Why do we ever think that anyone is truly above reproach in all things? Ecclesiastes 7:20 says “Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.” I have been amazed through the years as a principal of the parent who will claim that their child is not capable of lying or hitting or of dropping the “F” bomb in a heated moment. Not one righteous means… NOT ONE! We all have intense fears of being found out, of others knowing who we are in a crisis or in the dark on any given bad day; yet, people will go to great lengths to protect their image. What would this world look and feel like if this were not the main consideration? How would a parent process info about their child’s untimely outburst on the playground differently if they weren’t worrying about their image? What if, instead, we expect that each one of us IS flawed, and it is only a matter of time before it becomes painfully evident to the world at large? How freeing would that be?
Without a doubt, the emphasis would fall back on the heart which drives our feelings and often steers off road time and again. It needs special attention, so it doesn’t end up in the ditch. Our focus wouldn’t be shock and awe, unprecedented anger or hyped-up drama over something unexpected because it would be-expected. Failure is real and a necessary part of life-for everyone. Failure to recognize this truth is the expression of brokenness that we all live with daily. Perfection does not exist in human form; this is why we groan for heaven one moment and curse the neighbor the next. It is why life is beautiful and disgusting all at the same time. It is why we move in and out of our commitment to Christ and show up for worship and sometimes not. It is this messy life which constantly calls devotion into question, whilst really the issue of abiding might better serve our dilemma. In simpler words, the issue isn’t about depth of love or undivided attention or a hierarchy of priority; but about remaining in the presence of the Lord out of our abiding love and desire for Him over everything and everyone else.
Tozer wrote this about such, “As we go on into God we shall see the excellency of the life of constant communion where all thoughts and acts are prayers, and the entire life becomes one holy sacrifice of praise and worship.” I’m so not there. I just keep praying that God will show me Himself in this way. Scripture says for us to seek him and his wisdom like hidden treasure. So, I’m seeking and waiting and trusting Him to be true and bring the goods, the wisdom that is. I am painfully aware each day how I will have to devote myself to seeking this “excellency of life” and no doubt the Holy Spirit will have the hard work of drawing me away from all the distractions and seeming importance into the quietness of His word, that I may linger there awhile. It sounds awesome; just seems a stretch.
There was an old hymn we use to make fun of as teenagers, called Breathe on Me. (Sometimes Wednesday nights were a little dry!) We used to breathe out loud a couple of huffs every time we sang the chorus, “Holy Spirit, Breathe on Me.”(huff huff). Now that I’m adult and understand my desperate need for the Holy Spirit to bring me to life daily, to fill me and flow through me, I get the significance of the hymn. It is teaching me that the power to remain in Christ and Him in me which is necessary to live a satisfied life on this earth comes from his Holy Spirit breathing it into and through me. And against the backdrop of our 21st century life, it easily gets pushed aside and is not chosen. It is by God’s grace that I ever choose Him. It is God’s grace every time I choose Him, and the irony of the whole deal is that it is only because He first chose me. Remaining in Him is a gift from God himself, and yet becomes our very sacrifice of praise and worship. Anybody else have a figure eight going on in your head? It is reciprocal Jesus. Very cool stuff.
2 Corinthians 13:14 NIV May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you this week as you choose to lay aside every encumbrance and linger in His word and enjoy Him there. May I be so blessed as well to receive such a gift.
Reinforce with Reading: John 1:1-18; Isaiah 43.