Thursday, May 17, 2012

Far Away from the LORD, But Ever So Close

“Self-righteousness is why we are content with superficial Christianity. Convinced we are okay, we do not long for the daily rescue of grace.”
~Paul David Tripp
Distance is a mysteriously abstract concept so far as our relationships with God are concerned. We can be far away from the Lord, exemplified in our self-righteousness, when we persist in our complaints, but we’re potentially ever so close.
Repentance is the key. It always has been and always will be.
I can think of times recently, having become deluded in fleeting concepts of self-grandeur that somehow afforded me privilege that the Lord had not acquired for me, where I had floated seemingly beyond Divine reach. But the Lord is never far away.
Having usurped roles and positions and the higher ground, I had quickly found myself cowering on the lower ground. How far had I fallen? I was quickly deceived, again, by my woe-is-me attitude. And doesn’t the self-righteous mood facilitate deception smoothly? It falls into deception’s hands without a care of suspicion and it is carried there.
Somehow, so far away, I began to feel ashamed—unworthy of God. Then, a miracle. A thought entered my mind: I am never worthy, but Jesus is! By Jesus I am made worthy. Grace is sufficient for me. It is sufficient for every single one.
Falling Into The Arms Of Grace
Grace is only accessible, by the fashion of human experience, when we claw our way beyond our self-righteousness and find scope for freedom by the rescue of grace.
Having forfeited the right of self-satisfaction from the hollow anti-spiritual conquest, we go on with God. And the Divine is found ever so close. We felt far away, alone, though sublimely comfortable for a time. When we noticed how far away we were it came as a surprise. How did it come to be like this? How did I come to be deceived?
When we come from unsafe tenures of the heart, whereby the deceptions of the world or the flesh or the enemy contrive, we really do need a safe place to land. Grace is that place.
The place of grace receives us without an iota of condemnation. Where our self-righteousness compelled us, ironically, to eventual self-condemnation, now this place of grace insists we’re freed. Nothing feels better.
We most need forgiveness when we’ve strayed from God, however fleetingly.
We can be far away from the Lord, but by grace we are ever so close. If we feel far off, right now, by grace we pray, and by grace we come close.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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