Monday, April 14, 2008

Submitting to the Righteousness of God

Days have been slow lately. I'm still sort of in this "feeling around" mode in my walk. I tell you, it's a struggle to live humble. Sometimes I feel the desire to make myself worthy and to show others how holy and loving I am. Don't get me wrong, I do want to be loving, but definitely not with a religious agenda or self-righteous motivation.

Submitting to God's righteousness doesn't always feel like the right thing to do. There are times when all my understanding tells me that I need to do righteous things in order to be righteous. I must love perfectly, I must work on my behavior, I must, I must, I must! Besides...I know how much I irritate myself, so how much more irritated is God!? How can He possibly love me or even like me when I fail constantly? It doesn't make sense to me. Why does He like me and want to be with me? I don't understand it. I really don't. I know theologically that God loves me unconditionally and that He loves me not because I am lovely but because He is love. That still doesn't register with my brain. It fails to compute. "System failure."

Perhaps what hinders us from receiving God's love and favor for us in Christ Jesus comes from a constant focus on behavior? Am I changing here? What am I doing now? What will I be doing tomorrow? Wheres the fruit of the Spirit? That wasn't so hospitable and kind...Constant nagging at myself hinders me from enjoying God's love for me. Forgetting that my righteousness and my loveliness doesn't come from myself but from Christ. I am His beloved son because Christ is His beloved Son and gave me His own belovedness. This tends not to sit well with my flesh.

Brothers and sisters...You are righteous and lovable because Jesus has blessed you with His very own loveliness. "But how can I possibly be made righteous when I don't do anything righteous!?" Well, how can Jesus, who never sinned be made sin for us? God is just, but He isn't fair. Grace is a scandal. Get over it.


Bino Manjasseril said...

God's love is irreversible. I never get tired of hearing/reading about God's love. All through out our life here on earth we are slowly progressing into the realm of His love in a practical way (Though sometimes we may not realize that we are growing). There is ups and downs for sure but He won't leave us till He finishes His work in us. I can very well relate to the struggle you have because I too struggle with this often times. I absolutely love the point you made at the end:

"But how can I possibly be made righteous when I don't do anything righteous!?" Well, how can Jesus, who never sinned be made sin for us?

That is the mystery of His love. It is radical, scandalous and unfair.

Joel Brueseke said...

To God's glory... Jesus said enter through the narrow gate. Many will try to enter by the wide gate.

Jesus said, "No one comes to the Father but by Me."

He also said, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness..."

Whether we struggle with fully understanding this or not, the truth is that by God's revelation to us, we have found the narrow way, we have entered through the narrow way, we have found His righteousness (we are no longer seeking it)... not through our struggle or our own perfection, but by the good news of the grace of God being revealed to us by the Spirit.

Even though our minds struggle to comprehend it, we have submitted to God's righteousness.

We are born again, because we have submitted to His righteousness, by faith. There's nothing left to do.