As I've been reflecting on the historical context of the word "deliverance" I have also thought more about an innate search for a "Savior".
In about 2 weeks (more or less) I will be delivered at a hospital and a baby girl will forever join my family. I am fascinated by the parallels between life and the coming forth of life. We have always needed to be delivered.
Professor Arnold Toynbee, a Brittish historian who wrote a 12 volume analysis of the rise and fall of civilization concluded one of the most extensive studies of history ever undertaken. He recorded mankind’s quest for “saviours,” for “the way out.” He identified four categories: (1) the “Creative Genius”; (2) the “Saviour with a Sword”; (3) the “Saviour with a Time Machine,” one dreaming of a utopia or an archaic past which never existed; (4) the saviour as a “Philosopher, Masked as a King.” All these history rejects. Finally, Toynbee pointed to “the God Incarnate in a Man,” the Lord Jesus Christ. And then he wrote:
“This is in truth the final result of our survey of saviours. When we set out on this quest we found ourselves moving in the midst of a mighty host, but, as we have pressed forward, the marchers, company by company, have fallen out of the race. The first to fail were the swordsmen, the next the archaists and the futurists, the next the philosophers, until only gods were left in the running. … And now, as we stand and gaze with our eyes fixed upon the farther shore, a single figure rises from the flood and straightway fills the whole horizon. There is the Saviour.” (A Study of History, abridgment, vols. I–VI, D. C. Somervell Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1957, p. 547.)
No matter what we decide in this life to affix ourselves to and believe in, there is one question that should be furiously discovered through searching, pondering, praying- Do I ultimately need deliverance? and Who is my Savior?
If Jesus Christ were anything but the true Savior (what he said He was) then what would he be? A great philosopher, friend, example, person? In being anything but who He declared that would also make Him a liar thus undercutting any ability for others to have faith or follow Him.
In the world we live in today it is convenient to overlook a Savior, a need for deliverance, a need for anything or anybody outside of ourselves. This can go on for months, years, lifetimes, but sooner or later it ends and the need to be delivered occurs. We will go out of this life just as we came into it, the life itself not being anything we can keep longer than a duration of maybe 100yrs. At that point, where will you go? Will you need deliverance? A Savior?
There are many things to overlook and become distracted from in this life, the one thing that is impossible for me to overlook is Jesus Christ, what He means personally for me, If He is the true Savior, why following His commandments are important. These questions are too important for me to overlook, they are too obvious for me to deny, and they are the entire foundation of my identity and my life.
I absolutely believe and know through intellect and spirit that Jesus Christ not only lived, was an example, and taught amazing things, but that He in fact is THE Savior, my Savior.
This week America celebrated its independence. On the eve of July 4th, I watched a movie about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I always envisioned the founding fathers cheering after voting to declare independence. However, in the movie, the founding fathers were silent and still after the votes were cast.
My husband and I talked about how the movie is more likely an accurate portrayal than my original impression of what occurred on that day. The founding fathers knew the battle that would be in front of them after declaring independence. They knew of the lives that would yet be lost and the tears that were yet to be shed. As I contemplated the scene on July 4, 1776 and the brave actions of the founding fathers, I realized that bravery is being willing to sacrifice for a greater (and perhaps divine) cause.
Over the last few days, I have been touched by examples of bravery. Today I read this blog post that epitomized bravery. It's written by a guy I've never met, but just like me he's been married less than a year. However, he and his wife are facing a battle of lifetime as she wrestles with a lung disease. His post touched my soul.
On Sunday, my husband shared a short video with me. The voices in the video share their faith in God and express their belief that while they have faced or are facing challenges that they wouldn't pick for themselves, they know that their experiences are what they need. To me, they too define bravery.
I am inspired by the bravery I observe. Sometimes I think society portrays bravery as conquering insurmountable odds and afterwords being showered with accolades. While bravery can be conquering insurmountable odds, it's also the quiet and humble decision to accept God's will and to sacrifice our immediate want for a greater, and indeed divine, purpose.
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