I’ve been putting my devotional thoughts in a searchable database. Reading them again is a humbling process. I might be quick to pick up other skills but many spiritual lessons supposedly ‘learned’ even as recent as six years ago seen to have been completely forgotten, never mind applied to my life.
Today, I was going to write that after thirty plus years of being a Christian, some things are finally sinking in, but after remembering what I read yesterday from March 2001, I say everything tentatively. The following may have sunk in, but if need be, God will run me through those lessons again.
At the end of his little New Testament book, Jude wrote this benediction: “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.”
Amen indeed. If I’ve learned anything it is that I cannot keep myself from stumbling, stumbling into sin, stumbling into doubt, stumbling over others who have stumbled. He does it, and yet if stumbling happens, I am to blame. In failure, I find out again how much I need Him.
I’ve also learned that one day Jesus will joyfully present me faultless to Himself. The thought makes me feel like a bride walking down the aisle toward her perfect soul mate. I can see His radiant face as He watches me draw near. I’ve no words to express what that thought does to my spirit.
I’ve also learned that God alone is wise. His answers to my needs are always perfect, always timely, and never anything that I could have imagined. He knows exactly what I need and exactly what He is doing. He is worthy of glory, a majestic God who has dominion and eternal power over all, all the time.
So why do I forget wonderful things like that? I want to remember, and my family insist that I do not have Alzheimers, so there is no other explanation except that it is characteristic of my old nature to sinfully shove aside all that God breathes to me in a foolish effort to be my own keeper, filled with flaws and content to stay that way, and lacking the wisdom to even recognize that God wants to replace all that folly with His grace and glory.
I could vow to remember. This does not work; I cannot keep myself. Instead, He keeps me and saves me—even from that low-level of recall. When I need it, He reminds me of things temporarily forgotten, not so I have a database filled with good stuff, but to keep me from tripping and keep me walking toward Him. By His grace, I can glorify the One who does it all for me.