If someone asked me if I had any doubt about my faith in Christ, I would say no, because my mind can’t conceive that Jesus and the revelation message of God’s Son in the Bible, in whom I place my trust and belief in, as not being true. In addition, there are also many, what I call “pointers”, which testify to the reality of God, such as the creation of the universe where all time, space, energy and matter came into being from nothing, the fine-tuning of the cosmological constants, the complexity of the “simple cell” and the unbelievable intricacy of the intelligent code found within DNA, to name but a few.
But what bothers me, with regard to the demonstration of my faith, in a number of subtle ways, is the manner in which I sometimes act out my faith. This can be demonstrated in a wide variety of ways such as an “abbreviated prayer” in the evening when I am physically exhausted, it could be a less than enthusiastic response to a request for assistance or any number of outward demonstrations of my internal faith.
Why is it that I sometimes do not put in the time and dedication to studying God’s Word as I ought to? Why is it that I sometimes give myself a pass for attending Church when something unexpected crops up? Why is it that I sometimes don’t expend the time and dedication to prayer as I ought to? The scary part is that this list could extend on for a considerable amount of space.
I’ve even tried reasoning with myself that no one perfectly follows Christ’s commandments where we are admonished to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength and mind and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Luke 10:27), 100 percent of the time. And the reason for this of course, is that we are still subject to our human fallen nature, which is a truth, while we still reside in these fallen bodies. Obviously, as we become aware of our shortfalls, we confess these sins and receive forgiveness for our unrighteousness on a daily basis (1 John 1:9 NIV).
The point being, there is, in all of us, myself included, a significant amount of unrighteousness, and I would have a tendency to think that it is much more significant than we suspect. I am often times aware of the reality of God’s righteousness and what Jesus asks of me where He states in Matthew 5:48 NIV “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” It bothers me when I don’t respond in the manner that I should, it bothers me that I allow “other circumstances” to take precedence, it bothers me when I make excuses for myself.
I know, the fact that it does bother me is a good sign and I can understand that it is, but this still doesn’t change the fact that it happens. The thought that comes to my mind is that I know that I believe, but at times, I don’t believe enough to do something about it. It matters but it doesn’t matter enough to go the extra mile. I care but I don’t care enough to do what I ought to do.
This is the difference between God and me. This is the difference between Jesus and me. And this is the reality of being in the flesh but walking in the Spirit. Notice the order of precedence in these three statements. I am mindful of the Apostle Paul’s exhortation in Galatians 5:16 NIV where he says, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.“
Oh, I have tasted where God’s Holy Spirit has provided the love for another to flow without effort and I have tasted where God’s Holy Spirit within me provides the words of exhortation and lifting up of the body from wells of water that flow from within and I, by His grace, have experienced the wonder and beauty of being in His presence.
If all of life dwelt in residing within these “tastings”, the Christian walk would be so easy. God allows us to taste of Him but He doesn’t leave us in that “completed” state. He is cleansing us from all of our unrighteousness, daily, progressively.
He shows us what is available in Him and then He goes back to bringing us there.
And yet, in spite of my awareness, of His righteousness and my own unrighteousness, be it through the ease of the Holy Spirit within or in my own fleshly lack of faith or belief, I am covered by the love of God that flows out to me via the shed and cleansing blood of Jesus Christ for my sins, because I am both sanctified and in the process of being sanctified.
Hebrews 2:11 KJV “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,”
Hebrews 10:14 NIV “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” or as the KJV puts it: “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
Sometimes it’s hard to grasp that we’re truly forgiven, sometimes it’s difficult to see where God is taking us, but that is His promise to us who believe in His Son and what Jesus has done for us. That one day, one glorious day, that which He has begun in us, He will bring to completion. One day, we shall leave these bodies of sin behind and step into a new body, that is totally complete in Him.
Philippians 1:6 NIV “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!