Friday, October 18, 2013

Hard Time

The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked  ~ Proverbs 24:16

Take a good look at that Scripture and listen to its voice. Here is what it is saying, "You are godly, you will get back up again. You are godly, not even seven disasters will overthrow you."

Sandy and our oldest son, Justin.
That's not "positive" thinking. It's Biblical thinking! God in us, or godliness, is always going to take us in one direction when we fall down; up. That is true, not because I fully understand it, but because God repeatedly says it. Elsewhere the Apostle Paul said it this way: But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ's triumphal procession...Christ has begun a good work in you and he will see it through to completion. Christ's message not only captured us, but it also captivates us and carries us to the finish line. He is leading the procession, and though we may get knocked down, we will not be knocked out. We must be quick to repent, but notice that the Proverb still refers to the fallen as the godly.

I say this because of its powerful truth. More and more, I have come to find that when godly people fail we re-categorize or re-tag ourselves with a name that puts us in some sort of a spiritual purgatory--not quite godly and not quite ungodly. If we do so, we will live out of that false identity. From that point on we will never fully rise out of the ashes of our failures to our full stature in Christ. Wrong thinking swaps our captivation with the Emancipator--to a Prison Warden. Rather than being led up and away from our failings by our Deliverer, we live in a spiritual halfway house, and surrender our complete freedom to the jailer. We stagger along with just enough belief that the Emancipator has commuted our sentence to do hard time, but we resign our self to a hard time. For those emancipated by the gospel, our truest identity is godly. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Let's not swap it for a prison number.

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