Is it possible to be lost and not know it? After my husband retired early this year, we camped across the United States and back, traveling close to 15,000 miles. Without a doubt, we made numerous wrong turns in our travels, sometimes driving for several miles before realizing we were lost. One advantage we greatly appreciated on the road, was having a GPS to help us navigate. Rather than getting panicky or upset when we missed a turn, we learned to rely on “Hilda” (our name for our GPS) to help us return to the route we were supposed to be following without having to “back-track” the entire distance.
Other ways we can be lost without knowing it are:
- When we seek fulfillment by setting goals, achieving them, and then find ourselves looking around and wondering, “Is this all there is to life?”
- When we put our faith in people and they let us down.
- When we doubt God’s Sovereign Goodness and think He has abandoned us.
More shocking in our times is the lostness being manifested in a wanton disregard for human life:
- Of people who appear outwardly dead as they inflict as much pain and suffering as they can on others, before taking their own lives;
- Or the lostness of those who champion the “right” to slaughter our unborn children.
John Newton, author of the beloved hymn, Amazing Grace, understood the depths of such lostness. Having been involved in the slave trade for many years and as a younger man led a life full of debauchery. Newton also knew the joy of having been saved out of that lostness by the love his Savior, Jesus Christ:
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am FOUND; was blind but now I see.”
John Newton, 1725-1807
I too can relate to Newton’s joy of having been FOUND. It has been 38 years since I understood the wretchedness of my sin and knew that, before a holy God, I deserved hell. It was the worst day of my life . . . but it also was the absolute best day of my life after surrendering all to Jesus.
So what does it mean to be FOUND?
- I normally think of it as an adjective: to come upon unexpectedly or after a search.
When I looked it up in my dictionary, however, I discovered that it means much, much more as a transitive verb:
- FOUND–to take the first steps in building; to set or ground on something solid (a base); to establish (as an institution) often with provision for future maintenance.*
To be FOUND by God through faith in Christ,
is to be more than simply discovered and then set aside.
To be FOUND by God through faith in Christ,
is to be established with design and purpose
in something (actually, SOMEONE)
outside of ourselves.
God has been kind in reminding me of these truths through two new Clients. One has been established in her faith for many years, but struggles with the pain of a divorce and the challenge of raising her children on her own. The other is very new in her faith and comes in every week excited to ask questions and to share what God has taught her as she has done her Journey Notes. BOTH were encouraged and downright excited when we explored Colossians 3 this week. Here’s what it says in part about being FOUND in Christ:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Feeling lost or deserted? Are you overwhelmed by whatever challenges you are facing? Or, are you bored with your life and question God’s purpose for ever putting you here?
The question we must to consider is: Where is Christ in your life right now?
- Is He merely a distant idea that floats in and out of your consciousness?
- Is He at the foundational core of all that you care about?
- Or is He somewhere in-between?
I have found much encouragement and direction in this prayer written by the Apostle Paul, and pray that it will do the same for you:
“I pray that out of the riches of His glory, He may strengthen you
with power through His Spirit in your inner being,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
And I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may have power, together with all the saints,
to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of His love.”
All to His Glory!