An old hymn has this familiar chorus--"Trusting as the moment's fly, Trusting as the days go by, Trusting Him what'er befall, Trusting Jesus that is all..."
"Trusting Jesus, that is all..." Now, admittedly, that seems a bit simplistic, and unsophisticated. It sounds as if there is no element of human responsibility and we have license to just hang it all on Jesus.
"Trusting Jesus, that is all..." In the end, that is all there is that really matters. Good planning, careful anticipation of issues, assumption of personal responsibility--all of these things are critical and should not be abandoned or minimized.
I've done all that most of my life--planned, anticipated, assumed responsibility. But I have learned all of that can be for naught. In the end, our best laid plans unravel, what we could not have anticipated occurs, and what we thought we had covered is not enough. Some thing falls through the cracks, and often, it is simply the rhythm of life with all of its nuances and idiosyncrasies that surprises us and takes our breath away.
Where do we go from here? We got laid off and there was no failure in our job performance, and worse yet, no warning. We loved our spouse, but suddenly, without notice, we discover there is an unwelcome third party. We make a careful investment with a recommended reliable contact, only to lose it all. We make plans...asking God's blessing, and feeling no hesitation we move ahead, only to see them go awry. And as life seemingly spins out of control, we are left wondering where we missed the cue.
"Trusting Jesus, that is all." What comfort is there in this? For me, it is where I pitch my tent. At the end of the day here is what I know. God knows me. God loves me (go figure...). God will take care of me (it'ss His promise).
I choose to trust Him.
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
John Eldredge's latest book, THE UTTER RELIEF OF HOLINESS, is a " must read" for people like me. I confess, the title seems an oxymoron. Maybe that's why it caught my attention.
I am convinced I-we don't understand true holiness and what God's expectations are regarding its qualitative effects in our lives as believers.
I would like to think of myself as "a man after God's own heart" yet I suspect I am more fallen than David, the man about whom it was said.
Much of our lives are characterized by what we incorrectly call "condemnation". Romans 8:1 declares that our position in Christ as His children means that word cannot describe what we are feeling, if not presuming nor does it define our spiritual reality. I believe the word is "conviction"--the work of the Holy Spirit. It is this reproof of the Word Paul references when he writes Timothy and says "all scripture is profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (II Timothy 3:16,17). Here's is what I am seeing. Condemnation moves us only to awareness of spiritual death but conviction moves us towards affirmation of abundant life--a life of holiness. That life is learned as we hear the Word, obey it--or disregard it--and experience the reproof and correction it offers--and then obey. This constitutes our "training in righteousness" with this godly goal-- "that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work". That sounds like holiness or right living ("righteousness") to me.
Eldredge suggests it is not perfect performance or sinlessness--both of which we are incapable. Given my theological background, that's a relief when laid against the reality of my personal history. He suggests we need to cast aside the legalism that can enslave us--as well as the presumptive license that can endanger us--and follow after God with our whole heart.
Read more. You may discover what I am learning. The call to holiness is not a quantitative one--we cannot be as much holy as He is--but a qualitative one--we can be as He is in our desire to do the Father's will and to bring glory to His name.
That, thank God, is the work of the Holy Spirit within us, as we yield (our part) our lives and our will to Him.