Seated and Sent
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:6
I hid in the church bathroom with tears rolling down my cheeks because another woman had just described her family’s upcoming tropical vacation where her beautiful and popular children would wear matching dresses bought from a store I could never afford. I thought about my ordinary life and my thrift store wardrobe, our missionary budget, and how we’d be staying home instead of traveling to exotic places.
Maybe you’ve never cried in the church bathroom from jealousy, but perhaps like me you’ve lived a life of constant comparison and fear that somehow you’re missing the fabulous life you were supposed to live. You keep waiting for an invitation to a different kind of life, a seat at the table that will finally make you happy. You might think if only I had more beauty, more money, or more achievement, then I could sit at the table with the right people, in the right places, with the right experiences! And perhaps, like me, you endure what psychologist Lauren Slater calls the “ache she cannot name” because you’re always seeking a different life.
A single passage of scripture healed this ache inside of me. It was a summer day in late July when my encounter with Ephesians 2:6 changed nearly everything about me. In this passage, I found an invitation to sit at the table my heart truly longed for. Here, I saw the reality that I was seated at the Greatest Table with the Greatest King.
Paul, writing from prison, somehow experienced a different reality for his life even when enduring difficult circumstances. He writes, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” That summer day, I pictured myself seated at this beautiful table with Jesus.
I realized that all my life, I’d never lived like I was seated at the table.
I lived as if I were fighting for a seat at the table.
I’d been fighting to belong and find joy through the three A’s: my appearance, my affluence, and my achievement. But what if I believed I was already seated? What if I stopped fighting so hard to belong? Finally, I understood that if I lived as if I was already seated at the table with Jesus, I could adore Him and radiate His beauty (instead of obsessing over my appearance); I could access all the riches of His kingdom (instead of worrying over money and seeking affluence); and I could abide with Jesus to bear the fruit He ordained for my life (instead of striving for more achievement).
As I inhabited my new identity as a seated woman, God set me free from jealousy, from comparison, and from the insecurity that I was living the wrong life. God chose you and me for our seats at this marvelous table, and now we can enjoy this life God has given us right now. Now, we can live seated and sent on an extraordinary adventure with Jesus. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us that God has good works “prepared in advance” for us to do. And we know from John 15:16 that God chose us and appointed us to bear fruit. Because we’re finally free from exhausting ourselves to fight to belong at all those tables we thought we needed, we can truly use all that energy to love people, to introduce them to Jesus, to bless those very people we once envied, and to live a life of profound intimacy with this Savior who has a seat saved for us.
You’re in the best seat because no matter where you are, you’re seated with Christ.
– Heather Holleman
Speaker and Author of “Seated with Christ: Living Freely in a Culture of Comparison”
Join Heather and Grace Women this September for “Seated and Sent”. This event is an opportunity for women to connect relationally in a fun and heart-warming gathering with great teaching from author and speaker Heather Holleman, meaningful worship with Jenna May, and special food to enjoy. The goal is that women connect deeply with Jesus and the Bible to remember their identity in Christ, their purpose in their communities, and live freely in a culture of comparison!
Visit gfcnow.com/womensevent to learn more & sign up!