Bumblebee at Summer’s end. © Scott Mitchell

 


Just this morning I retweeted this to my Twitter friends [now *there’s* a sentence I never dreamed I’d write twenty years ago]: 


My soul was pained to think of my barrenness and deadness; that I have lived so little to the glory of the eternal God.
– David Brainerd


There’s no doubt I can agree with young Mr. Brainerd, long now with the Lord. I, too, feel that pain. There’s also a wide gap in me between fiery devotion and waning delight which could cripple me big time if I didn’t know where to go with my guilt.

I thought to follow it up with another tweet but you’re only allowed 140 characters and, well, ‘twould be an Everest-sized undertaking to cram it all in, so that’s why these words are looking back at you from your screen today. 

All due respect to David Brainerd, there’s nothing I can do but cling to the Gospel. Quotes like that would’ve had me all twisted up in knots a few years ago, focusing more on my failure rather than his faithfulness. The truth is, I can’t live to the glory of the eternal God, no matter how hard I try. I must rest in the perfect righteousness of Christ – who lived to the glory of God and loved the Father without rival. Thankfully, because that righteousness is mine through faith in his Person, God’s love toward me is not fickle!


“It is the weakness of man to change purposes; God’s love is not fickle and inconstant. We have good purposes, but they are speedily blasted; God’s eternal purpose shall certainly stand…We have many backsliding thoughts: we think to love God, but new temptations carry us away. So, we are fickle and changeable, but God changeth not. He cannot deny himself (2Ti 2:13).”

– Thomas Manton (1620–1677)


Now, none of this relieves me of a part I play in response, which is to lay hold of said righteousness and lay down (lie down?) in surrender to his life-changing grace.

If I let myself, I can be a letter-of-the-law, card-carrying Pharisee. Growing up in legalism as I did, I’ve learned that legalism acts like leaven, and it takes a lifetime for it to ooze out of your system.

Here’s my go-to verse to remind me my pledge is to the Gospel of Christ, not religious exercise, and my salvation is that Christ has mercy for me: 


But you on your part, beloved, by building up yourselves by means of your most holy faith in connection with the Holy Spirit, while praying, keep yourselves in God’s love, expecting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for life eternal! (Jude, vv20-21)


There are scriptural admonitions into which we are called to enter, yes, but God knows none of us can even get through the door without the life of Jesus already operating within.

Paul Tripp’s words offer some help with regard to our topic. And with this, I bid you a life of restfully divine preoccupation:

What drives our life must not be: an unwavering commitment to biblical theology; a comprehensive Christian world-view; a dedicated pursuit of involvement in the body of Christ; a persevering commitment to ministry; or a zeal for daily study and devotion. Yes, these things are certainly important, but they shouldn’t be our driving motivation.

Our lives should not be so much about pursuing these things; we should be pursuing a Person. The eyes of my heart need to be focused on Christ. My soul needs to be filled with appreciation and brimming with affection for Him. I need to walk around astounded that He would place His affection on me. I need to live with hope that I will be united to Him and live with Him forever!

– Paul David Tripp

Selah 

 

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Post Author: Pasturescott

6 Replies to “me fickle, He faithful”

  1. Shoo,this one was for me. Yes,legalism (bc of my previous upbringing catholicism,which in its dedication to prayer & Godly living is all well.. does at its crux…deem legalism & works part of their *salvation*) still *oozes* out of me as I purge myself thru times of sitting in His Word. And yes,thru renewing my mind and thus heart,wanting to teach *Faith walking* better & trials each day.. I’m learning like you already have…that to *seek Him* and His ways of doing things (Righteousness) affords me (Matthew 6:33) all I need before I even know the need. If I seek the provision or all that sparkles,I might just get that and lose all else,including His close relationship to me. Seeking Him,chasing Him HARD always affords me all the rest! Thank you,brother for the assurance and confirmation thru your teachings,once more. Blessings to you and your bride!👑📖🍃

    1. Oh yes, I totally get that. And you have laid a finger on the most poignant part of all: chasing hard after God. That is our “work” that we joyfully know will be met always with his empowering grace. If we’re after the Person of Jesus, we’ll feel his wind at our back and breath on our face. Thank you, my dear sister. Love to you and yours!

  2. Wow! I ran out of room on my sticky notes trying to capture all this to have on my desk.
    His love is not fickle….keeping myself in His love…..pursuing a Person…..astounded He would place His affection on me. WOW! I need this today and every day. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I offer this blessing in benediction over your life today, dear friend:

      “I commend you to God, praying that his love may rest upon you, and those near and dear to you – that you may find God is all-sufficient – that with him is the well of life: and may the streams of living water make you fruitful in every good word and work…”
      – Henry Venn, 1760

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