Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Forging On (Again)

I don't know who all prayed for me, but it worked. Thank you, and may the Lord bless you richly.

I had a remarkable visit with a tremendous man of God, erm, yesterday now (it's just past midnight). I was also reminded today of something the Lord asked me to do several months ago, which I rationalized my way out of.

I should probably quote Scripture here, but I'll use the words of Matt Redman instead, as they profoundly resonate with me. Also, it might be a pride thing, but I find it easier to hold onto human words in times of crisis. Clearly, this will have to change if I'm to persevere in my walk. It's funny, though, how I try to be permissive with myself, how I try to justify my stumbling with humanness. Sometimes I take a very docetic approach to worship, i.e. assume that I can't relate to Christ because of who He is. The problem in doing this is that it assumes that because Christ is God that He suffered nothing on the cross--none of the loneliness and agony and humiliation--because of a falsely assumed bulletproof trait. The honesty of the situation is that, in spite of everything being His footstool at present, He felt the sting of death. But He knew what His lot was: eternal life. Just because He bore our sins with limitless faith, it doesn't mean they failed to pierce Him in the moment. If this had been the equivalent of an alcohol swab, not the biggest needle in history, how could we think of it as any kind of sacrifice?

And so, we share the good and the bad with He who ransomed us. That's one of the not so subtle points that escapes nonbelievers: if we truly belonged to ourselves, if we could truly govern our lives in independent ignorance, our inescapable end would be the wrath of God. Hence, He who seeks to save his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for Christ will be saved. Not save himself, but be saved. (The wording in the Gospels suggest that we can save ourselves, but on the testimony of the Spirit in me, I will go out on a limb and declare that we have no more power to save ourselves than we do to roll up the heavens like a carpet.) And so, as Redman notes, in addressing God:

"Blessed be Your Name on the road marked with suffering, though there's pain in the offering. Blessed be Your Name."

If you know anything about my past, particularly my snobby side, it ought to make your head spin that I have worship music in my car. And in my heart. Hah! Maybe I should use that little nugget to prove just how real God is when chatting with some of my nerdier friends. ;-)


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