Have you asked the question, “When can we get back to normal?” or heard others talk about getting back to normal once this pandemic is over? Maybe you have realized that there is going to be a new normal or a different normal.
There is something in us that believes that if we go back to normal or the pre-pandemic days, then we will be happy and satisfied. Really though, what gives us TRUE meaning and TRUE satisfaction? Social gatherings? Hugs? Parties? Work? Sports? Church meetings?
All of these aspects of our lives we have missed and they have their right place and purposes but do you believe you will find TRUE meaning and satisfaction when these normal things return?
Matt 16:26 – For what good will it do a person if he gains the whole world, but forfeits his soul? Or what will a person give in exchange for his soul?
We see in the scriptures that God gave His people all kinds of things as gifts. He gave them children and grandchildren, He gave them work to do, He gave them many promises, He gave them the promised land, He gave them victory after victory, He rescued them from their enemies, and so on. If all God gave His people were just gifts, then people would have treated him like Santa Claus or a gift shop. God didn’t just give them things, He gave Himself to them. His presence went with his people (Ex 33:14). He created man to have a relationship and fellowship with Him. This was and is God’s idea of NORMAL for us; God and us enjoying this intimate creator/creature relationship.
There’s an example in Genesis 1 and 2 where God and man enjoyed this relationship. Being created in the likeness of God, God breathed HIS life into man (Gen 2:7). A man in his normality was inhabited by the Life of God. Once sin entered the world (like a virus) man lost that Life. It infected all creation. Sin separated man from God. There was a divide. The separation came with restrictions and limitations. People tried, again and again, to get back to that normal. There were temporary measures to cover the divide, but there was no ability in and of themselves to reunite with God. People created then, a new normal without God and tried to live God’s Life without God. The destructive nature of sin and the helpless state of man is evident even today (Eph 2:1-3).
The Good News is that God made a way for all humanity to be reunited with Him and to get back to man’s normality where we would enjoy a relationship and fellowship with Him. God sent His Son Jesus, born of the Spirit, who took on flesh, died on the cross to pay the price of our sin and to remove that divide. Jesus didn’t just stay dead but rose again on the third day to give us back the LIFE that we lost in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 1 & 2, HIS LIFE.
Rom 5:10 – For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
On the day of Pentecost, God gave Himself to us by His Holy Spirit. Through Jesus, we can experience and enjoy the presence, relationship, and fellowship with God. This is for which we are designed. This is what mankind continues to seek after. This is what WE need more than anything else today.
Eph 2:5-6 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
Until we get to Jesus, we won’t ever find our ‘Normal’ as God intended it. Jesus is where we find our TRUE rest, TRUE meaning, and TRUE satisfaction. Without the Spirit, we live in our flesh that produces immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing (Gal 5:19-21). If you read or watch the news these days, we can see the evidence of this kind of life. However, our calling, is not to live by the ways of the world, by our flesh, but to walk in the Spirit that will produce in and through us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal 5:22-23).
I encourage each one of you to choose Jesus and to allow His Spirit to produce His fruit in you so that you would enjoy this special relationship with the Creator. The world around you will come to know the One True God by this fruit. God loves you so much that He died for you so that you could get back to normality as He intended it – Man indwelled by the Life of God, representing to the World His love.
By: Jeffrey Thudian