Have you ever heard the saying your attitude determines your altitude? It’s an OK saying, and when things are going ok and sometimes when it is a matter of focus it is helpful. In truth, our attitude does determine a lot of things and when we have the wrong attitude or cannot get our focus right, we generally keep sinking. I think having the right attitude is very important but sometimes life is too heavy for just the right attitude. Sometimes the weight and heaviness of life are crushing, and we cannot think ourselves into a better situation. Thankfully we don’t have to.
In Ephesians 1:20-21 Paul talks about Jesus and says that God raised Christ from the dead and now Christ is seated in heaven above every power, ruler, and authority that was, is, and will be. Jesus is above everything. There is nothing that is higher than our risen Messiah. No political party, no recession, no fear, no doubt, nothing is higher than Christ. He is supremely above everything. Bad things still happen on earth. Loved ones still die. Wars still occur. The church still fails at times. But in all of it, Christ is still above all these things. No matter what is happening here on earth Jesus is above everything.
That is awesome and so helpful to remember. To know that in our situations, when things are so bad we can hardly stand, we still have a Lord who is above everything. To remember that the love that has been poured out on us was poured by the one who is above and sustains all things can give us peace in the midst of the storms. It can remind us to look to Christ and not our own ability. It can give us the courage to keep pressing on. I would say there is nothing better than that, except Paul says there is something better.
Paul tells us this and it is supposed to give us peace. It is supposed to get us excited about how great Jesus is. It is supposed to elicit a specific response of amazement because then Ephesians 2:4-6 says that we are now with Him! That’s right we start with this feeling of awe and sense of the greatness of Christ being above all things and then Paul hits us with the fact that our place is in Him in heaven. Now obviously we are still here on earth but our position, where we belong, is in Christ above it all.
I remember when I quit a bad job one time. I thoroughly disliked that job. Most of my days were spent very annoyed and aggravated with the company, co-workers, and the tasks themselves. I was given an opportunity to take a new job, so I did. I remember when I gave my notice it was the best feeling. For the next two weeks, I still worked that bad job, with the bad co-workers, and the dysfunctional management but it did not bother me as much because I knew my proper position. I was still there but I had a different place I belong to. I understood that the time I had was short and then I would be where I really belonged.
In the same way, but much more, we belong in Christ and that is where we are headed. Our placement is set. We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit. The notice has been given and now we go about whatever it is we are doing with an understanding that eventually we will be where we belong. Stuff still happens. Life still gets hard. Things still break. Shoulders are still sore but praise God Hallelujah this is not our final stop. Wow, am I glad.