You know, we always say that Yahweh never has His favorites. You know, one who is favored above any others. I mean, parents are never supposed to have their favorite child, right? Well, I can prove that idea is wrong! Oh, you don’t believe me? Turn to Isaiah 66:2:
“This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word,” and there’s a word in there that really excites me: the word esteem means to “regard with pleasure . . . have respect” If I read that correctly, it clearly says that God respects certain people.
I took that from the NIV, and your favorite version may be slightly different, but the message is still the same. But now you might have a problem with what that verse says. Maybe you’re into the “wretched worm that I am” mentality. At least enough to be uncomfortable thinking about Christ being impressed by anything a wretched man can do. Just keep in mind that God created us. According to Paul, we are His “workmanship” (Ephesians 2:10).
Now if you are one of those “wretched worm that I am” kind of believer, this will disrupt your thinking, but there are times the He actually delights in us! Oh my! Yes, He certainly could have created us without any weaknesses or the ability to commit sin, but He didn’t! He purposely created us with free will and affections so we could choose Him and love Him in the midst of many options and a lot of opposition.
He didn’t create robots. He created humans. So when our God sees humans cooperate with Him and fulfill what they were created for, He sees something very good. Are they perfect? Nope. But respectful? Yep! When the Father sees a human who is prone to selfishness, pride, and arrogance suddenly humble themselves and tremble at His Word, He greatly esteems that person. I don’t know about you, but in my mind, that’s pretty cool! And personally, I want to be someone He can respect! As my pastor says:
Some people seem to spend their entire life ‘in Christ‘ looking at their navel, the ‘wretched worm I am‘ kind of approach you mention, reducing Jesus to little more than a divine therapist, constantly available to hear one moan of ones wretchedness and ‘issues‘ that have dogged one for years.
I am with Paul, I am ‘the worst of sinners,’ but i have also been redeemed, and having been redeemed certain things about me which used to be true, are true no longer, and certain things / ideas / mindsets that used to be beyond my understanding – because of the vanity and pride at work within me – are now understandable, and more than that, livable with the certainty and actuality of Jesus Christ as Lord.
It is an amazing insight that we are Gods ‘workmanship,’ and as that is the case, then those of us ‘in Christ,’ have an ideal, if you like, of what we are supposed to look like. So, sure i was made in His image and essence in the first place, but then something happened that turned me from ‘simple‘ image and essence into His ‘workmanship.’
The revelation of Jesus Christ as Lord, leads to redemption, which – if lived actively and purposely ‘in Christ’ leads to sinners becoming His ‘workmanship.’ So instead of being a ‘worm,’ I choose to be His ‘workmanship,’ living actively ‘in Him,’ allowing Him to speak to my ‘issues‘ in the Spirit, that in reality are from my flesh (now dead). Rhrough what lenses are we to ‘see‘ our faith? Through the same lenses as Jesus sees us – and accept and inhabit His ‘workmanship‘ – over and above the lenses that come from looking at our navel.
My friends, which of us can ascend into the presence of the Lord? Which of us can stand in His Holy place? Well, it’s the one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not set his mind on what is false, and who has not sworn deceitfully!
So, with that in mind, I encourage you to receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah (derived from Psalm 24:3-6).
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