Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Leaving people free...

Leaving people free and authentic is always a struggle for me. I have enough patience to do Bible study with them for couple of months and after that if I don’t see the ‘desired’ results, I get frustrated.
The good news is that I know what my problem is. I am so ‘result’ oriented. I find it hard to surrender the ‘results’ totally unto God. I am fearful that I don’t see any fruits at all.

If I do something due to His initiation, why would I care about the consequences?
There are only 2 possible answers – either it was not initiated by God or I am unable to walk by faith.

My flesh desires ‘instant’ results when God talks about ‘growing’. Growing requires time. We are curious (I believe curiosity is from the flesh) to know if the ‘seed’ is really growing. But by digging a sowed seed again and again, we could be very well disrupting its growth!

‘neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.’ I thank God for such lessons where I reconcile the fact that I am nothing and He is everything.

4 comments:

Terry Rayburn said...

Hi Bino,

I have really enjoyed and profited from your blog.

In view of this post and your last one of Nov. 12, I might say a few words about Sanctification, or "growth".

1. We are already "sanctified", indeed "perfected" in our spirits (Heb. 10:14), which have been joined to His Spirit (1 Cor. 6:17).

2. We are prone, in our flesh, to focus too much on our own "growth" or so-called "progressive sanctification", which ironically takes our eyes off of Christ, and ends up defeating it's own purpose.

3. Growth, or progressive sanctification is not, as is commonly thought, "becoming more sinless", or even "becoming more Christlike".

In our "new man", our new spirit, we are already like Christ. And in our flesh, we will never be like Christ in this life.

So what is "growth"? There are several Scriptures that relate to this, but Peter gives us great insight with two passages:

1 Pet. 2:2, "like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may GROW in respect to salvation."

2 Pet. 3:18, "but GROW in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ..."

We see here, and in Rom. 12:2 ("the renewing of your mind"), that our growth is to be in what we know and believe, primarily as it relates to "heavenly things" or "spiritual things".

In other words, it means to more and more walk by faith and not by sight.

For example, we know from Rom. 8:28 that God works all things together for good to those who love Him, right? But then we may complain about the weather or other circumstances, indicating that our minds are not renewed yet to the truth of Rom. 8:28 (but maybe more than 5 years ago).

2nd example, we know that all of our sins are forgiven by God through Christ, past, present and future, right? Yet we may feel guilty or oppressed by the Accuser, even to the point that we don't fellowship with the Lord for a time. We may consciously or unconsciously hide from Him for an hour or a day or a week. Our minds have not been renewed to the point where we constantly and boldly and joyfully and freely commune with Him.

3rd example, we quote Scripture saying that we are "righteous", through the gift of Christ on the Cross. But then we may add, "In God's eyes, that is. We're not REALLY righteous, it's just that God VIEWS us as righteous. After all we don't want to adopt the Roman Catholic heresy that we are INFUSED with righteousness, instead of having righteousness IMPUTED to us."

But as our minds are renewed, we more and more understand that, by grace, if God declares us righteous, then by God! (I speak reverently) we ARE righteous.

Final example, we say God is Sovereign, that He does all things and causes all things according to His will. But then we despair of someone who doesn't "get it" when it comes to His radical Grace.

But as we "grow" in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, we realize that each person understands exactly what God has revealed to them at a given time, and that it is in His hands, and that His hands is the best place for it. And we can Rest in His Sovereignty.

Now THAT'S "growth" or "progressive sanctification"!

When we believe what He says, even when we can't see it.

When we believe that we are dead to sin, even when we "feel" like we're not.

When we believe that He is meeting our every need, even when it looks like we "need" something we don't have.

And on and on.

Final note: This growth in understanding and believing heavenly things that we can't see may tend to RESULT in our sinning less, but the "sinning less" is not the growth. That's why, when we are skywalking in faith and a renewed mind, but then take our eyes off of Him and look to our Performance, we might sin horribly, and usually will.

That's the time to go back to "square one", and renew our minds with His Grace for the 1000th time. That's O.K. With Him a thousand years is as a day. He is working in us both to will and to do His good pleasure, on His timetable, in His Sovereignty.

What's the rush?

lydia joy said...

Wow, I have to comment on Terry's comment, Thanks for your thorough concise exhortation.....super helpful1
Bino, enjoying your blog and your honesty of where you are at....

Gary Kirkham said...

This has certainly been a blessing to read, both the original post and the comments. In the hustle and bustle of this life we live it is easy to forget that God is never in a hurry and never acts out of a sense of urgency.

For everything there is a time and a season. Everything happens at just the right time. We are born at the right time and we die at the right time. We are saved at the right time. I used to lament the fact that I wasn't saved when I was younger and I wasted all those years that I could have used to serve God.

God spoke to me one day through a song by Rascal Flats, called "Broken Road" and told me that my life and the timing of when I was saved was all part of His plan. All the mistakes I made, consequences I suffered, and dreams that were broken all pointed me to Him. Just as Jesus came at just the right time, we are saved at just the right time. Here is a verse or two from that song:

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you


When it comes to message of grace, God reveals that to each of us at just the right time. It is easy to get frustrated, I know. It's kind of like giving someone a gift that they refuse to open. You know that they will be blessed when they open it. You will be blessed as well when you see the light go on and they just "get it." You just keep offering the gift, leave the opening to God.

In Christ,
Gary

Bino B. Manjasseril said...

Terry,

Wonderful explanation. I am going to re-read those verses you have quoted. Thank you for taking time to explain this and I can see many people are being benefited.
I will keep that question in my mind at the time: What's the rush?

lydia,

Thank you!

Gary,

Those words are very soothing. For everything there is a time and a season.Great wisdom from Solomon.
We can see only the 'seen' but God's perspective involves the 'unseen' as well and He is never in a rush. We are the one who get in to the tyranny of urgency.