Friday, April 22, 2011

Don't Say Goodbye, Because I Need You Tonight

"Those who have been justified are now being sanctified; those who have no experience of present sanctification have no reason to suppose they have been justified." - F.F. Bruce

If there is any idea that I am just not comfortable with, its the thought that I might be incomplete. Just being part of a whole has never sat well with me and I have always fought to gain whatever I didn't have. Its a great moral "believe in yourself" doctrine, but that kind of faith has no place in the kingdom of heaven. Bruce in spot on in his assessment; if we aren't being sanctified, we haven't been made righteous. But no matter how hard we want to believe, how hard I want to believe it, I still don't like being incomplete. And then what, you tell me I can't even work for my wholeness? You expect me to just sit around and piddle away while I wait on You to do some divine work? I am a doer of things, and patience is only needed when there is certainty. So I read, I pray, I fast, I seek Him alone, I seek Him in others, and the return seems void. But the only work is faith (John 6:29) and even that isn't accomplished alone (Romans 8:26-27). Its just a question of faith and I will never have enough. The work is accomplished, all that's left is to repent and believe. Even that is fruit of the Spirit so really its just try to love Jesus and accept that He has to do everything for you.

Everyone is a product of their environment, whether positive or negative. Sin taught us to work, and we knew it long before we knew Christ. It said to us that you have to work for everything to gain approval. It said if you don't do everything yourself people won't respect you. It said if you don't make yourself into God, you'll be alone. It said that if you apply yourself enough you will earn your salvation and you will never be alone again. Sanctification is the constant work of the Father removing idols, and replacing them with Himself. It happens by our plans because He works in His time. I have never felt more alone than when the Lord stripped me of my iniquity, my delights. He said to me "you will NOT seek these things and by MY work will you know that I AM THE LORD". How can I overcome this kind of grace? And so having been blessed with revelation, I seek to be a man with nothing. For the sake of my heart and His glory, I dare not look to anyone for assurance. Assurance is my revelation and I mark it by grace. The fears wash away though rather slowly and even now I hope to be made whole. It is a promised sealed in the next life, but by His grace I will come as close as I can. I will not seek my sanctification for it isn't an end in itself, but I will seek the face of the Lord know that in time, it will be brought to me.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Grace as it Conquers the Shadows of the Heart

Were it not that wickedness plagued my heart, I would never yearn for the things of this world. Were it not for the selfish rule of the flesh, I would never chase afters shadows amidst the light. I speak as one who has seen, heard, and given account yet constantly the darts penetrate me for my faith is weak. Its a though a stick of dynamite were strapped to chest, set to go off the instant my brain finishes tearing itself apart. Anxiety, jealousy, remorse are the outcome of these lies, these lurking shadows. Were I in darkness, misery would never claim me. Contentment in the shade would cloud my mind, hiding from me things that are good, revealing only that which destroys. It comes as a wolf in sheep's clothing. It bears no warning of its impending work, giving only whispers of satisfaction never to come. But there is the light.

Light cannot be overcome. Shadow has no weapon for it, so it places the things of this world before it so that the shade may roam for a time. In anger and in fury by the grace of our Lord I have beheld this shadow amidst the light. Violently I attack, blinded by rage at the sight of such a wicked curse setting itself against me. These thoughts of jealousy and remorse become my enemy and I am set against them with the fullness of my being for their evil offends me. But as with all things the Lord awaits patiently at my side. Nothing of what I do is hidden from His eyes, yet instead of joining me in this war against the flesh He but mourns. Compassion for the fool before Him shows that as I battle against this present darkness, I myself stand beneath a shade of self-righteous hate giving credence to the power of the air.

Sorrow is a tricky business and one that I am most unaccustomed to. It is the predecessor of rage as rage is sorrow put to action by those who do not wish be feel feeble. I have never wanted to be weak and though I have no acquaintance with rage, I accept it in the hopes that sadness might depart from my flesh never to return. By the grace of God I have seen that neither anger or sorrow can solve the puzzle of the heart. Guilt and regret may permeate as a false stain but there is still truth. The process is slow for I am still weak but truth begins its work upon the pain of guilt. With wisdom the Spirit has entrusted its truth with a work to give answer for regret. For regret in the midst of the light has but two choices. It can fade in the thoughts of a foolish child, revealing purpose that drives past decision. Or it can transform into promise of something to return to... something lost that might be received anew by grace in time. The Lord's will in all things and by it I put my trust, and in prayer will I place my requests for I am still a foolish child in need of grace.