*Dusting away one year old cobwebs threatening to choke me to death*
Hi guys. I cannot even sneak in as I haven't delayed posting here, I have all but abandoned this blog. My bad. I always promise to do better...so here goes... I promise to do better with this blog, by His grace.
A lot has happened in the past year. I left my job for another and I left that for another...well, back to an old gig that has required me to relocate...story for a later blog post. There are thoughts and feelings about the new job and relocation that needs to be expressed but let's go to the topic for today.
Has anyone read Romans 9? In your spare time, please read verses 13-26 particularly verses 15-16. If you have read it, does it not just stop you dead in your tracks and make you question what you thought you knew about a walk with God.
Let's see what Romans 9:15 says:
For He said to Moses, I will have mercy on who I will have mercy on and I will have compassion on who I will have compassion on.
I read this during my devotion today and to be honest, it was one of the scariest things I have read in the Bible. This verse is derived from God's conversation with Moses in Exodus 33:19. It was referred to by Paul in expounding on the overriding effect of God's decisions. If you go further and go to verse 16, Paul went on t o say, it is not to him who wills or to him who runs but of God that shows mercy. I tell you, these two verses frightened me. I got to the office today and I began reading up on what God was trying to show me by these scriptures. Before we get to that, let me let you in on my initial reaction.
When I read that God will show mercy to whomever He pleases, I knew instinctively, that the mercy would be given on a selective basis. I immediately wanted to know what the selection would entail. I discovered that though there was selection involved, THERE WAS NO ALLUSION TO A SELECTION PROCESS!!!!!! How weird is that? It would be easy to just assume that the selection is random, but knowing what we know of God, He is a deliberate and precise being. NOTHING is ever random. Still there is no selection process.
As a human, I have undertaken exams all my life. Nothing ever goes for nothing. The selection process for moving on to the next class was usually 48% and above, if memory serves. Displaying competency and aptitude at a new job would set serious contenders apart from those who never got invited for a second interview. Even with my parents, the selection process for a child that obtained favor (despite unconditional love) was proving yourself academically.With all these human pre-conditioning, it is quite easy to see how I jumped to the search for the pre-qualifiers for God's mercy. To my disappointment, there was none. My disappointment was further compounded by verse 16. I then began to panic. My thoughts were:
"but Lord, you asked us to become born-again, I did.You asked us to shun sin, I try. You said we should be cheerful givers, I'm learning, why then will these not be taken into account to qualify me for Your mercy.? I think You have set humanity up to fail if You have pre-selected those who will obtain mercy."
I was frightened to shut up point when I read verses 19 -21 which states:
You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who can resist His will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?
So as you imagined, I had silenced my unholy indictment of God, but I still had questions. However, when I was praying, I remembered that God has promised to give us anything we ask in the name of His son, so I prayed for mercy in Jesus'name. But I still had questions. It was imperative that I understood how I fit into the mercies of God because for me, a picture of an unfair God was what was painted but I was in no position to answer back to God.
Guys, what I discovered was it was not an unfair God but a PARTIAL GOD and thank God for that!!!!!!!
In digesting the effect of Romans 9: 15-16, I read up some commentaries. My summation includes things understood from those and what was revealed to me. Verse 16 is the key to understanding verse 15. I mentioned the fact that we were used to selection processes earlier. As people, due to this ingrained mental state, we look for how to qualify our own goodness to God to make us worthy of His love and grace. I listed all my good works to God this morning and what He was making me understand was 'it is not about those at all'. Your goodness will NEVER be good enough for God. God IS good. That is one of His names. How can you be 'gooder' than HE WHO EMBODIES GOODNESS????? So forget about your shabby goodness.
In fact, were my goodness to be taken into account, I won't qualify for a heavenly stick of gum! The issue here is, by not considering my so called good works, He was displaying His majesty, His magnanimity, His faithfulness and His goodness, by announcing to the world that yes, she does not qualify based on her will or her works, but she qualifies BECAUSE I SAID SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lord, you are good!!!!!!!!!!!!!It just makes me want to shout!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We limit God when we bring our human ideals of how things are done into the fray. This is a corrupt system where nothing goes for nothing. In the heavenlies, it is common to receive unmerited favor and mercy. So where I was looking for a selection process, there really was none. The selection is done based on God's majesty. There is absolutely NOTHING you can do to win God's favor. You can't buy Him with your tithes and offering, You can't guilt Him with your tears. You can't bribe Him by giving to the church to curry His favor. Psalm 106 says "He saved them for His name's sake". Not because they gave, were good or had perfect lives. While those things are great in themselves, they are mostly human standards which we hold ourselves to. In doing what He does, God does it for Himself, to bring glory to His name, not to validate your own 'good works'.While God is not a debtor to man, the only key to making all those work is TRUST. Putting all our trust in God is the only human sacrifice or 'good work' recognized by God. It shows that we understand His majesty and the fact that He does what He does for us ONLY for His name's sake. He does what He does simply because He is God! Outside Him, we have and are nothing, despite what the world says.
Verse 19-21 that equally frightened me mute was referring to me at the time (covering face), but in understanding the preceding facts, I now know that this is a response to those who challenge God as to why He is displaying His majesty in granting mercy to those who the world would ordinarily deem unworthy. God is then saying: it really is none of your business how I choose to go about My business. If you want some of this mercy, come to Me and trust in Me. If you can't do that, I will brook no backtalk from you. I made you and your will must remain subservient to Mine. I am not given to human ways of selecting who is worthy. Worthiness or lack thereof is at My sole discretion.
I tell you, I feel so blessed, so privileged. I was so depressed this morning. Thank God I didn't perish in my lack of understanding. This is the type of thing that could make you loose faith if not understood in context.
Let's just say instead of scaring me, Romans 9:15-16 and other accompanying verses has given me new found hope.
Enough of my sermonizing. Any thoughts on this?
P:S: It feels good to be back!