Sunday, October 21, 2007

Some are saints and some are ain'ts.

If I made a list of the miracles I have witnessed and the ones I have been a part of, you would be pressed to believe in God and His desire to work intimately in the lives of people. But then if I were to make a list of my failures and struggles, you might say, “Where is your God?” I could write a book listing miraculous provision and answers to prayer in which the reality of the Lord’s presence was palpable. But then I could write another book telling of the times I was in “the deep” about to be swallowed up and close to losing everything. I could tell you of friends being healed through prayer and also of others dying in spite of it. I have friends who have experienced miraculous healings and friends who have been raised from the dead. Some have received an immediate response to prayer, and others have suffered what seems an interminable wait as they call on the Lord daily for healing, help, or an “open door.”

I have experienced the people of God, their love for one another, and the presence of God in them in a way that was like being in heaven itself. Then on the other hand, I have seen church people bite and devour one another and leave people bleeding in their wake. We see people of God who truly represent godliness and right living, but we also know of those who have stumbled through sin and hypocrisy. A dear friend once said, “Some are “saints” and some are “ain’ts.”

Christians gasp in shock at these anomalies, and the world uses this inconsistency as an excuse to deny God and to mock the church. Why are we surprised? The New Testament writers address these very issues. None of this was foreign to the early Christians. They knew both the reality of a Sovereign God and the reality of human weakness. The high priest in Zechariah 3 stood before the Lord clothed in filthy garments (representing the sin and failure of God’s people whom he represented). The enemy was there to accuse them. But God shut the mouth of the accuser by saying, “I have chosen them, and that settles it.” (my paraphrase).

God is Sovereign and He has chosen us. This should give each of us hope, not only for ourselves but for the entire body of Christ. Remember the words of the old hymn: “I hear my Savior say, ‘Thy strength indeed is small. Child of weakness watch and pray. Find in me thine all in all.”
In my morning intercessions each day, I have included the following prayers:
“Lord, my hope is in the Sovereign, Almighty God.”
“My hope is in Your mercy.”
“My hope is in the Lamb who is worthy to loose the seals and open the scroll.” (Rev.5)
The purpose of God will be accomplished not because we are worthy, but because HE is worthy.

Instead of falling back because of our failures, we should rejoice that Almighty God will complete His plan for His people, and will bring forth His kingdom on earth. Not one word shall fail of what He has said regarding the church. If Jesus, while hanging on the cross and facing the agony of death could in that hour say, “It is finished.” (ie all things are accomplished and the scripture is fulfilled here today. John 19:25-30), how much more, in the face of our weaknesses and failures, but from His position at the right hand of the Father in heaven will He not be able to accomplish His plan and purpose. The eternal purpose of God was accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. Its outworking and realization will be fulfilled because He is God (Ephesians 3: 11). As my friend said, "Some are saints and some are ain'ts." But we will succeed because God is. He is the great "I AM."

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