Friday, March 23, 2012

“Beyond Our Means”

     In the natural realm, living beyond our means leads to trouble and even disaster (see United States of America, 2012 A.D.).

     Conversely, in spiritual terms, God calls and commands His trusting children in Christ to live far beyond our human capacities and abilities.   “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10).
     The Scottish preacher James Stewart beautifully illustrated this truth.   

    "But now!  Now in Christ the new dynamic has appeared. Now there are incalculable resources for the fight. Surely the most wrong-headed psychology in the world is that which speaks of you and me as closed personalities, with just so much strength and no more, with strictly limited reserves of power.  For what Christ has done is to make us feel, at all the gateways of our nature, the pressure and bombardment of the infinite energies of a world unseen. He has shown us how our little life, with unsearchable riches to draw on, can be reinforced beyond all calculation. I may not be able to fight down some evil thing. But if Christ were here, He could. So then, if Christ is in me, in me, He can. This transfusion of spirit and energy is really possible. If Shakespeare were in you, what poetry you could write! If Mozart were in you, what music you could make! That cannot be. But here is something that can: if Christ were in you, what a life you could live! This is faith's logic. God wants you to know that you can rise above the level of your limitations. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me: Galatians 2:20).”

     The believer must look with great anticipation to God’s mighty presence and working whereby He enables us to live triumphantly for His glory.  Indeed, failure to look always results in failure to live.  As the children of children of Israel gazed upon the brass serpent on a pole in order to healed of their venomous sickness, so do Christians look to the crucified and risen Lord Jesus as “the author and finisher of our faith” (Exodus 21; Hebrews 12:2).  He provides the leading and enabling for a life of godliness beyond our meager means (actually, beyond our non-existent means – “Without Me, ye can do nothing” – John 15:5).  The issue, therefore, is never our weakness, but rather our failure to believe and submit ourselves to “the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20).

     There is poetry of piety to be written by our lives as Christ’s life infuses us with His strength.  Symphonies of spirituality await us as the Composer of all faith and obedience moves within us to “let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us” (Psalm 90:17).  The stanzas and strains will likely resound most often in quiet and unobtrusive ways, heard only by a few as most of us live our lives without great pomp and circumstance.  Nevertheless, the glory of God will be revealed in ways far more consequential than we can imagine.  We will know that we live far beyond our spiritual means, and one day we will see that the Poet and the Composer did far greater things by us than seemed possible because we joined the Psalmist in anticipation of Divine beauty graciously bestowed…

“My expectation is from Him.”
(Psalm 62:5)

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