Sunday, April 1, 2012

Good Trumps Bad

So . . . you read that (see prior posting). . . and likely (if you're honest with yourself) think . . . "yow . . . I DON'T love God with all my heart, soul and strength now, do I?  Does this mean He is going to cast me to hell because He 'never knew' me?"

Well, we know that plenty of people--when they hear the Christian line that "we all are sinners, who fall short of the glory of God"--don't really understand the depth and basic of truth of the fact of such a statement . . . those who chaff and bridle somewhat . . . because they do not recognize the NEED . . . for a saviour.  They remain self sufficient.  These would be the ones who He "never knew."

However, you who have been brought to the point of realization that you DO need a saviour--regardless of your present state of devotion--are able to say that He "knows" you.  For it is evidence that He has found you and called you that you are even able to recognize your need for a saviour.

The "dead" have no NEED.  They do not desire the Lord.  They have not heard Him.  They are isolated in their self sufficiency.  They never knew Him, nor He they . . . .

But one to whom the Lord has reached, touched, called . . . begins to awaken to their desperate and needful situation.  Such a person realizes that in their former state of being "dead in spirit" . . . they could not possibly have "seen" or "heard" the Lord, except that HE gave them the "eyes and ears" to see and hear!  And the heart to receive . . . .

Now, while we may quite incapable, by our own power and ability, to save ourselves . . . or do anything by our own power and ability to please or reach God through our good works . . . the good news is that He knows this . . . and Has already substituted His perfection (and glorifying of God) for our imperfection and lack thereof . . . and all we do now is ACCEPT this truth--BELIEVE IT--and allow Him to then transform our soul into the (redeemed) image of the Father.

When talking about this topic with my wife yesterday she reminded me of a saying by a certain woman preacher we both have enjoyed listening to in the past when she said:

"I may not be what I want to be . . . but I sure ain't what I used to be . . . and I've gone too far to turn back now!"  (followed by amens and hallelujahs, hoots, clapping and a rim shot!)(heh, yeah . . . Pentecostals:)

Point is . . . . While we are direly aware of our basic sinful nature, in that we do NOT love God . . . and our hearts are desperately wicked . . . not to be trusted above God's Word . . . .  Nevertheless, when we have found the Lord (when HE "finds" us) . . . and He shows us our utterly fallen and needy circumstance . . . and then we TURN to face Him, repentant . . . accepting and believing the truth and power of His sacrifice . . . THEN--not through our own power and ability, but through HIS--we find that we start to change!

Steadily . . . slowly but surely . . . maybe with some fits and starts . . . slip ups . . . resurgences . . . stumbling . . . but ever forward, "upward" . . . the good news just starts getting better and better! . . . as we can look back after a time in The Walk . . . and observe that we are becoming a new creature! . . . .

No, we are not where we want to be yet, nor where we NEED to be . . . to enter fully into the Kingdom; BUT, we HAVE moved, HAVE changed . . . . Our hearts are becoming more and more focused on God, drawn into righteousness . . . through increasingly more sincere desire . . . . Purity and holiness becomes a real draw!  No longer are you attracted so much to sinful things--the things of this world, but instead you hunger and thirst after those things of the divine world!  Now, there are flashes, sacred impulses . . . sparks of spiritual light and love . . . inspiring you to genuinely WANT to praise God--to WORSHIP HIM!  Just for the sake of so loving and appreciating Him!

Remembering what you once were--how lost . . . spiritually dead . . . blind . . . desiring only sin . . . BUT NOW beginning to actually desire righteousness, sincerely, for its own sake--not for pride or boasting--but because it is starting to look and taste and feel more pleasing and attractive . . . the gratitude and hope motivates you simply to an ongoing state of thankfulness . . . and you want MORE . . . of . . . GOD!  LESS of your old, fallen, dead self!

People try all their lives to change, to be "better" . . . trying various "lifestyles" . . . esoteric mystical practices and beliefs . . . ascetic rules, laws, "secret knowledge" . . . "hidden" tricks and even outright magic (as if waving a wand will do it!) . . . and yet, very little actually changes . . . .

Oh, on the surface, one learns to put on airs, talk "spiritually" . . . act pious . . . perform good works and such . . . but WITHIN . . . same old character . . . just gussied up for the parade . . . .

With Jesus, however, the GOOD NEWS IS . . . that REAL . . . ONGOING . . . NOT-SELF-DIRECTED . . . . CHANGE DOES happen!  "I'm not what I want to be, but I sure ain't what I used to be!"

And you know . . . that one day . . . you WILL love God with all your heart, soul and strength!  Because that is what His will IS for you!  And His will . . . WILL be done . . . on earth (a new earth) . . . as it is in Heaven!

And that is some good news, which trumps the bad.  Praise God!


ROGER said...

Many thanks once again Brother Thomas!!

Cunneda recently put out a very cool pod entitled THE LEARNING CURVE. This parallels or paraphrases what you have been writing about;-)

It's all about taking small steps which eventually leads to a big leap in faith & understanding at some point down the road of time.

Peace & prayers always....

Lee in TN said...

Bro T,
Oh boy...having gone through some serious heart-wrenching, soul-searching reflection after having read 'Think Again'....and then when I felt so 'low'.... I just gave up and told God that He would have to make me seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness... because I don't think that I am capable of doing it on my own! He would have to help me love Him more than my own (seemingly constant) self interests and thoughts!

Oh sure, I greet each day with praise and hope in talking to the Lord...asking that His Will be done and let me have that new heart and spiritual mind He requires....only to fall short fairly quickly at times!

So this word, gives me HOPE and JOY that He is ever so merciful and gracious in His work that He is doing in me...each day, whether I am 'devoted' in my heart as I should be or not.

I need Him...I need His Salvation!

And that I think, is what He wants us to realize...that we are utterly incapable of doing all that He Wills on our own!

Thank you for that reminder! So true....Praise God!

Blessings always!


Angie said...

Yes! Praise God!

Michael Soaring Eagle said...

Thank you for the encouragement! I am a former "churchian" who had an appearance of holiness but was judgmental of others, not very loving, etc. I stopped going to church in 2004 and finally stopped pretending. I may swear a bit more now and drink alcohol occasionally, but I'm real and I still desire to know God and be with Him someday...

Mark said...

Thanks and bless

Brother Thomas ©2015

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