April 26, 2019
How a Single Passage of Scripture Changed Everything About My Life
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus …” Ephesians 2:6 (NIV)
For most of my life, I fought to earn a seat at the “table” I thought would finally bring me happiness: the table with the beautiful people, the table with the wealthy and the table of professional success. As a result, I lived in a constant state of comparison and jealousy. Once, I even cried from envy in the church bathroom because another woman told me about her upcoming tropical vacation. She stood there with her well-dressed children in contrast to our thrift-store wardrobe and budget that would keep us home in snowy Pennsylvania.
Jealous questions paraded through my mind: Were we living the wrong life? Was a better life happening somewhere else? Why was I so unhappy? When would I have a seat at the table that would bring me all the life and joy I longed for?
On a summer day as I sat with my Bible and journal, a single passage of Scripture ushered in the most profound transformation of my life and healed the ache in my soul to belong at that table of beauty, wealth or success. In Ephesians 2:6, we read that “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” As a writing instructor and lover of vivid verbs, I couldn’t stop staring at the little word seated.
God says we’re already seated with Christ. In other words, we’re already at the table.
A lightning bolt of realization hit me that I did not live like someone who already had a seat at the table. We are seated women. How would a seated woman truly live?
And what about those other “tables” so many of us still long for in life (what I call the three A’s: appearance, affluence and achievement)?
Instead of obsessing over their appearance to gain a seat with the beautiful people, seated women adore Jesus and radiate the beauty of the Lord (found in Psalm 34:5). Instead of chasing affluence, seated women access the riches of God’s kingdom where God promises to meet all our needs (as seen in Philippians 4:19). And instead of exhausting themselves with achievement, seated women abide in Christ and complete the good works God has planned for their lives (which is explained in Ephesians 2:10).
Seated women adore, access and abide.
As I moved deeper into my seated life, I found a quote from a Hayden Planetarium museum guide. Because all the children race into the planetarium to find the best seats in an arena where there are no best seats, the guide must call out, “All seats provide equal viewing of the universe! No matter where you sit, you won’t miss any part of the show!”
I cried with joy when I found this quote. All seats provide equal access to God’s power, provision and presence. No matter where I sit, I won’t miss anything. Now, I celebrate with other women about their glamorous vacations, their beautiful wardrobes and their professional successes. These things represent God’s plan for their seats with Jesus. I have my own seat, with God’s plan for me, and my own special blessings from God. All seats provide equal viewing of the universe.
I take my seat with Jesus, and I love the life He’s given me. I’m already at the Greatest Table with the Greatest King, so my life explodes — not with comparison and jealousy — but with worship and joy as I live seated with Christ.
Lord, help me understand that I already have a seat at the table, fulfilling all my heart’s longings. Thank You that Jesus made a way for me to have this seat. Thank You that You have prepared the good works my life will accomplish. Help me understand my new identity as seated with Christ every day of my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Ephesians 2:8-10, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)
COMPEL Training is delighted to announce that Seated with Christ: Living Freely in a Culture of Comparison by Heather Holleman is the featured book for the upcoming COMPEL Writer’s Book Club starting May 6! This Book Club is unique as we don’t just focus on the content of the book, but on the style and writing techniques of the author. Book Club members will also enjoy weekly interaction with our guest author and Judy Dunagan, her Moody Publishing editor! Access to the Book Club is only available to COMPEL Training members. Click here to find out how you can join COMPEL today!
Heather blogs daily at HeatherHolleman.com. Or, connect via her Facebook author page, Twitter or on Instagram, via @HeatherHolleman.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
How are you still fighting for a seat at the table? Which table do you (or women in your life) most value: appearance, affluence or achievement?
How do you think your life would change if you truly understood you were seated with Christ in the heavenly realms? Stop by our comments section today, and share your thoughts.
© 2019 by Heather Holleman. All rights reserved.
Originally published Friday, 26 April 2019.