Saturday, November 15, 2014
The Perfect Complement: Human Inability and Total Divine Ability
And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.
And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God."
I read this passage this morning and my spirit rejoiced within me. For that woman represents me and my own inability to produce anything that pleases the Lord, by my works or so called goodness. But the Lord tells me I am loosed from my infirmity. Well, just what does that mean, in practical terms?
God knows I want to do the right thing. Just like Paul says in Romans 7:15, I really want to do the right thing. Really I do. But I find myself not being able to do it. "For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do."
The woman who was all bent over really wanted to straighten up her spine. But if you look in the Greek, the words for "could in no wise lift" are "eis mē pantelēs" and EW Bullinger, in the Companion Bible, transliterates it as meaning: not unto the furthest extent, or unable to the uttermost.
If we are really honest, that should be our description of living a Christian life in our own power. The more we try, the greater we fail. Unable to the uttermost. I like that, for it gives me a real sense of relief. God is not expecting anything from me in my own power or ability. And He also is not surprised when I admit to Him my failures. As if I could hide anything from Him anyway? He knows every thought before I even think it: "Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandest my thought from afar off." (Psalm 139:2)
But, there is a perfect complement to my total and complete lack of ability to produce anything before God that He could reward at the Bema Seat. That perfect complement is God's total Divine ability, available to every one of His children, so that none of us have an excuse that will stick at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Christ is capable of saving us to the uttermost:
"Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:25)
Our Great High Priest will always be there in every exigency and every emergency we face to give us what we need. One of the ways He does that is just by revealing to us His names in the Scriptures when we face various trials and temptations. Just taking the time to find the names of God in the Scriptures will tell us of all the ways He can work His Divine abilities into our own human disability. Meditating on Him, being all that you need for every situation is one of the ways He will give us that ability to overcome in our trials. But we must choose to believe that these promises are true, even more true than what we see or feel around us.
Are you in need of defending? God has promised to be a rock and fortress to His children four times in the Scriptures:
2 Samuel 2:22 And he said:“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 31:3 For You are my rock and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s sake,
Lead me and guide me.
In Psalm 71:3, the Psalmist makes a petition from his Rock and Fortress:
Be my strong refuge,
To which I may resort continually;
You have given the commandment to save me,
For You are my rock and my fortress.
By looking away from ourselves, and putting our eyes on the Author and Finisher of our Faith, meditating on who our God is for us, we will be given strength from His own endless resources. I like the idea of God being my mighty Rock and Fortress, what other names of God do you like? I would love to hear them!