The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe...
Part V - An Illustration
(Friends: if you've been with us awhile, you may remember this, which I think serves to illustrate God's grace in leading us to walk in the holiness of being who we are in Christ, as led and enabled by His Spirit).
One warm spring afternoon many years ago, I parked at the high school my children attended, waiting for them to join me for the ride home.
I rolled down my driver's side window, hoping for a breeze. A car approached from behind, bellowing loud music. I thought little of it, expecting it would pass by quickly. However, the car stopped next to me. Shockingly, a young man leaned out from the passenger side window and spat into my face.
Raucous laughter sounded from the occupants of the car as it sped off. I sat in bewilderment as feelings of disgust and rage welled up within me. I wiped my face, and considered giving pursuit to the young men. Of course, I had no idea what I would have done had I chased down my offenders. I just knew I felt desire for some form of vengeance. Then a thought came to me:
"They spit upon Him" (Matthew 27:30).
The remembrance of shame experienced by the Lord Jesus initiated a profound change in my response. I recalled the grace that led the Savior to endure far more than being spit upon. The thought moved my heart toward a different reaction to the young men in the light of who Christ is - and who I am in Him.
"For I do always those things that please Him" (John 8:29).
"I delight in the law of God after the inward man" (Romans 7:22).
Allow me to reiterate that every fleshly sensibility in my mind, emotions, and body raged with disgust. Left to these inclinations, who knows what idiotic thing I would have done? However, the Holy Spirit was gracious to remind me I am not my flesh. "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you" (Romans 8:9). This led me to do the only thing I could do for the young men. I prayed for them. I still do after all these years because the Lord so graciously reminded and enabled me to be who I am in Christ rather than walk after the flesh. Character - His character - moved me to live in accordance with capability - His capability - as revealed in my heart.
God always is who He is, and He always acts accordingly. His character guides His capability. This is not the case with His trusting children in Christ - yet. Presently, we do not always act in accordance with who we are in Christ. But we always are who we are in Him. Knowing this grace-given gift of our newness of life in Christ makes it far more likely we will walk in the Spirit even as we live in the Spirit. Our Lord honors us to join Him in such holiness whereby the perfection of His faithfulness to Himself engages us in the process of leading us to increasingly live in accordance with who He is in us, and who we are in Him.
"Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord. Walk as children of light."
"That which is born of the Spirit is spirit."