So, still with the Israelites on the edge of the Promised Land. Moses asked them a question that I ask all the time and not just to them but to myself.
Moses:41 Why do you keep doing what you’re not supposed to do? You will not succeed in your efforts.
To catch you up what’s happened – 12 men scouted the promised land, 10 of them said that yes the land was spectacular but unfortunately so are the inhabitants they are bigger and better than we are. 2 of them, Caleb and Joshua, said spectacular land – SPECTACULAR God, let’s go! The people complained and wailed and basically threw a hissy fit. Read Numbers 14, it gives me chills that I wish lasted longer and made me respect God and His will and His word more.
But back to what Moses says in the quote above why do I keep doing what I am not supposed to do? Isn’t that the question God is asking right from the first time Man hid from Him in the Garden? I think this links back to what I shared yesterday, the searching of my heart reveals more and more how much I keep doing what I shouldn’t. People accuse Christians of thinking they are better than everyone else. I find as I grow closer to God, as I search my heart that I am by no means better and more often I feel like a worse sinner because I actually know better.
I was also reading in Mark’s gospel today, I just reached the trial and condemnation of Jesus and there was a profound note inserted between the verses of my bible:
61 But Jesus held His peace and didn’t say a word.
Jesus, God’s Anointed, the Liberating King, has come not as a conquering king but as a sacrificial lamb who will die without defending Himself.
He is accused of setting Himself in the place of God, but He is innocent of that accusation because He is God. He does not defend Himself because His death protects from punishment the sinners who have made themselves like God ever since Adam ate the fruit in the garden.
Do you see that? Jesus stood and remained silent because I don’t. He stood and was mocked and abused because I refuse to love. He was spat on and beaten because I insist on doing things my way. He was nailed to a cross and crucified because I have to be the winner, have to be right, have to have the last word. He bled, suffered and died because I can’t say no to my desires. He was laid in a cold stone tomb because I want to be god in my life.
Why do I keep doing what I am not supposed to? Because I forget. I forget that Jesus didn’t stay dead. It wasn’t just that my sins were forgiven, are forgiven, will be forgiven. The sacrifices in the Temple could do that. But I now have the power to live a sin-free life because that same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead now lives in me. The Ultimate Sacrifice was made to break sin’s power over my life and over your life.
Why do I keep doing what I am not supposed to? Because I choose to. Isn’t it time I let the Spirit help me make better choices? In honesty He does, I am ‘better’ than I was but as I see what better looks like I also see how far I miss the mark and how needy I am. I need His Spirit more and more each day for all those choices that I thought were unimportant or that I didn’t even notice.
The incredible thing is I don’t feel condemned by this but hopeful because Jesus didn’t come to condemn me but to give me hope and a future. God is faithful and He will keep on perfecting me until it is finished. I hope not to fail again today, that my life will be characterised by love and blameless before Him but I know if I do fail and repent He is faithful and just to forgive and restore. It’s amazing! He is amazing.
SPECTACULAR God! Let’s go!