For Those Who Are Weak

"I am such a weak person. I feel sometimes that I'm beyond the reach of God's grace."


Dear Wounded Pilgrim,

One of the most pernicious teachings, that leads to this kind of condemnation is the oft preached message, "What have you done with what God has given you?"

Some may ask, "What's wrong with stirring Christians to lay-hold? Are we not exhorted in the New Testament to do so?"

It is not splitting theological hairs to make the distinction between working as a result of my salvation versus working to actualize my salvation. The latter builds a chasm between us and God we can never bridge and the former is a vital connection that produces fruit (Vine and branches). The Spirit makes us aware of our place in Christ Jesus.

We sometimes have grandiose concepts of what that vital union should look like in real life. The transformation is not from human to super-human. The harlot's act of wiping Jesus feet with her tears and hair was only a cause for indignation from the Pharisees (those very observant of correct behavior). However, the behavior of the woman was just a very emotional expression of gratitude. Why? Because she saw her forgiveness in Jesus and His cross.

I'm sure many here remember Doug Large from the Valley Assembly.  We tried and tried to help him overcome his bad habits and to achieve in him a disciplined life in Christ. At the time it would have never entered my mind that Doug was "more necessary" in the body of Christ due to his weaknesses. On the contrary, he was a constant burden to bear and seemed to be a long way from becoming a "jewel".

What of the child, the feeble minded, the old? Because these don't have sharp minds and strong wills are they exempt from life in Christ?

God takes us the way we are and does not build upon our strengths. It would appear that our weakness is His advantage in us.

GG taught that when we sin God abandons us and the Holy Spirit is frightened away. In fact, God is never closer in our moments of moral failure. When we see that Christ went to the cross for the depth of our sinfulness we are assured that His love will not let us go. This is not only the work of justification, but sanctification in my soul as well.

The transformation from that experience may only appear a hobbled walk like Jacob's, but in reality he saw God face to face and his life was preserved. The world saw a scared and crippled Jacob, but within was the emergence of Israel -- a Prince with God!

God Bless,
Mark


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