If you know me at all or have read any of my past devotionals, you know that I often reference music lyrics. I am particularly moved and influenced by the lyrics of worship songs. While listening to the sermon, I could not help but think of an older song by Steven Curtis Chapman called, appropriately, The Invitation.
“In the palace in the land of mercy, the King looked out from His throne. He saw the sick and the homeless and hungry. He saw me lost and without hope.”
So far, what I have appreciated most about our current sermon series, Victory, is learning that, while the temptation spiral is true and real for all of us, there is only one time in our lives that living in that spiral would actually cause us to be described as sick, homeless, hungry and lost without hope: the time before we knew Jesus. The time before The Invitation.
“And moved with compassion, He sent out His only Son, with the invitation to come. This is your invitation. Come just the way you are. Come find what your soul has been longing for.”
The invitation was issued by our father, God, via messenger through His only Son. The moment we accepted that invitation to come inside the kingdom, our rags turned to royal cloaks. Our sickness was healed. Our room in the kingdom was prepared for us. And these gifts are forever.
“So I stood outside the gates and trembled, in my rags of unworthiness. Afraid to even stand at a distance in the presence of holiness. But just as I turned to go, the gates swung open wide, and the King and his only Son, they invited me inside!”
And yet, so many times, we do not see ourselves that way. Salvation reveals to us the inside of the kingdom — we have felt the royal garments on our shoulders, we have feasted at the table. God sees us as beautiful, royal children, residents of His kingdom, all because we accepted His invitation. He wants us to live our lives in fullness, not constantly battling the demons of the spiral.
Satan hates this. He takes any opportunity to remind us of the temporary satisfaction of the other life we used to know but fails to also remind us how we felt at the bottom of that spiral — ragged, dirty, homeless, alone — until we are there and cannot see ourselves in any other way. We become so blinded by Satan’s lies, how easy he makes it for us to forget we are, in fact, royals. We backslide again and again and see ourselves as dirty, homeless, and without hope. The beggars under the table. The sinners. We forget so easily that God, in His perfection, created you and me in His image. Satan makes sure of this.
“Come find your peace, come join the feast. Come in, this is your invitation. Come, sinner, as you are.”
Yes, Jesus invites us to come as we are, to enjoy the feast. But he never says that it is a temporary fix that expires at the end of the night, like Cinderella. Nowhere in the invitation is there a time that the feast ends. There is no time we have to leave. There is no counter where we have to turn in our royal garments and glass slippers at the end of the night. The feast of God’s grace and love is for a lifetime. We never have to return to the old ways again. It is our way out.
This week, let’s look at ourselves through our royal glasses, remembering we are children of the King who have the power to break the hold of sin and see ourselves as God sees us. Royal children, guests at his table, all because we accepted His Invitation. And that invitation is for eternity!