In life, we find ourselves going through the motions of being Christian. We are smiling at all the right times. We know how to respond to any question asked us on Sunday morning.
When we look in the mirror of His Word, we hear Him calling us to meet Him in that secret place of intimacy. He calls us patiently, compassionately, to drink of His Water and sit at His Table.
He calls us to a place of peace and rest in Him.
We know it’s Him, yet we do not come.
Oh, we tell Him, “We will be right there.”
We justify our reasons for being late; reminding Him it’s because of our service for Him and the responsibilities we carry in this world.
Yet, even when we think about these thoughts, the come out hollow and empty without the truth of real justification. The accuser of the brethren stands close at hand to whisper accusations in our ears, stirring the storms of defeat that spiral us down into the valley of despair.
“You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey–whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
Our heart begins to condemn us for our slothfulness and neglect. The coldness of our heart amazes us. We are left in the loneliest of all places–with ourselves.
In this abyss of emptiness and defeat, the voice of His Holy Spirit reminds us of His Word, “If our heart condemns us, He is greater than our heart.” (1 John 3:20)
The Solution Is Life on God’s Terms
With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.
The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.
King David knew how to encourage himself in the LORD alone and his heart is one that the Lord commends for being after His own—
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.
The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses,
His deeds to the people of Israel:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will He harbor His anger forever;
He does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His love for those who fear Him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him;
for He knows how we are formed,
He remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear Him,
and His righteousness with their children’s children —
with those who keep His covenant
and remember to obey His precepts.
The Lord has established His throne in heaven,
and His kingdom rules over all.
Praise the Lord, you His angels,
you mighty ones who do His bidding,
who obey His word.
Praise the Lord, all His heavenly hosts,
you His servants who do His will.
Praise the Lord, all His works
everywhere in His dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
“A TRUE DISCIPLE IS ONE WHO HAS HIS NEW NAME WRITTEN ALL OVER HIM–SELF-INTEREST, PRIDE AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY ERASED.” (Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost For His Highest“)
Dear God, Search my heart and know me in all my ways. My desire is to know You and please You. Root out of my heart any hidden slothfulness that keeps me from You. I repent of my faithlessness and slothfulness in seeking You first. Help me to have courage to follow You in the Way Everlasting. Amen.
“Put no conditions on your life–let Jesus be everything to you and He will take you home with Him not only for a day, but for eternity.” (Oswald Chambers)
HE IS FOREVER FAITHFUL!
(shared from Wayne Kaufman, Lancaster, PA)