Lesson 007 – Rescued versus Redeemed

Several years ago I was introduced to JJ Heller while listening to K-LOVE radio on the drive to a project in Indianapolis.  We don’t have a K-LOVE station in Atlanta so I was hearing lots of new Christian music every week as I made the commute from the airport to the client’s building in Fisher, IN.  The first time I heard JJ Heller was the song “Your Hands” and I knew right away I had discovered a new favorite artist.  Since that time I have pre-ordered all of her albums and recently downloaded her new album “Loved“.  I enjoyed all of the songs on the “Loved” album and a couple of them have made their way to my favorite’s list but one song in particular struck a chord with me and has been consuming my thought time in the car and as I drift away to sleep each night.

The song is called “CREATE IN ME” and the line that resonates with me is in the chorus and it simply says:

“I don’t want to be rescued,

Oh, I want to be redeemed”

The first time I heard this line it seemed weird to me that a person would not want to be rescued by God.  In our most difficult struggles and in our moments of deepest sin or despair we call on God to rescue us and very often he does. When we screw up our relationships, our finances, our reputation, or our health we plead with God to intervene but when he does we are still left with the brokenness of our internal condition, even if by divine intervention our environment or situation has improved.

What the song helped me to realize is that God wants so much more than to rescue us from our problems.  What He wants for us and what we should be craving for ourselves is not that God would fix our situation but that He would fix US!  For example, if I have given myself over to debt and materialism and now I am struggling to pay my bills, I can either pray “God, help me to pay the mortgage this month” or I can pray “God, help me to be wise with money and to serve you instead of the lust of my eyes and the pride of life”.  I can either pray, “Lord, let the officer have mercy on me so that I won’t get a DUI on my record” or “Lord, heal me of my addictions and let my body be a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to you”.  I can pray, “Father, make my wife more respectful and understanding” or I can pray, “Father, make me the kind of man you have called me to be and help me to love my wife the way You love me”.  No matter the situation I can pray “Rescue me!” or “Redeem me!”

For those that are unfamiliar with the term “Redeemed“, I found this simple explanation on About.com:

“The Christian use of redemption means Jesus Christ, through his sacrificial death, purchased believers from the slavery of sin to set us free from that bondage.  Redemption always involves going from something to something else. In this case it is Christ freeing us from the bondage of the law to freedom of a new life in Him.”

So many of the trials we face in life are trials we bring upon ourselves.  Likewise, our relationships often get messy because of problems within our own hearts that cause us to neglect, hurt, disappoint, betray, or otherwise damage the trust of those closest to us.  The only permanent solution is to stop focusing on fixing everything around us and to submit ourselves to God’s will.

God wants to create a new person out of each of us:

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 

He wants to transform us by the renewing of our minds:

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

He wants to redeem us:

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Psalm 103:1-5

Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Next time I feel like I need to be rescued, I hope to remember that what I might really be needing is to be redeemed.

For those that are interested, below are the full lyrics to the song “CREATE IN ME” and you can listen to a sample of the song and/or purchase it HERE.

Create In Me

Words and Music by Dave and JJ Heller

I am running ragged
My mind is full of words
That I’m too scared to say
I am running ragged
But you still love me this way

I don’t want to be rescued
Oh I want to be redeemed
Won’t you break me
And remake me
Create in me again
Create in me again

My heart is a cathedral
These halls would echo
In the darkness for so long
My heart is a cathedral
Come and fill it with song

I don’t want to be rescued
Oh I want to be redeemed
Won’t you break me
And remake me
Create in me again
Create in me again

Build something beautiful
Don’t leave until you do
I’m tired of the old routine
Make me new

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