Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Unholiness of the Human Heart and the Severity of God’s Love

“Spiritual leaders who teach that I am here to solve your problems and make your lives comfortable and prosperous underestimate the energy (and badly misunderstand the nature) of unholiness in the human heart that I must severely deal with to get you to my party.
“And that underestimation leads them to underestimate the severity of My love. My servant C.S. Lewis got it right: I’m not safe, but I am good.

“I will not coddle you any more than a good surgeon only hugs a cancer-stricken child. I will not coddle you, but I will purify you. And that takes more, not less, than a hug.” –Larry Crabb in God’s Love Letters to You: A 40-Day Devotional

We don’t like to think about unholiness. In fact, every time I type it, I get an angry red line under it, telling me it’s not a word. It may not be in the dictionary, but it is very real. No matter how much we want to ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist, it affects every area of our lives… most importantly, our relationship with God.

But if we continue in our denial of our unholiness, we miss out on the “severity” (I love the way Larry Crabb puts it) of God’s love.

If you feel that God is not answering your prayers (as I have felt), it’s because you (and I) don’t get the big picture. We can’t see past what we feel we need and want now, today, on earth, in this life. We don’t realize that what we need most of all is a relationship with God, which we can’t have as long as we have unholiness in our hearts. God knows that, and he has gone to great lengths to deal with it.

He has gone as far as leaving heaven! That in itself is a great sacrifice! But He didn’t stop there. Not only did he leave his royal throne, he entered our world, not as a mighty warrior, a knight in shining armor to save his bride, but as a tiny, helpless, homeless, poverty-stricken, illegitimate baby! What?! What kind of plan is that, God? I would have done it so differently!

Not only did he enter the world as a destitute child, he then allowed us to beat him bloody, torture him, and execute him as the worst of common criminals. Yes, He went to great lengths on his part to deal with our unholiness so that we could be in relationship with him.

And He will stop at nothing on our parts as well. So, instead of seeking God as the “Giant Santa in the Sky,” allow Him to work on your unholiness in the midst of your trying circumstances. Seek Him in the midst of your darkest moments. Don’t just look for what He seems to be withholding from you, look for Him. Be willing to let him withhold that answer to prayer and desire Him more than what He can give you.

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!