Through Him and not us

I feel, more often we think like Peter in the mount of transfiguration. After seeing Jesus transfigured, Peter felt the need to do some work, like, building tents. Really?

I understand we all have zeal for God, we want to partner in establishing His kingdom. We want to be of some use in the society. But is this what we are called for? In the mountain, while Peter was still babbling about building tents, Father God speaks up. He asks Peter to  listen to Jesus. (Matthew 17)

There are two types of listeners, one who listen to listen while others who listen to speak like Peter. Why are we listening to God? If we are listening to Jesus with an intention of listening, I’m sure He can speak affirmations over us in our struggles. For He says in John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

We serve a God who wants us to take delight in trusting him. Romans 11:16,17 says, “If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree.” This verse clearly shows us our existential reality. We are the branches, Christ is the root, that is, He is the source. And the beautiful nature of our God is that He partners with us. But this is not a partnership where we have to work, but instead we have to believe that it’s Him and not us.

Even to believe in Christ is not initiated by us, but that too is the work which He does. As it is written in Hebrews that Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith.  I’m not here to say, “don’t work for His Kingdom.” Because Bible clearly says in James 2:17, “so also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” But be reminded of this, that, whatever happens through you is initiated by Him, and so will be completed by Him. Rest on Daddy, and be affirmed of the how much He loves you!

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It’s all about Jesus

Scriptures can be interpreted in a number of ways. But only one perspective is useful, the true one and that is Jesus. We misinterpret scriptures when we take Him out.

(Isaiah 55:8-9 NASB) – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Our God is far beyond our understanding. We cannot contain Him in our limited knowledge. But our God is generous to let us know the mysteries of the scriptures. That’s why Paul says in the letter to the church of Corinth,

“…we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written, Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard , And which  have not entered the heart of man , All that God has prepared for those who love Him. For to us God revealed them through the Spirit…” (1 Corinthians 2:7-10)

And in another place,
“the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.” (Colossians 1:26-28 NASB)

Isn’t God great for revealing Himself and His plans to us?

A particular scripture can be interpreted in a number of ways. But we need only one perspective, the true one and that is Jesus for He is the WAY. We misinterpret scriptures when we take Christ out of it. Old Testament is most often misinterpreted. This is how we interpret, “Look at this man. These are his good deeds and these are his flaws. This is what you should be doing to live according to God’s plans.” Isn’t this similar to the moral value lessons we had in our elementary school?

Dear friends, the Bible is about Christ. He is the main character. Taking some examples from the Old Testament.

1. We see Abraham was called righteous.

“And he believed in the Lord , and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6 NKJV)

Abraham obeys God to sacrifice Issac in Genesis 22. If we read the life of this great man of GOD, we see that many times he failed to trust GOD’s promises. But GOD’s faithfulness made him righteous. It is indeed not our acts of faith that makes us righteous but our faith in CHRIST (Romans 3:22).

2. We may have heard of Moses’ strengths and weakness, But do we realise that it was never about him.
Moses himself says to LORD,

“If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.”(Exodus 33:15 NASB)

In the same way, we need to realise that it’s not us who are going to fulfill what GOD wants from us. But we have to be confident of Him.

“ …confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6 NKJV)

3. We most often think GOD anointed Gideon since He was brave enough to thresh wheat in the winepress when people were hiding from Midianites. Actually, if we read more about him, Gideon was more of a coward. Yet he was able to subdue Midinanites because of GOD’s anointing. Likewise, our strengths and weaknesses does not play any role in what GOD wants from us. It is His grace alone that is sufficient for us and His strength is made perfect in weaknesses.

4. Finally, David the man according to GOD’s heart – was not completely perfect and blameless. Therefore, he says,
“Blessed is  he  whose  transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord  does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there  is no deceit.”(Psalms 32:1-2 NKJV)

He knew that he didn’t have the ability to fulfill the Law. He recognized that in his flesh he could not walk according to GOD. Thus, he leans on GOD’s mercies. Similarly, we have to acknowledge that what we can’t accomplish is freely given to us in the completed work of CHRIST on the cross. This enables us to grasp the real meaning of “blessedness” about which David sings. And helps to see that we are being transformed in the same image of CHRIST by His works and not because of our works.

All these people believed on God, it wasn’t about them but GOD. Are we preaching about Abraham, Moses, Gideon or David? Or should we be preaching about God? All scriptures are entirely pointing to CHRIST and HIS works. Don’t portray it the wrong way!!