Eyes That See

“I Once Was Blind”

A Little Secret

Satan plays us like fiddles, and we just never catch on. 

I’m convinced that everybody in our churches is both better and worse than we perceive when we gander at the folks around us.

Theologically, we understand that every saint in our particular church is a sinner saved by grace.  We know that each and every one was hostile toward God and dead in his or her treaspasses and sins until the redeeming work of our triune God breathed life into his or her corpse.  However, in spite of receiving the gift of salvation (for what do we have that we have not received?) and being drawn by the Father to the life-giving Son and being born again of the Spirit, none of us is immediately delivered from all of our sins.

Hence, we are all living contradictions.  Paul tells us that we have died to sin, yet the very fact that he tells us this in addition to exhorting us to fight sin tells us that our sin is alive and waging war.  If we have died to sin, why must we still fight it?  Is it not dead already?  How many dead men have you fought in your life?  Yet, as contradictory as it may seem, we who have died to sin must still fight it.  We must fight it every day until we die or until Christ comes back for us.

I don’t know all the reasons why God has ordered things in this way.  However, I am convinced that one reason is so that each and every one of us needs God and needs our neighbor every single day of our lives.  And so that each and every one of us has burdens which we cannot carry alone.  Therefore, the blessed law of God fits our needs like a taylor-made suit.  Jesus tells us that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27).  And Paul tells us to, “bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

The way that Satan tempts us fools is by alternately convincing us that our burdens are greater than others’, that they need to bear their own burdens, and that others don’t have burdens like we have.  When we need to humbly consider others’ needs before our own (Philippians 2:3), and a brother or sister in Christ needs to be served and needs help with a burden, we are rendered inactive by contemplating the weight of our own burdens or his or her need to do it alone.  When we need to confess our sins to one another, so that we can pray for one another and be healed, we are rendered silent by contemplating how perfect so-and-so seems and we believe that we are the only ones struggling.

The results of being played like fiddles by the father of lies are damning.  Our churches, which should be places where people can come for help and healing and hope, are places where everybody fakes a smile and tries to seem more under control than the family next to them.

All that to say that each and every person in your church has burdens that he or she cannot carry alone.  And each and every one was created by God in His image for His glory, called by name, redeemed, and is worthy of as much time, energy, emotion, etc. as you can spare.

May God give us the grace to both live and proclaim His Gospel, such that words like these describe our churches:

“Our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10

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December 24, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Read C. S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters.

    Comment by Gramzee | January 28, 2009 | Reply


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