Christian Zebras

Wordworks                              Wednesday October 1, 2008

Today’s Reading — Galatians 5:10 — I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is. 

     In his book, Mere Chris tianity, C. S. Lewis wrote this very plain statement about our inconsistent faith. The main thing we learn from a serious attempt to practice the Christian virtues is that we fail….. Faith in this sense arises after a man has tried his best to practice the Christian virtues, and found that he fails, and sees that even if he could he would only be giving back to God what was already God’s own. In other words, he discovers his bankruptcy. 

    The mistake of the Galatians is made in some similar way by all who choose to follow Christ. It occurs  at various points in our faith walk. It shouldn’t really be considered as failure. It is a necessary part of the process as Christ is formed in us. God places a higher value on the lesson than the failure. The lesson reduces the number of future failures. By my own reasoning, I must have avoided a lot of faith failure, because I have made a lot of faith errors. 

       God’s purpose in this is to reveal in us and through us His humility. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart(Matthew 11:29) Paul seems harsh, but he is the spiritual accountant for the Galatians whom he taught the elementary things of Christ. He has added their current accounts and found them bankrupt. In the world system, bankruptcy is an end point. In God’s system, it is a turning point, a point of renewal and growth. God may allow false teachers to distract us from Himself so that when we finally recognize our mistake, He can wipe out our debt, and let us continue banking even stronger faith with even greater humility, avoiding worse herectical diversion in the future. 

     If black is the color representing evil and white the color representing righteousness, I’m a zebra, and a weird zebra too. Some days my white stripes are wider and my black very narrow, and other days I am mostly dark. Sometimes it is painful as my colors change even a little and other times they change a lot and I hardly notice. It is far more painful for me to grow white stripes than it is black stripes. Black is always available. My black stripes can be  produced within my own flesh, or the world is always ready to paint them wider. The white is produced by God in my heart, where the Holy Spirit lives, where Christ is formed in me. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. (John 14:26)

      This is His mercy — Jesus is always waiting to receive us without punishment when we have strayed from Him. Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1) This is His grace — Jesus is always waiting to forgive us and restore us when we we turn back. And He has said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness…  (2 Corinthians 12:9a)

     Is there any area of your life where you need to turn back to Jesus or to scripture or to the leading of the Holy Spirit  today? Are you running from God? Let the Lord widen your white stripes today. It may hurt a little now, but it will make void so much future pain you would otherwise have suffered. If you feel so stuck you cannot imagine how to get back on Jesus’ path again, tell a trusted Christian friend. The Lord in them will guide you tenderly back to where you belong.  

     And the son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his slaves, `Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate. (Luke 15:21-24)
     In Him,


        Copyright 2008 © Stephen Faulkner and Mission of the Master Ministries, Inc.  

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