My daughter took my granddaughters to the Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus in OKC on Sunday. She said it was spectacular. The girls watched in amazement as the elephants, tigers, and trapeze artists
performed their incredible tricks. It caused to me think back to seeing the circus when I was younger, and being fascinated with the lion tamers, thinking they must be the bravest men ever.
Hearing her describe the circus made me think about an illustration Alan Platt used in his video series "Resurrected Life". He said that most humans have lost their true identity, which is in Christ, and are not living in the habitat God created us to live in. He defined habitat as an environment condusive for life to flourish.
The circus, of course, is not the lion's natural habitat. Circus lions do tricks because they are afraid of the trainer's whip. Only the crack of the whip causes them to behave like they do in the circus, their behavior modified and tamed. Platt compared that to churches where Christianity is based on behavior modification. People try to do good because they feel guilty or are afraid of punishment, and not because God has transformed their hearts, and enabled them to fall in love with Jesus and live in His environment of grace.
In the lion's natural habitat, in the plains and grasslands of Africa, he is afraid of nothing, not man, not other animals, not a thing that comes across his path. He reigns in his natural environment. That's what God wants for us. He wants to restore us to our true identity in Christ and an environment where we reign with Him, unaffected by the circumstances around us, fearless and confident in His love. That's how I want to live. That's the greatest show on earth.
"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus", Ephesians 2:6. NIV
"For in Him we live and move and have our being", Acts 17:28. NIV