Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Place to Sit

I remember the early days of being a Christian, the absolute determination to "go gaga" for God, firing on all six cylinders (good bye V8's of an earlier day!). I actually thought it was possible to be so thoroughly clean, so perfectly in tune, so intimately known of and knowing God that I could be like Jesus. I threw myself wholly into the effort, and expected others who followed Christ to do the same. To do less would be to dishonor God.

Part of the problem with that outlook was that it did not truly reflect the depth of wrong in my human heart. I thought I knew what my hangups were, the flaws in my attitude, the extents of my emotional fracture, the volatility in my desires, the shape of my depravity. I did not. I could not, most of that only rises to the surface through the testing process--the vicissitudes of life, the facing of challenges unfaced before, the sparking of temptations unknown before. The human heart is desperately wicked, who can know it?

Some place along the line, sometime, humans have to find peace. We need a space where there is no struggle within ourselves about where we stand with God and we fall back into the arms of his acceptance. I believe that place is ours in Christ Jesus: his work is a finished work, for nothing can undo what Christ has already done in history. If faith grasped the certainty of my place with God through Christ yesterday, faith can rest in it today. I wasn't worthy of it then, I'm not now, nor will I ever be.

Oh, I realize that we are working out our salvation, but that in no way, shape or form is the equivalent working for our salvation (or even working to keep it). We have peace with God through Jesus Christ--yesterday, today and tomorrow. God has plans for us, as long as we stay on the train. The life of the faithful is a lot like a bumpy subway ride, the journey is necessary, but a lot less anxious when we have a place to sit.

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