Wednesday, May 15, 2013
want to know a little confession? i personally avoid reading one of the all-time favorite books of the bible.
i have this inside rebel who doesn't want the commentary in my head of every sermon i have ever heard, coming at the same verse from various differing, often opposing angles, to crowd out the simple understanding of what is written. so i just avoid reading those books of the bible that are widely preached on.
i know. silly.
well, i just finished up a 5 month study of the gospels and i felt the Holy Spirit urging me, romans. i tried to ignore it. at the same time i felt this fascination and deeper appreciate of the grace by which we are saved. i have been very aware that there is deep brokenness in me that can never earn my way into salvation, no matter how hard i might try. i had to face the facts - i needed a fresh reading of romans and to ask the Holy Spirit to speak to me through it louder than all the other voices in my head.
so here i am, reading romans and going against my inner rebel.
can i tell you that it is encouraging me so much? how could reading about abraham's faith not be encouraging? for "in hope against hope he believed..." and he was "fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform."
now i don't know what that does to your soul, but it bring mine to life! i have read the accounts of abraham in genesis, and this guy seemed to doubt the promises of God. this man cowered to the fear of death, giving his own wife to another man in some effort to save his life. he tried to make God's promise happen through the only way it made sense to him. he lied. he compromised. he made a big mess that caused conflict in the relationships around him.
and yet, God saw that glimmer of faith inside of him, He saw the desire to believe and obey - that only could be there if God Himself put it there - and He said, well done my son.
though we desire to obey God and really walk the way Jesus walked, not loving our lives unto death, we will mess up. we will lie. we will compromise. we will make big messes. but God sees down into our deepest parts to the desire He put in us to believe against all hope that He would be faithful and see us through this mess. He sees this desire deep inside to believe that God is good and is who He says He is, even when it is dark and cloudy and it is hard to make sense of how He will fulfill His word to us. God sees and He credits our faith - our trust - in Him as righteousness.
...and He is pleased with us.
as much as i desire to walk in holiness and devotion to Jesus, may i never put my hope in something i am able to give Him. may i only put my hope in the One who gave everything for me. may i come out on the other side of this mess leaning on my Beloved One.
it is because of my mess ups and failures that i believe. it is because all the sums of my worst days doesn't disqualify me for His kingdom, and He is able to take this broken imperfect person and make me into someone He wants to spend forever with. it is because He alone is faithful, even when i try to be faithful and fail again and again, i believe.
how about you? are there books of the bible you often avoid (or am i the only rebel in the bunch!)?
are you aware lately of your own struggle and weakness to follow Jesus rightly?