Read: Ezekiel 44:1-45:12. 1 Peter 1:1-12, Psalm 119:17-32, Proverbs 28:8-10
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8-9)
Relate: “You’re right. You aren’t just some prize to be one. You should be free to make your own choice.” That is Aladdin’s response when Jasmine tells, “Just go jump off a balcony.” After responding with that he does, literally, jump off a balcony. That is when Jasmine first sees the potential for something miraculous. He doesn’t just jump off, the magic carpet catches him. After reappearing just above the balcony Aladdin offers her a ride. When she shows a bit of hesitation he holds out his hand and asks, “Do you trust me?”
At that moment Jasmine has a choice. She has seen what the magic carpet has done for Aladdin. She has been offered to be shown a different perspective. But it is much safer to keep her feet planted in this world. The offer is there. The hand is outstretched. The question has been asked, “Do you trust me?” It is up to her to respond or reject.
React: Jasmine cannot fly through the city on her own. She has nothing in her, that can give her this ability. She also has no merit of her own to step up on that carpet. It is Aladdin who extends the invitation. It is he, who holds the cards. All she can do is accept or reject the offer.
That is what salvation is for us. We don’t have the ability to raise ourselves from the dead. We don’t have any innate potential in ourselves to live forever. We can’t even earn or wheedle or trick God into letting us on board. It is He who flies above this earth. It is He who offers to us the ride of our lives. He holds all the cards.
But Aladdin was right. We aren’t just a prize to be one. We are free to make our own choice. There are those who will try and claim that eventually everyone will get to heaven. There is this ridiculous notion that all of us are glory bound. That heresy is demeaning. If it were true then, in reality, none of us have free will. Those who have chosen to reject God… too bad. Guess what? You’re getting Him anyways. Your choices don’t count. Oh, and God, speaking through Peter, must have been a liar. Because the reward for trusting Him must not really be the salvation of our souls if even those who chose not to do so end up getting the same ticket. If Jasmine said no but Aladdin snatched her up and said, “too bad, you’re riding anyways” he would be an evil man. If God said, “too bad” to those who have rejected Him, He would be guilty of the same. His hand is out, the question has been asked, “Do you trust Me?” It is not our choice how we respond.
God, I trust You. Though my doubts and my fears want to keep me grounded in this world, I know You have so much more for me. There is so much more You have for me then this mundane life I have been living. Nothing else can offer me anything close to what You have to offer. Let me take Your hand and step up. I chose You. I trust You.