Friday, June 24, 2011

Living Out Your Salvation

"Holy living is not only the refraining from doing the wrong and the doing of the right, but an insatiable desire for God's will that can only be put in the heart by the Holy Spirit, manifesting our true sincerity by glorifying Him through obedience." Chas. E. Orr - Ps 42:1, Php 2:12, 1Thes 1:7, 1Jn 2:4, Num 15:30

I wish I would ask myself more often "does my life read as a letter from God or merely as a memo of my intentions?" When I hear people say that God doesn't make us His puppets I always wish He WOULD make me one so that the cares of this world wouldn't effect my decisions, making so many of them hypocritical. If I want to be "so heavenly minded that I'm MORE earthly good" why don't I?

I once heard that ALL sin is based in self-centeredness. so I started thinking about all the kinds of sin (even seemingly benign character flaws) and I couldn't find one that didn't have it's root cause in "self". In the garden satan appealed to Eve's ego ("you will be like God"), and then second-guessing God ("did He say...?) is really our way of getting around His authority so we can do what WE want. ME! That's the only desire of a newborn baby, to learn how to get what he wants. His parents have to gradually tame his selfishness throughout his childhood. Training his will to submit to whats right not only prepares him to avoid horrible consequences in a lawful society, in the workforce, in a marriage..., but prepares his heart to submit to the Holy Spirit when He convicts him to repent, and when He continues to convict him to live out his salvation, thus avoiding more horrible consequences.

I definitely don't have enough "fear and trembling" when living out my salvation, or as the amplified version says "...reverence and awe" Php 2:12. We all have a human nature, that tendency to quench what we know is right in favor of our own desires. For some it is a harder personal trial than it is for others. In chapter 7 of Romans Paul tells of his battle with "self will", even though he was a very determined and courageous warrior. As impossible as it seems God wants us to set Himself as our goal (1Pet 1:15-16), not so we'll feel defeated and overwhelmed, but that in our desire to please Him we'd feel exhorted and have direction to reach that goal (1 Cor 9:24).

God doesn't give us what we can't handle, so a lot of times my failures are because I don't want to step out of my comfort zone or to quench my tendency for self-pity, in order to decrease ME and show God's power in my life. -Jn 3:30-31. When Paul asked "who will set me free from this body of death?", I feel so connected to that expression of shame (wish I would feel as connected to his zeal and holiness also). He knew the answer to his question though. That the battles with our own will won't be there in eternity, and that realizing our inadequacies teach us to rely more on a loving Father's daily grace. He gave us a gift when He captured us. A shared hatred for the sin in those He loves. Hatred for sin stirs our heart for obedience, and at least some level of growth, in spite of our numerous shortcomings. So, if a thirst for obedience is not manifest in your know what scripture says about a faith without works (the obedience from the heart)? The book of James has a lot to say about that.
If we would resist more of ourself and let more of Jesus take over we could live like this earth, and the "stuff" in it, truly is not our home! As much as I want to be His puppet I know He would rather I gave Him my efforts, those struggling pushes toward Himself that reinforces my love. I wish I would give Him that more often, much, much more often. Since we know our purpose here is to be His ambassadors why is it so hard for us to keep all these personal ties in perspective. When we return to our forever home, this life we have built for ourselves will be like a blink. Will we even care to remember it? What really mattered will be what is there with Him.

1 comment:

Susanna said...

I just found your blog today, and wanted to stop and say "Hi!"

We are a Christian home schooling family of twelve who have a one-year-old daughter with Ds, and are adopting a nine-year-old girl with Ds from Bulgaria.

It was fun to find your blog! Thanks for sharing pictures of your life with your son Stevie!