The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(Friends: the subject matter of this series of essays involves one of the foundational truths about our Lord every believer must know and embrace in order to avoid much confusion and frustration in our walk with Him. Indeed, you might say this is one the "101" truths of Scripture. Thanks, Glen).
"Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me. And He went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt" (Matthew 26:38-39).
Does it weaken our concept of God to realize the teaching of Scripture regarding things He cannot do because His character governs His capabilities? An emphatic "No" is the answer.
"God cannot lie… It was impossible for God to lie" (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18).
Understanding the supremacy of God's character as the administrator of His actions strengthens our confidence in His capability by a profound measure. I Corinthians 13 teaches us that power must be guided by love (I Corinthians 13:1-3). Indeed, what if God did not direct His ability by His perfect character, nature, and way? He could not be trusted. He might capriciously change His mind rather than be guided by the integrity of His heart. In this scenario, the Lord Jesus Christ could be our Savior today, but tomorrow? Tomorrow, God might decide to change the rules from freely given grace to some other means of salvation. Or, in the awareness of His infinite power, He might arrogantly choose to show His might by spectacular displays that jeopardize His creation. The proper fear of God commanded by Scripture would dissolve into abject terror because even those who seek to follow Him would be placed in uncertain and grave jeopardy.
Conversely, knowing that God's perfect character guides His almighty capability enables us to experience a far greater measure of His working on our behalf. We pray and trust God with an enhanced humility that pleases Him, and also leads us to seek His grace far more Biblically and intelligently.
"And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us, and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him" (I John 5:14-15).
If we do not well know the Biblical truth that God's heart directs His hand, we become susceptible to the detour of which James warned: "Ye ask and receive not because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts" (James 4:3). Knowing the truth we consider helps us to overcome such temptation, having much confidence that God loves to answer our prayers, but always in accordance with His nature and the best interests of His creation. Moreover, we also realize that apart from the Holy Spirit's leading and enabling, "we know not what we should pray for as we ought" (Romans 8:26). Such humility inevitably leads us to experience a more vibrant life of prayer in both asking and receiving. We therefore see a far greater measure of our Lord's power because He can safely entrust the prerogatives of prayer to those who pray in the light of His character and capability.
"Father if it be possible." In the hour of His greatest temptation, the Lord Jesus prayed in accordance with His Father's glory and will. Deep in the spirit, He knew that what He felt mentally, emotionally, and physically might not coincide with the Father's character and corresponding purposes. In great agony, He made His request with the caveat: "If it be possible." He knew His Father must act in accordance with righteousness, and that He could not act in any other way. We do well to join the Lord Jesus in planting this foundational truth deep in our spirits. God is who He is, and He will not - He cannot - deviate from the course determined by His character. We will pray far better in the light of such blessed holiness, and our Lord's capabilities will be far more revealed as we make our requests in accordance with the supremacy of His character.
"All His works are done in truth... the Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works."
(Psalm 33:4; 145:17)
"Though I… have not charity (love), I am nothing."
(I Corinthians 13:2)
Weekly Memory Verse
"Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh unto you."