Learning how to die #4

Realising that I am wholly inadequate in obeying God is a very important step to being reconciled to him. I think it is wonderful grace that his arms are open for those who would seek him, however incompetent we may prove ourselves to be. The fact that I find it terribly difficult to love others, and so fulfil the law of God, is no barrier between him and me, between him and us.

In fact, on this particular exploration of discipleship I have noticed that failure serves to drive me further toward’s God. In failing, I recognise that I am not all powerful and in my mind, at least, Christ is magnified since he was able to do what I cannot do when he lived here in flesh. Perhaps this is evidence that God, by his Spirit, has my conscience captivated to regard him above everything else.

Failure to love, failure to obey the law of God seems to serve the purpose of making God even more worthy of worship. His way of being so kind, gentle and fatherly to his children seems to connect with so many different parts of my psyche. Fulfilling what is lacking in me, completing me in some ways. Some like to use the language of the ‘God-shaped hole’ in the human heart. I shall use that metaphor until I think of a better one.

Indeed, to recognise my limitations is to understand that God is limitless. Perhaps this frames one aspect of his character.

To glorify God is the task of the Christian. The Westminster Catechism is summarised:

The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever

Glorifying God is basically to make him known, that is his character and nature. One of the most amazing things about God is that even this is not a burden left to the believer to shoulder. He brings himself glory, in every situation, by his power. So in my failure God can be glorified, my limits point to the limitlessness of the Father.

Don’t imagine I am advocating sin, rampent disregard for the law of God. I simply seek to point out the grace available to those who would seek to grow in Christian maturity, who would walk closely with God.

I hope to remember to walk toward’s God through failure, that is to remember his open arms.

With the Psalmist I rejoice:

1  Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2  but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3  He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4  The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6  for the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
(Psalm 1)

One Comment

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  1. Have you ever thought that actually failure doesn’t glorify God in that he has given Christians ALL the power we will ever need and if we choose not to use it that is like saying “no thanks I’ll keep trying to do it my way” – and that’s not glorifying.
    Surely better to stop striving and just rest in Jesus – now that IS glorifying?


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