Friday, December 16, 2016

Good News! God Doesn't Require You To Be PERFECT!

I was praying recently and out of nowhere, God dropped in my spirit something really, really significant. Actually, it wasn't out of nowhere, it was straight from the heart of God!

There is only One who knows our flaws even better than we do...God Himself! But with that said, we are pretty knowledgeable of our own flaws. The problem is that we tend to key on our imperfections and mistakes. God doesn't. Instead, He looks at you and me as those redeemed by His Son, Jesus. When He looks at you, He sees not only one who is redeemed, but in addition, one who is also the righteousness of Himself. Of course, He gets all the credit for that because it comes only through and by His grace and mercy; not by personal merit. That's really cool about God!

I will stick my neck out a bit to say something here I know not everyone agrees with. But I speak from my own experience, founded on God's Word. I truly believe that we hinder God's using us because we key on our own flaws, more than hindering ourselves by falling short of God's standards for us. Please, don't misunderstand. Certainly we must live on every word that proceeds out of God's mouth. The Word of God is our blueprint for life. It is God's holy standard for living this life and serving Him. No question! But my point is, many Christians live far beneath their spiritual means because we hold ourselves responsible for (even guilty of) our own flaws and imperfections as human believers. When we will get it? By His doing...we are the righteousness of God, in Jesus Christ!

So the questions I pose to you are these: Will God use you, even if you know your are not perfect? Will He use you, even if you haven't mastered some of the things you've battled for years? Let me answer those questions with some examples from the Word.

There are many examples, but let me use just a couple. (That means 2.) Moses actually murdered a man and God used Him in incredible ways. Read the Book of Exodus. Another example is the Apostle Paul. (Acts 8:3), "But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison." Paul was a bad dude to the early church. He even looked on and approved the stoning of Stephen, the first martyr mentioned in the New Testament. And years later, after he had been apprehended by Jesus, and had served Him many years he says this: (1 Corinthians 15:9), "For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God." Could it be that this was Paul's "thorn in the flesh" mentioned in 2 Corinthians 12:7? Could it be that he constantly had to battle the accusation of the messenger of satan telling him, "You're not worthy to be an Apostle! Look what you did."? In spite of Paul's past, God used him mightily! He wrote one third of the New Testament! Paul said in the very next verse, "...but by the grace of God, I am what I am."

How did Paul do it? He got it. He believed it. He understood that even though his past was not something to be proud of today, God's grace is sufficient! I can promise you this. God wants to use you in bigger, more powerful ways than you think. You are not limited by Him. But YOU might be limiting Him. Don't look at your imperfections. Stop keying on your mistakes. Stop maximizing your weakness. Move in the grace of God by keying on the One who has redeemed you through that infinite grace. Remember, if His grace is sufficient for Paul, it is also sufficient for you and me. Believe that God is bigger than your past, your struggles, and your weaknesses. Believe that His grace IS sufficient for you! Prepare to do great and mighty exploits for Him!

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