a Christian means that we are “in” Christ Jesus. Consider:
“For our sake he [God] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him [Jesus] we might become the righteousness of God.“2 Corinthians 5:21
God cannot look on sin. We, as children of Adam, are unrighteous. We know that everyone has sinned (Romans 3:23), and the result of sin is death (Romans 6:23). This truth is why none of us get out alive. The default for people is hell. By Adam’s nature, people are unrighteous and condemned convicts, waiting to receive their sentencing. But now, if we receive Christ’s victory, then when the Father looks on us, He sees Jesus. “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3)
Receive His peace
So, here’s the good news: If you are in Jesus, then you are “hidden with Christ in God.” When we pray, God isn’t a bazillion lightyears away. He is not a distant God. God is here, right now, even as you read this. And He loves you more than you can comprehend.
You don’t have to fight through throngs of demons to reach your Savior because you are already in Him, and you and He are in this incomprehensible place of being hidden in God. So speak to Him. Pour out your heart to Him. Seek your place in Him. Ask Him for what you need. He is within you, and you are hidden in Him. Receive His peace!
Photo by Katherine Auguste on Unsplash
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