Sure, even God’s kids can mess up too much. But not with God! I mean that in a way of, we can mess up our bed, mess up our kitchen, mess up our lives, even commit suicide! But it is not God that is doing it. God always has hopes for us, even when we mess up, thinking we messed up too much. I messed up losts of times, and Big Time!
Sure we reap results from our sins and sinning, but it is not God sending it. It is like Karma coming back to you. God always has a positive spin for us, even if we wind up killing someone and land in jail, or get sentenced to death. A sin unto death! God will still be there for you, and take you on from there.
Oh, you don’t think so? Well, how about King David! He stole someone else’s wife and then killed her husband! Was that the end of David? No! Because he had some sweet special deal with God? No way! He paid for it. He lost their first son and some other discipline came his way. But God didn’t give up on him? God’s way up is down!
But you’ve got to see that God tries to take you from where you are at, and He is not some slave driver but a coach. He always has mercy and hopes for you, even if you are struggling with some persistent weakness. He never gives up on us, his own children. Just like you wouldn’t give up on your children, or toddlers, or babies. Even if or when they know better. I know from experience.
Me, for whom I saw no hope often that he would still keep or use me, even when I couldn’t make a certain grade, He was STILL doing miracles for me when I needed them most, when there was no earthly help! He came through inspite of my sinfulness
You see, I think we are really harder on ourselves as a rule than our Heavenly coach. We may set too high a standard for ourselves, and then when we can’t make our own standard we get really discouraged and we think that God is beating up on us for missing our standard. It is called condemnation.
But there is not supposed to be any condemnation for us. Because when we mess up ALL we have to do is make up with our Husband, confess our sins and he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. The trouble is when we hide like Adam from God in the bushes, and we break the connection, the relationship. That is the trouble. It doesn’t count how many times we sin, as long as we always return and confess and restore the relationship. because our religion is a relationship! Nothing else.
Like you and your boyfriend or girlfriend. It is when you stop talking and forgiving that you break the bond even when the other party is not breaking up, it will lead to a break regardless. Well the Lord will never do that. He even says that, “He is married to the backslider.”
If we decide to slide away from him for whatever cause, bitterness, shame, sin, even hate, He can not break the relationship. He is married to His children and will not depart from us. He said through Paul, “I will never leave or forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b.
I hear so many people trying so hard and going for higher standards and then they break their own rules and they get under condemnation. Like I heard this one fellow who follows this Ian Clayton’s bench of three court case business. And he felt he made a mistake to cuss out the Devil in the courtroom, and you weren’t supposed to do that according to the legalism of this particular doctrine, and he felt that he had messed up too bad.
That’s not God’s standard, that is somebody else’s or your own standard that you impose upon yourself. And what did it lead to? Condemnation, and as a result depression. This is not even the Pharisees laying heavy burdens upon you, but you are the Pharisee with your self, or you let someone else’s heavy doctrine which ostensibly is to help others (?) and which you allowed into your standard and internalised, you let that damn (judge) you.
Well as Lao Zi said, “how do you get out of a problem? Through the door! The way you came in!” You don’t have to stay there and torture yourself. Like Martin Luther was torturing himself with lashes to gain acceptance with God, until he discovered it was all by grace! And all that self-torture was all just a big waste of time and energy for him.
We ourselves or others lay heavy burdens on us, but we allow them. But Jesus never said so. He said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light! Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. There remaineth therefore a rest for the Children of God.” And if you are not in His rest, then you are just trying too hard, and allowing someone else’s heavy yoke on you.
What about that “simplicity that is in Christ?” Where did we lose the simplicity? Some heavy doctrine we are trying to live up to? Are we trying to attain some spiritual level? Some kind of modern asceticism? Like the old Early Church ascetics who went into the desert or climbed on top of some pillar to attain some level of “holiness?” I don’t find that in the Book of Acts, and I think they were wasting their time.
I think that we are trying too hard in the wrong direction often, when God made the direction He wants us to go into, quite clear and simple. And it is not just my opinion, but I find that Jesus’ yoke for us is quite simple and clearly laid out for us without any heavy high and mighty standard to attain to, really.
He for example never told us to go to church on Sunday or any other day. But millions of people think that is what the Bible tells them. Now I know that church is good for mothers with children or fathers who work really hard in the system every day and even have no time to read the Bible, and then it is good to come into God’s presence through at least some preacher, if you can’t find the grace to drink in the WORD your self, and so families are taken care of that way.
But what did Jesus desire of us. It is so clear in his Word. he gave the instructions even before His death but especially after. His Last Words, his Testament. His parting words, were what? To make heavenly court cases to rid the nations we are dwelling in, of sin and rebellion and the Devil’s devices? I don’t think so! But it is fine with me if you want to sspend all your time doing that rather than the simple things Jesus called for.
Jesus told us already these simple things. Even though they can seem hard to some people because they are humbling, but they are actually easy!
“Peter! Do you love me? Feed my sheep! Feed my lambs. Go into all the world (including your neighbourhood!) and preach the Gospel to every creature! And he that believes and is baptised shall be saved!” That is why He wants from us, that’s what he wants us to do, to reach out and save His children that are still lost.
He never said, “Search and listen to some fancy preachers!” or “Try to attain some spiritual level!” or “Try to attain to some form of holiness and piety!” etc. He never said that! He just spelled it out like we do for little kids. “I just want you to obey me and do the dishes!” “Aw Dad?!”
We are supposed to get out there and talk to other people like ourselves and try to reach them where they are at, and try to get them to have faith in our Lover and help them to plug-in to Him! That is all!
And yes, He did say that if you want to be perfect and a fulltime fool for Christ and trust him entirely with your life, and your health and future, and income, and daily bread, and a roof over your head, IF you were so inclined to follow Him as a disciple, He did say that you would have to give up everything to do so, and to be so wholly dedicated to this way of life, that you would have to deny yourself and take up your cross daily! Court cases or not.
And it is a humble calling, it is a lowly calling, it is an unpopular calling, you will feel slighted, persecuted at times, minimised by society, mocked by the world, etc. but is a high calling of God, even to be one of his little faithful witnesses, his PR people, his lovers of the lonely world, his representatives to love them, to show them love as the despised ambassadors of Jesus. That is all He really asks!
And I am not telling you how to do it. God will have to show you Himself. There are many ways to do that. But it is our most important job, to get to know God and share His love with His unloved children out there. To find God for yourself and to share Him with others.
ALL God’s greats of history did it. They left it all to reach some lost soul out there. Whether in Africa like David Livingstone, or like Hudson Taylor in China, or like Patrick in Ireland. They were called to the lowly life of a daily faithful witness, and you don’t need any other spirituality for that lowly yet blessed job than to know Him and a few scriptures to encourage your next step in that direction.
You don’t even need to know the whole Bible to do this. I was a young man and I read “Come and follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”And I thought to myself, OK. Tomorrow I will leave my house, my friends, my farm behind and go down the road and preach “repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, until I come to the intersection and then I will pray, “Jesus?! Left, straight, or right?”
And I did, and He did.. show me which way to go, and I have been traveling this spiritual road ever since. And I have not been perfect nor sinless nor of great spirituality, or some great evangelist, or some great prophet, or some great seer, or some great teacher like St. Paul, or some great holy man like Buddha, or some great spiritual leader like all those preachers out there that are somebody important and all have some new spin on Christianity or the latest doctrine to make you wise.. No. None of that.
Jesus said, “He that will be chiefest among you, let him be as the younger.” Not some great spiritual guru with all the latest revelations and visions, and bla bla bla. No! God simply searches the world over for little souls whom He wants to ask, “WHO will go for me?”And Isaiah answered, “Sent me oh Lord!”
Isaiah was just happy to be sent. The word missionary in the Dutch language is “sendling”, someone who is sent. A messenger. Like these guys that work for UPI and send packages. Often the most humble guys you will ever meet. Little people. Like all the humble missionaries this world has ever known over the last 2000 years. And they were sinners too!
Sure there have been great teachers and prophets like St. Paul, or great leaders like St. Peter, and great revealers like St. John. But I assure you that none of them was actually searching for any greatness. Paul was seeking to arrest and even kill Christians, Peter was going the other way, denying Him and backsliding to his old job when he said, “I’m going fishing.”And the others said, “We go with you!”And they backslid with him. He was a great leader for better or for worse! Ha!
And st. John wasn’t looking to be some great light to the Gentiles and a revelator. He just wanted to lay on Jesus chest and be close to his greatest Friend and be the disciple that Jesus loved! And Jesus loved him alright and let him lay in His bosom. He wasn’t looking for revelations. But after he got boiled in oil because he wouldn’t give up believing in the great love of his life, Jesus, he was sent into exile where he could do nothing else but listen in some lowly cave to the birds and the roll of the ocean, and suddenly he was taken up into the Spirit and stuff was revealed to him. He wasn’t looking for it?
None of them were really trying so hard to be someone. They weren’t what is called in German “Strebers!” Roughly translated as “Strivers!”They weren’t striving to be somebody. They just were what they were and learned to put up with themselves and their own sins by the grace of God and be humble saved sinners, AND of course they kept doing the simple work and following the simple call that Jesus had given them before He left…to…
“WAIT in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father, and ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me, in Jerusalem, in Samaria, and Judaea, and unto the uttermost parts of the Earth!” That’s all! Very simple! And it is not for some chosen people, or some special called ones. No it is for ALL of us chiildren of God. “And He said unto them ALL!
“GO YE! Into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature!” And lo I am with you alway! Even unto the end of the world!” Mark 16:15, Mattew 28:20
Just do that, and you will be so fulfilled.. and humble as well.
Love & Peace,