But God.....

 "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:4-6

 

I recently heard a woman named Jen Allen speak of her lifelong struggle with feeling not good enough, not worthy enough, just not enough. She said her victory came when she finally realized that all of this was true. She wasn't good or worthy enough before Him, or anyone else for that matter. She never would be and neither will we. Her victory came, as will ours, when we come to know and walk in the truth that in Christ, we are made whole, new, and raised up. Seated with Him in the heavenlies. Oh, that we could even begin to understand the wonder of that truth. If we could, all of our striving to prove to Him, and everyone else that we are "enough," would end. Are we ready to begin to understand?


I love the book of Ephesians. In it, Paul calls us to a level of life in Christ that is beyond belief. A life that is "exceedingly and abundantly beyond all we could ask or think." The spiritual life Paul speaks of is available to all who are His, yet so few of us ever enter into it. The letter to the Ephesians was written to a body of believers located in present day Turkey. It's quite a contrast to the letters he wrote to the Corinthian church in Greece. In Ephesians, he challenges and calls the people to the highest life possible in Him. In the letters to the Corinthians, though he speaks of that life as well, much of it is written as a warning and a discipline to a body of believers who are living in carnality, flesh. One shows what the fruit of a life in the Spirit will be, the other, the fruits of a life lived out in the flesh. Far too many would be more at home among the Corinthians than the Ephesians. Which church might you and I find ourselves a part of?

I think it comes down to the life we're called to as opposed to the life we settle for. So many of us struggle with our wounded, broken past, our seemingly hopeless present, and our deep fear of the future. We look at our surroundings and circumstances, and then we look at ourselves. The end result of it all can only be despair. We are not enough. We never will be. This is when we must know the power of those two words...... "But God!" The Corinthians struggled to know and live in that power. The Ephesians longed for it. As His Word says, "We all fall short of His glory." But in Christ, we are brought into the very presence of His glory. Seated with Him in the heavenlies, which He means to make a reality in our lives in the here and now. That is the gateway to the abundant life promised by and in Christ. Whatever we have done, wherever we have failed, whatever we have suffered, the enemy's accusation against us is canceled by those two words, "But God....," written in the blood of Christ at Calvary. All that has been done by us or to us is rendered powerless by those words. Against the deepest darkness possible, His Spirit simply speaks, "But God....."

 

The whisper of the devil, our adversary, will always be that we are not enough. Not good enough, not worthy enough, not lovable enough, not acceptable enough. All true apart from Him, but a total lie for all those who are His. To that accusation is the Answer that covers it all....but God. But God, in Christ's mercy and love, makes us so. Makes you so. Have you heard those words? Have you received them? Have you heard the upward call that the Ephesians heard, or do you struggle on, striving to please Him, seeking to earn His love and approval, and wearing yourself out in the process? It's a dead end, and will always be so. To all the shouts of accusation from the devil in the darkness, the Holy Spirit whispers to our hearts...."But God....." Do you hear Him?

Blessings,

Pastor O

 

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