“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage…O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you (Psalm 84:5,12).”
We have a standing rule in my family. No one engages Dad in serious conversation before he has his first cup of coffee in the morning. I am the world’s worst “waker-upper”.
This morning the rule got violated. But I was the one who broke it. My kid was messing with the Christmas tree that had just been decorated the night before and I began to rebuke him. One thing led to another and I had lost my temper. I had forgotten my own rule.
I don’t like not being perfect. It really frustrates me. So in my recent quest to pursue godliness, I walk away from the type of event that occurred this morning bamboozled. After all, I want to be holy, but I keep blowing it.
This feeling of being thrown out of kilter comes from my lack of understanding of my condition and what it takes to be godly. The apostle Paul understood both. First, he knew he was a sinner. He knew what his heart could produce (Galatians 2:17).
Second, he relied on Jesus to live His life through him in order to be godly. Paul didn’t throw out the gospel when he blew it. He didn’t go back to relying on what most people trust in to be righteous — their own goodness (Galatians 2:19,20). After Paul fell, he didn’t throw out the baby with the bath water. He went back to the gospel of the grace of God to gain perpsective as to who he was and who Jesus was.
Seeking to gain our own righteousness is a loser. This isn’t God’s plan. Being godly without Him is impossible anyway (Proverbs 21:30,31).
Rome wasn’t built in a day and holiness isn’t gained in 24 hours either. Many of us have spent a lifetime pursuing things that lead us away from righteousness. We have a lot to overcome.
It’s better to have the perspective that we are on a journey and to rely on God’s strength and power within us to make the necessary changes.