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Don't expect me to be perfect
Too often in the forums, secularists will bring out the sneered rebuke against believers who fail to live up to their secular opinion of how a Christian should behave or treat them.
I wrote a hub about what I called the 'Satan Whisperers' so I need not cover that aspect again, except to say that the enemy will always seek to use any method possible to try and undermine a believers faith in God (which is near impossible) or themselves and their faith, which is very much more possible.
My faith in God has remained pretty much unshakeable from the start, but my faith in myself, and in my faith has often been shaken.
You see much as this may astound you, I am not perfect, and although there were significant and permenant changes in my behaviours once I came to faith, I still fail (sin) miserably and frequently.
About 16 years ago God had this out with me.
I was in one of my more useless (to God) periods when I was suffering severe self doubt and insecurities, which had led to me virtually stopping all communication with God.
In His inimitable way, God made His displeasure known to me with a timely warning about biblical starvation and it's effect on my spiritual health, and I was led to feed on Gods' spiritual 'manna' daily after a period when I was virtually fasting the word.
It was pointed out to me that the Israelites needed to collect and consume the manna early each day, and that none was to be kept, as it spoiled overnight.
I started rising at 5.30am in order to spend 90 minutes in His word feeding on His manna, before I needed to awaken my son for school.
"Where do I start Lord" I asked "Same place as me" He replied... so I started with 'In the beginning...." and worked my way forward, and came to a stunning conclusion.
All the really great 'Men of God' were totally flawed.
Watch this please...
If ever anybody could lay claim to being the 'father of humanity' Noah has the right to claim it, spoken to by God to warn the people of the impending doom that was gong to happen, if they continued in their iniquity and ignored Gods rules.
The guy sits on a mountain top building an Ark for about 100 years, all the time answering dumb questions about 'Where's your God now Noah" and 'Why are you building a boat on top of a mountain' and probably getting a fair bit of " Why do you keep on infringing on my personal liberty by telling me I'm going to suffer unless I listen to and get right with your 'god' don't you know that's unreasonable"
Yep the same whispers are sounding loud and clear today, and as in the days of Noah, folk will continue marrying, carousing and having a good time, until God calls time again.
Anyhow, with this particular group of folk, God does eventually face the fact that they are not going to see any sense, so God pulls the plug and they all die.
Noah, having listened to God saved himself and his family (and a selection of the species to start again) and lands when the water subsides... and plants a vineyard, then proceeds to get drunk, which in turn leads to him cursing his own progeny.
I am not argueing with anyone who wants to say the story is symbolic, or the extent of the flood, for me the relevant points are:
- God warns humanity
- God anoints a man to continue warning humanity
- Humanity ignores God and the man God sent
- God eventually when all other options have been tried, pulls the plug and eradicates the sections of humanity that are rotten and in rebellion.
Now you liberal secularists can cry unfair all you want, but if you find a cancer, you destroy it, and if you find a termite infestation, you destroy it.
What the liberal secularists actually object to is being correctly identified as a disease or pestilence against Gods creation.
Does that sound too harsh to you, will you tell me I am being un-Christlike?
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you are like tombs that have been whitewashed, which look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men's bones and everything impure.
Just so, you also outwardly seem to people to be just and upright but inside you are full of pretense and lawlessness and iniquity."
If you are not familiar with the verse, it's Christ speaking in Matthew 23 and none too subtle, indeed He gets quite personal, Christ KNEW what we humans were like, and still came to save us, despite that knowledge, and humanity is still a 'whitewashed tomb' no matter how good you THINK you are, in truth we are ALL in error, and by the way, Christ was addressing the above to those who believed they were pure and holy, so forget saying it doesn't apply to you.
Hallelujia - Bon Jovi version
Moses was a killer, started out life as a basket case (literally) and was raised in opulence when his inlaws were being kept as slaves, then when he has a fit of pique over who he really is, he kills a guy and does a runner to a far of land hoping to escape conviction.
He then ties up with a nomad shepherd, marries his daughter and keeps sheep for 40 years, which gives him stacks of time to ponder on what he did and how God will view it.
Along the way Moses must have gotten some serious redemption in his soul, because God comes to him again and appears in a 'burning bush' that never burns.... Moses is so deep in the backend of beyond that he does not recognise God, and when he does, he hides his face (OK that's a given, anyone would hide their face when God appears) and then argues that he is not up to the task God gives him to do.
God says a very relevant thing that modern folk who ask we believers to prove Gods existence would do well to listen to:
"Moses said to God, Behold, when I come to the Israelites and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they say to me, What is His name? What shall I say to them?
And God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM and WHAT I AM, and I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE; and He said, You shall say this to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you!
God said also to Moses, This shall you say to the Israelites: The Lord, the God of your fathers, of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has sent me to you! This is My name forever, and by this name I am to be remembered to all generations."
You see Gods ways are NOT our ways and folk who expect that God will obey their rules are fools to start with and idiots if they continue with their rebellion.
Moses goes on his mission, but needs his brother to do the speaking for him, and he performs a whole heap of strange things at Gods behest, and more of less what Moses does leads to the annihilation of the whole Egyptian people.
These people are SOOOO stubborn and rebellious that they refuse to listen to or obey God.
OK God knew they would do this, and even hardened Pharaohs heart to make him more stubborn, but note that Pharaohs heart was pretty hard already, God merely loaded the dice, God knew how hard Pharaohs heart was before Moses started calling down plagues.
The finale was the killing of the first-born in the whole of Egypt, and in case you think that is less than devastating, remember that would apply to ALL human and animal stock, so at the least it would deplete the whole nation for a minimum of one generation. Eldest sons were raised from birth to rule and run the family in succession, second sons were not.
Imagine the consequences of that first born curse, they would have been heavy indeed.
Moses leads Gods people out of captivity and does a few more miraculous events, but loses his inheritance when he fouls up again by doing a party trick when he should have been seeking Gods face for a solution.
The ORIGINAL version!
Am I being too flippant here, I don't think so, this is just the abridged version and as I read from Genesis forward through the bible I realised that God invariably chooses very flawed folk to do His work, the ones who reckon they reach the high points of faith rarely do more than antagonise the unbelievers and give fuel for the 'whisperers' to attack Christ, they form the bulk of Churchianity.
God takes the rejects, the dispossessed, the renegades with no reputation and uses them, David, one of the most flawed characters you could hope to meet, took six hundred men of no repute and following Gods commands, turned them into MIGHTY MEN OF GOD who basically secured the Kingdom for David's rule.
Christ himself chose fishermen, who if they were like the fishermen/sailors I have met, would have been uncouth hard living men, and made them His disciples, men who took the words and teachings of Christ to the world, and all (possibly excluding John) were martyred for their faith.
Paul was a hit man for the Sanhedrin who was en route to kill yet more 'heretic' believers when God tapped Paul on the shoulder and hauled him in to become perhaps the most devoted and forceful apostle ever.
So if you find yourself flawed and faulted before God, seem to be on the wrong side of perfection daily, take heart, God is preparing you for something special, and the ONLY qualification you need is to love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul, and do what He (alone) tells you to do.
Wouldn't hurt to study to be approved and to eat the words of the scroll until they are engraved on your heart as well, but if you focus on that first bit, God will give you the training for the second bit, and use you somewhere.
As you know how bad you really are, when He does use you, you will give all the Glory to him, as you will know full well that you could not, and probably would not, have done whatever God asked you to do, and as you are already seen as a loose cannon, a 'heretic' or that wierd guy who sits at the back, everyone will know it was God, and be even more wary of you.
So please, when we meet in the forums, when I speak to you or meet with you or pray with you, don't expect me to be perfect, because I'm not and I never will be and the only difference between we who serve God and those who do not serve God is that generally the secular segment of society think they are not too bad.
That is probably the biggest error one can make, to think that you are not too bad. It;s the worse thing I can hear when I speak to folk about God, for it means that they cannot think of any reason why they need God.
They have convinced themselves that (if there is a) God, He will be keeping some invisible scorecard of how good or bad they have been in life, and in death will mark their card according to how well they did, and if they got more than 50% right, they will be OK.
What they do not realise or accept is that Gods ways are not our ways, and it's the act of believing that YOU are OK and YOU will 'probably be OK' when you meet my (hypothetical to you) God that will condemn them irrespective of how good they think they have been.
Nobody can earn their way into eternity with God, it's a choice offered to all humanity, and it's free, gratis, an act of Grace alone, and all you need to accept that choice is to realise that WE are the problem, and HE is the solution.
How difficult can that be?