"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 2:6. On Sunday, Ps Josh challenged us to see ourselves as God sees us, and to fully appropriate the truth of this scripture in our lives.
FILL ALL THE SEATS // Jolie Egan
Imagine you are boarding a flight. You step onto the plane, and a flight attendant greets you with a warm embrace “Welcome! We’ve been waiting for you. We’re so glad you’re here!” You’ve noticed your ticket doesn’t have a seat assignment, so you ask where you should settle. “This is your flight! You are our only passenger - you can sit anywhere you like, but there is a seat with your name on it next to the pilot.” You are torn. You want to take that seat next to the pilot, but don’t feel it’s appropriate; instead, you make your way to economy, take a middle seat and prepare for takeoff.
As the plane ascends, you think about that seat you were offered. If only I was more of this, less of that; if only I could be more like that person; if only those things hadn’t happened to me or I hadn’t made those choices, then I would have been able to take it. Every few minutes, the flight attendant comes to you again; “I really think you should check out the seat we have for you. Please.” You know that seat next to the pilot is where you should be. From that vantage point, you would see everything, you would rise above your circumstance and see the bigger picture; you would see as the pilot sees. Yet doubt and fear keep you from taking your rightful place.
As Christians, our lives can be like this flight. We enter into a life with Christ but never take the seat the Father has prepared for us. Despite His constant invitation, we let our feelings of inadequacy hold us back, thinking we have to earn our way there. And yet it is already finished – we have been raised with Christ and are seated in Heavenly places. The Father’s heart is that we would take hold of this truth and run with it – for the sake of our own lives and those around us; for just as He has seated us in Heavenly places, He also wants to seat others.
As we step into a bold new season as a church family, God asks us to take our seat with Him, and in turn invite others to do the same. To enlarge the place of our tent, because this city is full of people who are yet to know their Savior. To cast the invitation broadly, open wide the doors and fill all the seats - because every seat filled represents a life changed, families restored, marriages strengthened, kids growing up in the House, dreams re-ignited, neighborhoods re-invigorated and a city revived. It's a simple goal, with eternal impact: Fill all the seats, on earth as it is in Heaven.