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Pointers along the way #457

Forgetful creatures
- Jacob Ninan

How quickly we forget where the Lord took us from and how much He had to wash us with His blood so that we would be acceptable to the Father! We even forget how unlike our Lord we are even now! And then we look down on the others, find fault with everyone else and wonder how they could be like that! We are like those Peter mentions in 2Pe.1:9 who have forgotten our purification from our sins, even while we realise that we are not really growing in the virtues of Christ.

Perhaps we have taught ourselves to forget what lies behind, quoting Php.3:13,14, without pressing on towards the life Christ Jesus has purchased for us, as the rest of the verse says! Don't we like to feel nice, thinking only about positive things, about what the Lord has done, what He has prepared for us in heaven, etc., while, according to Peter, we have even become blind concerning our own spiritual condition?

Paul was not like this. Even when he became the chief of the apostles, had established many churches and written almost half of the New Testament, he never forgot how he had been a blasphemer and persecutor (1Ti.1:13). He was honest enough to acknowledge that sometimes he did not do what he should but did what he should not (Ro.7:19). He did not cover himself with a doctrine by which his sinful nature had been entirely removed. Even while making tremendous strides in spiritual warfare and conquering new spiritual territories he recognised that he was only an earthen vessel which was fragile and unattractive. Luke mentions about Paul losing control when he was unjustly treated before the hight priest (Ac.23:3), and Paul himself mentions about becoming depressed, discouraged, fearful, etc., at times (2Co.1:8;7:6). Paul acknowledged that he was very weak in himself, and that it was when he took that position of weakness that Christ was able to manifest His great power in his life (2Co.12:9).

Victory is not a static state to be attained to and retained, but a possible outcome of each battle we face.

Do we always acknowledge our weakness apart from Christ so that His power can be demonstrated in us? Or have we tried to think positively, put away 'negative' thoughts of weakness and go on declaring that we are strong and rich? Would that be a reason why Christ has not been able to show His power in us?

Here is one of those places where there has to be a balance in our thinking. We need to recognise and acknowledge how weak and hopeless we are without Christ (Jn.15:5), and at the same time that God's grace is sufficient for us (2Co.12:9) and that we can do all things through Christ (Php.4:13). One truth cannot be emphasised at the cost of the other. If we 'forget' our weakness we will also forget to wait on the Lord who alone can give us strength (Is.40:31), and if we do not hope for the grace of God to work in us (1Pe.1:13) we cannot receive what God has truly planned to give us.

How forgetful we are! How easily we move away from the Lord!


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