God is Stronger
09/21/19 08:30 PM Filed in: Christian Living
Is there any hope for the human race? This is a question that has been plaguing me as of late. One only has to be in the world for a few moments to realize how human beings are so sinful, depraved, twisted, evil and selfish. Now Nathaniel you might say, that seems a bit harsh to people in general, doesn’t it?
Yeah, I agree with you, it might sound harsh, but it is true. For this isn’t my diagnosis, but rather God’s.
One only has to read Romans 3 and one will see very clearly God’s assessments of the human race.
“There is no one righteous; no, not one. There is no one who understands. There is no one who seeks after God. They have all turned away. They have together become unprofitable. There is no one who does good, no, not so much as one.
Their throat is an open tomb. With their tongues they have used deceit. The poison of vipers is under their lips. Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways. The way of peace, they haven’t known.
There is no fear of God before their eyes.” - Romans 3:10b-18
That is God’s assessment of humanity and He is spot on.
As people, we like to deceive ourselves into thinking we are good.
Yet Scripture is extremely and explicitly clear, Romans 3 is our condition, period, no exceptions or exemptions. Apart from Jesus, we are wretched, miserable and vilely sinful. We all have fallen short of God’s glory. (Romans 3:23)
So back to my original statement, human beings are sinful, depraved, twisted, evil and selfish.
It has been rather painful this past year to see this played out in the lives of many.
The closer I draw to the Lord, the more serious I take sin. As I take sin more seriously, I begin to see more clearly how sinful is mankind. It is truly shocking and sobering.
From those who live pagan lifestyles, sinfully indulging themselves in the appetites of the flesh to the legalistic, modern-day Pharisees who serve the gods of self and pride, the depravity of man knows no depths.
Truly, we are utter fools as human beings. The Lord has given us His Word to show us the best way to live. Truly, IT IS THE BEST way to live, for to live any other way is bondage.
Yet, what do we so often do? “Thanks Lord, but I’m not interested. I think I’ll do things my own way.” “Lord, I noticed You left a few things out in Your Word. Let me help fill in some blanks and add some additional rules that You forget.”
We reject God’s perfect and right way to follow our own. Our pride takes us down many paths of destruction, while God Almighty has already paved a safe and secure road for us to follow.
As I see and observe so many in bondage around me, my heart cries out, “IS THERE ANY HOPE?!?!?!”
I fall to my knees, my heart wrenched and torn. Another day of seeing the wretched conditions of so many, I can’t handle it any more.
These are the moments when warriors weep. Moments when the pain of the battlefield has overwhelmed one, moments when we feel darkness has won, moments when the gaps of our land are no longer repaired and none seem willing to stand in that gap.
Yes, these are the moments that try the heart of knight and lady alike, young and old, men and women, boys and girls. It matters not your age, when you see the darkness that covers our land, you cannot help but carry a heavy and burdened heart.
When you see vain illusions covering the land and many chasing fantasies rather than the King, your heart becomes weary.
Alas, these battles don’t simply come from the outside. The wretchedness of this war we are in extends to the chambers of those who profess to be fighting for the King.
Many false warriors and wolves disguised as sheep stand among us. Oh, what havoc they cause among our ranks! Alas, how many they lead astray and deceive!
Oh, how my heart breaks when a warrior of the King folds and caves to the pressures of the enemy. Oh, how my soul cries out in pain when the armies of the King are focused on trivial matters rather than the gospel! Oh, how my heart aches with sorrow when we are busy arguing about the color the castle is to be painted in, or the instruments the minstrels are to be using, or the style of our garments or how perfect our forces have to be!
How disheartening it is to see people who profess the King unwilling to be trained with the Sword of the Word! How saddening it is when the Sword of the King is used as a bludgeon on men, women and children rather than a deadly weapon against the forces of our dark enemy! Oh, when will we forget about our estates, our fields, our comfort, our preferences and opinions? When will we take up the arms of our King and fight the war He has called us to be embarked upon?
Are we calloused to the dying cries of men, women and children in bondage all around us!?
I repeat my earlier question into the falling dusk, “Is there any hope for the human race?” A gentle hand is laid upon my shoulder. “Yes, there is.” The voice is strong and certain.
I turn my head to see the Son of the King. He reaches out a hand to help me stand. I reach out to take it, but then pause, my attention drawn to the scar on the wrist of my Lord. My eyes fill with tears, this time they are tears of gratefulness for my Savior. “You are the hope.” I whisper. “You are hope.”
The Son of the King gently squeezes my shoulder, His hand still held out.
I take it and He effortlessly lifts me to my feet.
“Walk with Me.” He says and I willingly follow.
He leads me to a rocky hill, which we traverse together.
We reach the top, I a bit winded, the Son of the King, well, He’s the Son of the King.
We walk to a rocky ledge that overlooks the rolling landscape of the kingdom below us. From this height and in the fading light of dusk, everything almost looks right in the kingdom.
I turn my head and look at the Son of the King, as He takes in the view of the kingdom. He begins to speak. “Yes, this land is dark. Yes, I understand Your pain as you see the effects of sin on humanity Yet Nathaniel, I am stronger, I am greater. I am more powerful and My light is brighter than the darkest night.” He turns to face me. “Do not forget this, My warrior. I am working.” He pauses, allowing me to ponder this for a few moments.
“My Lord, I know this,” I say, “but there are so many and I don’t…” The Son of the King holds up His hand. “That is why I have called You to be a warrior of the King in My power, not yours. Yes, you are unable, I am able. Yes, you are weak, but I am strong.”
I sigh deeply, encouraged by the reminder of His strength and power. “My Lord, so many are blinded, I don’t know what to do.” “Call out to Me.” His rich voice resonates.
“My Lord, I can’t open their eyes!” I protest further. “I can,” He responds, “and that is My job, not yours. Simply be faithful in proclaiming my truth.”
“So many seem unredeemable and unable to be saved.” I complain further. “No one is beyond My reach. No one.” His rich voice radiates with firm confidence.
“No one?” My question is whispered, as my voice quivers, my heart heavy for the many lost I know. He turns His brilliant eyes to meet mine. “No one.” He states emphatically once again.
I look down, my eyes filling with tears.
The Son of the King places His hand on my shoulder once more. “Keep your eyes on Me. The battle is Mine to fight, you stand in My strength.”
I nod slowly, once again reminded how quick I am to make this life about me and my strength, when it has always been about Him.
The Son of the King turns His head and looks over the panorama of the kingdom once more.
I lift my head, intently watching my Lord. There is no mistaking the love in His gaze as He looks down on the villages below.
A single tear rolls down His cheek. “I love the people of this kingdom.” He whispers, His voice full of kingly love and tender care.
I bow my head, moved by the heart of my Lord.
“Oh, that they would find their all in all in Me.” He whispers, another tear joining the first.
He turns and locks eyes with me. “I haven’t given up on them.” He tightens His grip on my shoulder. “Don’t you give up on them either.” He says gently.
His face cracks into a smile. “I didn’t give up on you for one, stubborn as you were and still can be.” I smile back. “Aye, that You didn’t and haven’t now either.”
We both laugh as the joy of my Lord fills my heart once again.
The Son of the King smiles at me once more and says, “Keep pressing on, I am working, even in times like these. My plans will not be thwarted and there are many more who need to hear the truth. Keep being faithful My warrior.”
“Yes my Lord.” I state fervently. “In Your strength I shall press on.”
He nods, “Remember, I am always with you.” He releases His firm grip on my shoulder and turns to descend the hill. I watch Him go, rejuvenated by His presence and comfort.
I turn once more, to observe the kingdom below me. The stars are out now, bathing the land in a soft glow.
Yes, the kingdom is dark, but our King is greater.
No matter how deep the darkness, His light can pierce through the night.
Yes, mankind is depraved on our own. Yet, that is why Jesus was sent, to save those who repent of their sins and to make us new creations. He has filled us with His light and calls us to be the salt and the light in this world.
Romans 3 is a painfully hard description of the human race to swallow, but the beauty of what follows is wonderful to behold.
Verses 24-26 continue - “and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—He did it to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
Praise be to God Almighty! His grace is greater than our sin and His salvation is total and complete! Praise God that though I was once lost in the darkest night, Jesus saved me and now, I am a forgiven saint, dressed in His righteousness alone.
Now, I have the esteemed privilege and blessing of allowing His light to shine through me, pointing those in darkness back to the Savior, the only one who can take their darkness and turn it into light.
So onward may we press on, our God is greater and there are lives still in need of His truth!
To God alone be the glory!