Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Missing Part

(Thanks to our dear friend Mark, referenced below, for inspiration on this one.)

"We fix what your husband repaired." A good friend recently told me about this advertisement of a plumbing company he once saw. Surely this is one of the most effective and hilarious marketing slogans of all time, and it also makes me grateful that in our house, the fix-it person is Frances (she can fix anything, no subsequent repairs necessary!).

The chronicle of human history involves countless attempts to fix what only God can repair. The matter of our heart is dire, and no possibility exists of any human mind discovering the true nature of the problem, or any human hand executing a solution. Our dilemma involves a missing part, as it were. We exist to be the "habitation of God through the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:22). We are born, however, without the indwelling Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ. Until He enters by the Holy Spirit's revelation of grace in Christ and our response of faith, existence is hopelessly incomplete. God must do for us that which we cannot do for ourselves. He must forgive our sin and then fill our hearts with the only content that can repair our problem of a missing part, namely, a missing Christ.

The entrance of the Spirit of the Lord Jesus into our spirits begins the repair that will continue throughout our lifetime. Our Heavenly Father redeems us not only to make us His home, but also to increasingly reveal in and through us the fact of Christ's presence. "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25). Our mental, emotional, volitional, verbal, and relational capacities must be redeemed and restored from the spiritual orphanage that once governed us. Far more damage was done than we realize when we attempted to live independently of God, and our spiritual enemies continue their attempt to cloud the fact of His vibrant presence with and within us. Wise is the believer, therefore, who echoes the Psalmist's prayer - "cleanse Thou me from secret faults" - and who recognizes that we need the ongoing repair of the only true Repairman who exists. "As for our redeemer, the LORD of hosts is His name, the Holy One of Israel" (Isaiah 47:4).

Like the plumber, God must fix not only our original problem, but also the repairs we have attempted by our own deluded efforts. He is more than able and willing to do so, but we must humble ourselves in order to experience "our Redeemer, the Lord of hosts" acting mightily on our behalf. Not only must we repent of our failings, but also of our efforts to correct them ourselves. These may be even more complex than the original problem, but God's wisdom and power are more than adequate to "fix what we have repaired."

"Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

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