Have you ever been naughty and you knew it while you were being naughty. Not just in childhood, but have you done things as an adult that you knew were not good for you? But you did them anyway.
Recently we were watching the “Untold story of C. S. Lewis” about how he resisted and ran from being a Christian for much of his early life. How he used reasoning and thinking to try to avoid the Living God. I was delighted that authors like George MacDonald introduced him subtly to the power of the Holy Spirit.
This morning I opened another old devotional book that is a collection of quotes, poems and stories. This one was collected by Mary Wilder Tileston entitled Joy & Strength. First copyright was 1901. She quotes a poem by George MacDonald.
Lord, to Thy call of me I bow, Obey like Abraham; Thou lov'st me because Thou art Thou, And I am what I am. Doubt whispers, "thou art such a blot He cannot love poor thee," If what I am He loveth not, He loves what I shall be.
Isn’t that wonderful? Paul wrote in Philippians 3: 12 “Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own.” God has plans for us. He loves us and what we shall be.
Tileston went on to quote a paragraph by Juliana H. Ewing.
We may hate ourselves when we come to realize failings we have not recognized before, and feel that there are probably others which we do not yet see as clearly as other people see them, but this kind of impatience for our perfection is not felt by those who love us, I am sure. It is one’s greatest comfort to believe that it is not even felt by God. Just as a mother would not love her child the better for its being turned into a model of perfection at once, but does love it the more dearly every time it tries to be good, so I do hope and believe our Great Father does not wait for us to be good and wise to love us, but loves us, and loves to help us in the very thick of our struggles with folly and sin.Juliana H. Ewing
Juliana was on to something here. God wants us to try and keep on trying to be obedient to what He tells us. He does not love us less when we fail. Someone coined the phrase “God will never love you more than He does right now.” Yes, He loves to help us ‘in the very thick of our struggles.’
I have always believed that God disarms me with His love. If I dig in my heals about something He does not fight with me. He loves me and melts my armor and my arguments against Him. I can resist and pout if I want. He is still moving towards me with love.
Can you see some of the chains you have put upon yourself? For years Lewis determined to have nothing to do with ‘religion.’ He resisted the Father and the Son, but he was no match for the Holy Spirit. God loved what Lewis would become. He disarmed Lewis with His love.
God has plans for your life, too! He loves you now. He will love eternally. Have you yielded to His love for you? Are you willing to bend your ways to His? Lewis was not enamored of church. Let’s face it, Anglican hymns leave SO much to be desired. Yet he went where he thought he should go to find God.
There is great value in being with other Christians. You will not like all of them. If there were a perfect church and I walked into it, it would not longer be the perfect church. Yet we need each other. We need to grow and learn and pray and struggle together.
We each have failings we likely have not recognized up to now. Go to church anyway. Start watching a variety of sermons on line until you find a local place to attend. Then go regularly and find ways to grow there. The Trinity will rejoice and eventually you will, too!
Ewing wrote: “our Great Father does not wait for us to be good and wise to love us, but loves us, and loves to help us in the very thick of our struggles with folly and sin.”