Last week I confessed to you, my readers, that I could make people mad at me. This week I want to go even further on that thought and confess to you that I fail. . . often. The thing is though that I suspect you fail too—maybe even often.
Let me set the scenario for you so you see that I’m not just a hopeless loser, but more like a normal and even common loser. Nearly every morning of my life I start the day with Bible reading and talking to God. And, sometimes (often) in that quiet time in the morning I feel Him speaking to me about something: being kinder to my family, reaching out to my neighbors, praying more, and harder, or some other such thing. (Some of these things are quite personal and hurt even!) And, in the quiet perfection of my morning time I say “I’m going to do that today!”
Then eight o’ clock comes around, the kids get up, I start my day, and things change. . . you see, it’s no longer just the Lord and I, but there are all these. . . interruptions, problems, issues, even drama and most of all people, people that are sometimes hard to live with! And, before I know it it’s suppertime, and I totally forgot whatever it was that I committed to in my quiet time.
Can you relate to this? I think most of us can. The thing is, however, that I think the Lord knows this and even planned for it. Jesus, you know, came down and became one of us for a time, and scripture even tells us that He faced the same troubles, temptations, and such as we did. So, He knows that there’d be all these things in our lives that’d hinder us from doing what we really, really wanted to do.
And, as we learned already we really can’t do any of those good things by ourselves, or in our natural, normal human state. (Romans 7:18, Isaiah 64:6 and other passages tell us that our natural human good works are really filthy dirty menstrual rags in God’s eyes, fit for nothing but to be thrown away). So, how does a Christian live, and what can a person do that does please God? The answer to this is one of those mysteries of the Christian life that in some ways is counter-intuitive. It lies in the answer that God gave: you see, when a Christian chooses to put their faith in Jesus (this is the gateway that God puts before us that we have to enter into before we really can be Christians), God does some amazing things in their lives. And, one of those things is that He comes down Himself, not just to dwell with them as Jesus did, but instead to dwell in them in the form of the Holy Spirit. And, that Holy Spirit dwelling within the Christian is God’s provision for the Christian to even be able to do anything that pleases Him.
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Romans 8:11)
And, this provision of God is why I can honestly confess to you that I fail, but that I am not a complete failure, not because of me but instead because of God, because He, dwelling within me gives me power over those sins that plague me.
And, in looking back at my life I can see how He, working within me, has done those things He talks to me about in the intimacy of our morning meetings. And, I can see that even in the hustle and bustle of the day, with its many annoyances, frustrations, and yes, people, He’s working to do just what He wants in my life.
And, you know what? I can’t take credit for any of it because I know deep down inside that it’s not really me at all. It’s all Him—and all glory is His.