If you read yesterday’s blog, you discovered that I was driving home and working out how I will explain to my family that I was no longer employed. And that being dismissed from a Military base looks really bad on your resume. And I didn’t know what to do. God gave me an assignment. I am to write something every day and post it.
So, there I was, driving home, screwing up the courage to tell my wife and daughter that I had lost my job at the Base.
I felt that God had clearly given me an assignment. Write something every day. He knows me very well. He knows that if I just sit around between job applications, and twiddle my thumbs, my mind will go into all kinds of fear and condemnation. I am my own worst enemy sometimes, and I am worse than the Accuser when it comes to my flaws.
I also know that, if this was going to work, I need to be honest with myself and God. After all, there is no such thing as a secret when you deal with God. (It’s in His job description: Must Be All Knowing, All Seeing, and All Powerful).
It is a good thing God is patient. Anyone who has dealt with me, knows that you have to bring to the table a great deal of patience.
God is Good. All the time.
I wanted to go over a few things in this contract. Just to be clear. I started with Article 1, the first clause: I (David G. Perkins A.K.A. Sammy Snardfarkle) am to serve God by writing something every day. I am to keep looking for a job. But when I am not looking for work, I am to keep writing. So, I asked God if I had this part down, as in , I wanted to make sure I wasn’t interpreting something into HIS word that suited my world view. (That is really a no-no in God’s kingdom).
I received assurance that is exactly what I am to do. Start simply, and we can go from there. See, there is this trust issue. I have proven myself untrustworthy to God before. And it isn’t that He doesn’t trust His decisions, it’s that He wants to help me develop the patience for Love to refine me.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
God has a plan for me. And He will do with me what He will in His time, according to His agenda. And he will refine me as we go about accomplishing this agenda.
I had a huge problem on my mind, and I wanted to get it off my chest. Something seemed illogical, here. Anyone who knows me knows, I will sometimes argue till I am blue in the face. I will argue with a tree stump, just to try to convince the tree stump it is actually a banana. (I have lost most of those arguments. But, if you are ever in Brownwood, Texas, and you see a tree stump not acting all stumpish, it is because it actually thinks it is a banana. Just give it a wide berth, and it will not trip you up).
I have flaws. I don’t mean just one, or two. Ask any local Christian you find here, and they will be happy to regale you with a complete database and cross index of every flaw I have. It is ordered, both by topic, and numerically. I have actually been the happy recipient of this index, and I must say, it is extensive, and thorough. The unabridged edition is available at one of my relatives homes, but you will have to cover the printing and shipping costs, yourself.
I asked God about all these flaws that I am aware of, and that I have been cheerfully reminded of by His children. This is where God had to start the refining process in me.
He let me know, CLEARLY, that Satan is the accuser, and Satan’s children behave like their father. He let me know that His children are covered by His grace, and any flaws they have are His responsibility. Then He told me to decide, will I be an accuser, or will I be like Him, and demonstrate Grace and Mercy to all, because I will to be like Christ, who is the rightful Head of all things?
That made me stop and think. I confess I needed a LOT of His help on this one.
So I asked about this Grace thing. He reminded me it is something I definitely need, and need to give, because as I give it, I will have more of it. He explained that, in God’s economy, God pays compounded interest on everything you give away. You are not allowed to put it in your spiritual piggy bank and keep it all to yourself. If you do that, what little you have will be taken away and given to someone who knows how to use it wisely.
God then reminded me of this scripture:
“But this man (Jesus), after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God…For by one offering He hath perfected them that are sanctified” Hebrews 10:12-14 KJV
So, I asked God this…”What about all my sin and flaws?” He asked me, is there any sin you have tried to hide from me? I thought about going back to that old, “Thou Knowest, O Lord” thing, but I had a feeling God was not in the mood for my sarcasm. So, I told Him: As my sin becomes apparent to me, I confess it to you, I repent of it, and I leave it at your feet, just as you have asked me to do.
He let me know that is right.
But that left the problem of all my flaws. So I asked about all that. He let me know that all humans have flaws. It is part of being fallen. But God, in his Grace, looks at me and sees the blood of His Son, and those flaws are hidden by that blood. So, being true to my nature, I argued, “But those pesky flaws are still there, aren’t they?”
God is Patient. God is Good. His Grace and Mercy endures forever: All the Time.
He pointed out that, yes, those flaws are there, but I do not need to worry about them. He explained that, since I actually belong to Him, through Jesus Christ, the flaws I still have are not counted against me, and that, as long as I am pursuing the will of God, and I become more like Christ, then the flaws will, by the nature and power of God, be removed. It is the work of the Holy Spirit, who doesn’t accuse you, but, through Grace and Mercy shows you how unimportant your flaws are, and that it is safe to let them go, so you CAN be more like Jesus.
I thought that had to be the best answer I had heard all day (I was still stinging from losing my job).
Then I asked him, what if I sin again, will you overlook that, too? He let me know that sin occurs when I stop and play with my flaws. Ever hear the saying, “If you play with that, you’ll go blind.”? In order to stop and play with your flaws, you have to stop looking at Christ, who is your goal. You become blind to the things of God, when you play with your flaws.
When you sin, you inevitably stop in your growth, until you deal with that sin. When you sin, you have to confess that sin, repent of it, and leave it at God’s feet. Grace covers all your flaws. Sin is a stopping point in your growth. You cannot go around sinning just because you belong to God. If you did, then you will eventually separate yourself from His fellowship (Again, as in my case).
God is Good. All the time. His Grace and Mercies endure forever.
Because I wanted to make sure I had this right, I asked God,
“SO, Jesus’ Blood Covers my flaws.”
(Did I mention God is PATIENT??)
He said “Yes”.
I said, “If I pay too much attention to my flaws, and not to the finished work of Christ, I am more likely to sin?”
He said, “Yes”
I asked, “If I sin, it is because I am fond of one of my flaws to the point that I give it more importance than I do my walk with Christ?”
He said , “Yes. And that is also a form of Idolatry, when you put anything as being more important than Me.”
I asked, “You, or Christ?”
God is ever patient. He protects children and fools with His patience.
He said, “We are one. If you have seen Jesus, you have seen Me.”
I had to gulp at that, because, as I have mentioned before, I have a LOT of flaws, and some of them are my favorite flaws. I confess I belong to God because of the Blood of Jesus Christ. He IS the Son of the Living God. He died for all my sin. He rose again to prove He IS who He said He is. If I have seen Christ, then I have seen God.
I asked Him, “What do I do?” I was still burdened by my flaws.
He said, “Follow Jesus, to be like Him. It is not something you can do on your own power, it is something that I empower you to do by the Holy Spirit, who now lives in you.” “If you will to follow, I will to lead you.” “If you do this, and as you do this, your flaws will become less important. When they come less important, they die of malnutrition, and fall off. By the time you reach the likeness of Jesus, you will be flawless.” “In the mean time, my Grace covers those flaws. When I look at you, I see my Beloved Son, who died for you.”
That was profound. I actually wept at the thought of the choice God made on my behalf. This can be a problem if you are careening down I-50 at nearly 100 miles per hour. Not that I would know anything about THAT….it’s just something I heard.
In His eyes, I am flawless. It doesn’t matter what my accusers say after all. I am His because I confess that Jesus is the only Begotten Son of God, and that Jesus died for my sin, and rose again from death to life. This makes me God’s own child.
But to make sure I don’t misunderstand, I asked God, “When I sin, and I don’t confess, what does that mean? “
He said, “You have placed a stumbling block in your own way. You will need to bring that stumbling block to me, and I will lead you to repentance, to confession, and delivery. I will remove that stumbling block. But if you leave that stumbling block in your way, you will eventually be tied to that place where you sinned, and will not be able to pursue Jesus with a pure heart. It will be where your growth stops. This is where my Mercy comes into play. I will not judge you immediately for this sin. I will be patient and wait for you to confess it, so we can move forward, where my Grace is already at work. “
I was speechless (Yes, God is STILL in the miracle-working business!).
I confessed to God that I am weak, and am in love with some of my flaws. I asked him how I can ever follow him, being so flawed.
He reminded me: “With God, all things are possible.”