Wholeness . . . there are Heights to Explore!
Are you a photographer? I wish I were, but I am not. I do admire the work of those who have mastery. I can sit a good while and peruse the work of our son who has given this considerable attention as a hobby. As for me, however, with my unexcelled point-and-shoot work :-), often after taking the first click or two, I step to a different angle to see what other details I might capture. That said, my aim in this post is to step to a different angle and reflect more on this engaging topic.
So why the emphasis on wholeness?
I offer here three responses:
Because there’s something incredibly beautiful about the Creator’s design.
What our human family can’t do for itself, the Master Designer can. Way bigger than any plan we can implement for ourselves, His mega redemptive initiative is in motion. Being so ‘other’ than us, He dwells in the eternal now, so He is not restricted to time as we know it. And what’s more, His understanding is infinite, thus we know that His knowing all, and His grasping the span of human history as in a moment, He is quite capable to implement His plan.
In His fatherly loving kindness and tender mercies, He invites us to work with Him, to become instruments through which His Kingdom can advance. As we partner with Him, His grace enables us to achieve some worthy ends that we know we cannot do alone, a wonder to behold! It is one thing to view the wonders of a vast universe and marvel at master design. And then it’s another thing to contemplate one’s own life.
Here’s an interesting exercise: enumerate the wonders of wholeness in your life up to this point that are directly from the fatherly operations of the wholeness Designer.
The most incredible marvel of this Designer’s work is His multi-faceted grace. It goes before, prevenient grace, and woos us to His justifying, regenerating, adopting grace. And then on to His discipling, strengthening, sustaining, nurturing, and sanctifying graces. All who have experienced how BIG these aspects of His grace truly are, testify to the wonder of what He did for us through the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. All of these are aspects of His shalom, the available beginnings of it in the here and now.
Faith looks up, reaches into the inner sanctuary, and anchors deep to the One who does what we cannot do. Making us whole, which we cannot do, is something to behold, something remarkable to contemplate!
Why an emphasis on wholeness? Consider second:
Because evil, until its final defeat, seeks to sabotage God’s plan for wholeness
Can we imagine a world where the headlines are all positive, all good news, all about the human family aiding one another to new levels, to new heights? What a testament to the post-fall struggle of the human psyche, the twisted, distorted nature of humankind, that good news doesn’t ‘sell’!
In an age of permission to ‘express’ through myriads of sound-bytes, tweets, texts, adverts, news feeds, blogs, vlogs (all of which can be used constructively), what a flow of negatives! Including verbal attacks, hate speech, expletives, misrepresentation, and yes, even outright lies! Does it seem to you that with the ability to communicate apart from sitting face-to-face, communication may now go to new lows? The ‘this is my way’ line in our times, brings blizzard winds to the cultures of our world, while the noble, the great, the significant issues of life are neglected, omitted, shoved, relegated to others, or just left behind. Then there are the power plays, agenda pushing, and tussles of nations. We may ask, is this new low in cultural expression as ‘good’ as it will get, until someone higher than us lifts us from this moral and spiritual morass?
Somehow this environment is not the true home of humanity as set forth by the Creator. Deep in the human spirit we know that there is a realm of living far higher. Those who diligently study the holy Scriptures understand that the highest living, the abundant life, comes through God’s redemptive initiative. We know it comes through Messiah’s coming to earth to live and die that we might have life,–abundant life, shalom life! (see John 10:10).
The third thought in the wholeness consideration:
Because there’s something incredibly marvelous about evil losing and right (wholeness) winning!
Marvelous indeed! Because the Sovereign created life, including human life for something way higher than evil.
What happens when evil loses? When right, truth, goodness, wholeness, wisdom wins, something profound in the human spirit happens. It reaches back to the wholeness of pre-fall Eden, and thus anticipates God’s future—Eden again and more—the Maker’s creation restored and whole. Evil’s losing accentuates in us the deep inner awareness that indeed we are created to live in it’s absence—to soar to new heights in righteous and holy living. Just as the caged eagle knows where it truly belongs, that it was made for incredible heights, so the human spirit knows there are noble heavenly realms to explore.
Conversely, what happens when right, truth, goodness, wholeness wins? Evil is denied another opportunity to advance. The narrative of heaven’s design for earth’s family presses forward. The plan of the sabotager of shalom is defeated. The direction intended by the Creator is moved ahead.
We recognize these principles in this story. He sat in his prison cell. What could be right about this? ! He knew he had done exactly the right thing; yet here he was. He had honored God’s plan of marriage. He escaped from her advances for an immoral relationship. As he ran, she grasped his outer garment, and with twisted narrative, showed this garment to her husband, the Captain, turning the story on its head. Her husband took her version. The result was instant. To prison, for doing the right thing!
Evil in his life was defeated, in hers it advanced. The right choice delivered Joseph to the prison stocks. “But the Lord was with Joseph” (Gen 39:21), and we read the rest of this fascinating saga to greatness (Gen. chapters 40-47), as right, truth, wholeness wins!
From our vantage point, viewing the Scriptures, with their incredible stories, truths, principles, we know that renewal of the image of God in us means the defeat of sin, corruption, evil. So mighty is the ‘Captain of our salvation’ that He provides the empowerment for the breaking of sin’s reign in our lives.
The best defense against evil winning in our personal lives is an offensive strategy—opening to the lifting power of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. The mighty Conqueror, the victorious Christ, the provider of wholeness.
Where can we find a more engaging invitation? Where can we soar a higher lifestyle? It’s what the Creator provided in the beginning. For authentic believers, it’s where it all will climax.
He has raised our human nature
On the clouds to God’s right hand;
There we sit in heav’nly places,
There with Him in glory stand.
Jesus reigns, adored by angels;
Man with God is on the throne;
By our mighty Lord’s ascension
We by faith behold our own.
Soar on! In His wholeness!
Find this post meaningful? I’d love for you to PIN IT!
 For the concept of ‘wholeness’ as I understand it, see my previous four blog posts.