My Spiritual Walk

Getting What We Deserve

He must increase, but I must decrease

John 3:30

This is what has been the focal point for me this Lent season. To really take a look at what Jesus did for me and how undeserving I am. How I am really just filthy rags standing before an awesome, holy God … save His blood that covers me.

The world has inundated us with the idea that we’ve got something coming. That we are entitled to a life of ease and ‘happiness’. The truth is … what we are entitled to is the life of eternal anguish in hell.

Only through His Blood are we given forgiveness and the hope of eternal life with Him. And what of our Christian life here on earth? We are pretty much guaranteed a life filled with trials and hardships with the promise that He will be with us THROUGH them. Not around them. Not over them. But THROUGH them. Here are some scriptures that indicate that guarantee {emphasis is mine}

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9

In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

The American dream has spilled over into our Christian thinking. Somehow, we have the idea that once we are saved, life will be hunky dory. Everything will be wonderful and if it isn’t, then one must wonder what sin we have committed. But I believe that the opposite is true most of the time. When we have trials, it is because we are doing the right thing. And God is testing or stretching our faith.

rose thronsIt may be a “bed of roses”, but we must remember that roses have thorns. If you work in the roses, you will get pricked. If you lie down in the roses you will get thorns in your skin. The beauty and fragrance of the roses are enjoyed by those outside of the bed .. drawing the unbelievers to God.

As I read the scriptures, I can’t think of anyone that followed Christ or had faith in God who was not persecuted or at least had a hard row to hoe. Think of the “great” patriarchs. Did Abraham have it easy? No. He had nothing, but wandering about all his life. It was his descendants that saw the promises fulfilled.  Joseph was rejected by his own family and thrown into prison as an innocent man, David, though chosen to be King, was hunted down by King Saul, most of the disciples were persecuted and killed for their faith, even Jesus had no place to lay his head and you know how He was treated. So why should it be different for us?

When you get right down to it, it is pride {entitlement} that has sprouted up in our thinking. This week, everywhere I turned pride kept coming up. In the scriptures I saw the son of Gideon become prideful, wanting to be a king but it was to his demise. I watched the movie, “The Book of Daniel” and was reminded of  the great King Nebuchadnezzar who became prideful and God caused him to lose his mind until he acknowledged God.  And in our ladies prayer group, one of us brought up that even those close to us would say “You don’t deserve to be treated like this.” So often Satan plants thoughts in our mind .. lies, I should say … that we deserve better than this. “We should get paid more.” We should be treated better.” “People should appreciate all that we do.” “I deserve a promotion.”

The truth is. We are here to glorify God, not ourselves. We should do what we do as a worship to the one true God.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1

We should not be looking for rewards here on earth. “What does a man gain if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?” We owe God more than we can ever repay. We should be on our knees constantly in worship to Him and in service to Him. We need a humble attitude in life …

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,  but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5-8

And if we have this attitude, I believe that life will be so much easier for us. No matter what we may go through. Then, in the end, we “will be raised incorruptible!”

So I encourage you with these words from the Apostle Paul ..

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9

Praise God for His indescribable gift!