Trenches and Truth
NOVEMBER 19, 2022
by Charlie Collins
We need to accept our sin and brokenness in order to understand our Lord’s call to walk in the Spirit… (Romans 8:1-12). As soon as Adam and Eve bucked God’s instruction, their souls changed dramatically. God made them to live in total innocence and trust in Him. The moment they chose to ally with the enemy and rely on their own judgement, they began to rely on their own resources, to live in the “flesh.” The innocence of their creation would not be passed on to their children; every heir, including each of us today, is born with sin in their nature.
. The independence we admire in ourselves, as we follow our chosen design for life, so often isolates and separates our hearts from God. In the Bible, God gives us countless examples of the far-reaching damage of sins we consider insignificant, … Those pebbles compound into mountains. David chose laziness over leading his army (2 Samuel 11). In his idleness, he chose to lust, which led to adultery. Rather than repent, his kept his guilt, which led him to commit murder. His influence on his family led to tragedy and ultimately influenced the wisest man in the world (Solomon) to crumble with pride and self-centeredness, leading to the annihilation of a nation (2 Kings 11). We … admire, moments of seemingly small, outward impact as independence. God sees the effects of the ripples of pride, which can take down nations, turn the hearts of millions to stone, and distance us from the freedom to which the Holy Spirit invites us.
Our Creator continually warns us against this independence …. These are Satan’s bridges, leading to drop-offs, rather than heaven. Just as he tempted Eve in her curiosity and Adam in his silent rebellion, Satan tempts us with the idea of being good through our own self-effort, rather than surrender to the truth that we cannot. We do not have the capacity to be perfect. The temptation of relying on our own efforts blurs our vision of the unlimited, unconditional truth of God’s love and rescue of us through our surrender to Him. Fueled by that amazing love, the Trinity created and fulfilled the entire rescue mission required to cover our inability to be right with God. He poured out Jesus’s blood to give us the righteousness we could never otherwise attain. Jesus bridged that treacherous, eternal drop-off of separation with his broken body to provide a complete path. God stands not at the other end, but at the beginning of that precious bridge, with His arms open to receive and carry us into His eternal peace.
God implores us with sixty-six love letters to receive that love. He calls us to live in uncommon peace, security, and intimacy, even while surrounded by the brokenness of this life, and to live in joy and fellowship in eternity with Him in the next life.
As Larry Crabb conveys in 66 Love Letters:[i]
“When you finish reading my first love letter to you, I want you to realize that I never underestimated how thoroughly you’d mess up your life or how painfully you would struggle and suffer, and I don’t want you to underestimate your failures or struggles either. They’re all part of the story I’m telling. But neither have I underestimated my determination or ability to enter both the mess you’ve made and the pain you feel, then turn everything around. I can and I will make everything good again. Never underestimate me.” Love, Jesus.
[i] Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters: A Conversation with God That Invites You into His Story (Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson, 2010): 5.