Give Me That Mountain

Isolation or Communion

The Law and Grace. Day fifty-two...

Did you ever have a time in your life when you only had yourself to answer to? When you could come and go as you pleased? When you had no accountability to anybody, other than to maybe call Mom or Dad once a month?

I lived this lifestyle in Chicago for a few years. Oh, as a musician I had to make rehearsals and performances. And I had to show up at my part‐time job in order to pay my bills. But there were very few things that kept me from doing what I wanted to, when I wanted to.

trombonist

At this time, I had no relationship with Jesus. So when I was alone—I was really alone!

I was right in the middle of pursuing my dream to become a trombonist is a major symphony orchestra. I was studying with the finest brass teacher in the world. I was getting experience by playing in civic orchestras. I was surrounded every day by thousands and thousands of people.

Much to my surprise, this period would prove to be the loneliest time of my life.

There was no such thing as portable music players in those days, and I remember sitting for hours on end, in libraries or at my apartment, listening to the music of the great masters. I also went to just about every “serious‐music” concert in the Chicago area.

But I didn't limit my pursuit of the arts to music. I also spent a great deal of time at the Art Institute meditating on the art of the world's greatest artists. My world was filled with art and music.

I was looking for inspiration.

But instead of experiencing inspiration, I experienced profound isolation.

You may not live in a world of artists and musicians, as I did. You may live in a world of raising crops or raising kids. You may live in a world of running a family business or running a multinational corporation. You may live in a world of selling real estate or selling shoes. You may live in a world of teaching piano lessons or teaching algebra. Whatever world you live in, Jesus is calling you out of isolation.

Obviously, those who don't have a relationship with Jesus live in isolation from Him. But even if you've been a Christian all your life, and rarely miss a church service, Jesus is calling you out of the relative isolation you're living in.

As mentioned Friday, we think in terms of isolation but Jesus thinks in terms of communion.

If isolation were not our default condition He would not have taught so much on communion with Him.

The law was given to Moses as a tutor.

What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. (Galatians 3:19–25 NKJV)

But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. We should no longer need an external tutor, such as the law. And if we are under some kind of an external tutor it is by our choice. Jesus became our tutor—but not as an external presence.

Jesus made possible a relationship that is nothing like anything in our human experience.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 KJV)

This relationship has not even a hint of isolation. There is no more “I” when I am crucified with Christ. While I still live—it's not the “me” that would listen to music or meditate on art for hours on end in a search of inspiration.

Christ is alive in me. His faith is the substance of my life.

If you've had even a taste of the Lord's presence, just imagine what it would be like to live with a constant, informed awareness of His presence.

I'm not there yet. But I can imagine. And I'm determined to go as far as I can go. Will you join me?

Have a good day,
Mike

Image credit: Penn State

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