Sep 13, 2006

Romans 9:16: So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.

This past weekend marked the biggest feat of my life: I RAN 21 MILES.

Despite the fact that I walked around like a drunk for the rest of the day (mind you, I was not actually drunk), I felt marvelous. What an accomplishment! What a feat! I was so proud of myself!! I called and told everyone I knew what I had done!

Then it happened. No matter how huge of an accomplishment it was, I forgot that it was God who brought me through it. I found myself getting very cocky and very...well...arrogant. *sigh*

Time and time again, over and over and over again, I fail to recognize that all that I am and all that I have and all that I have done is completely a gift from God. It astounds me how easily I forget that! How can I call myself a Christian? I mean, when I am brutally honest with myself, I see me: Samantha: the worldly, arrogant jerk who enjoys flaunting herself more than glorifying God.

Ouch. That really hurts to say it outloud. Am I alone in this? How much refining will it take? What will I have to loose in order to be genuinely thankful? Because all that I am and all that I do seems to be all that Jesus commands me not to do! It's so frustrating! I feel ashamed even coming to God when I realize these things. The filth is so heavy on my heart, that I cannot comprehend Him forgiving me.

Our Pastor gave one of the best sermons this Sunday. He spoke about how he was in New York with his wife and about how much fun they had. They went dancing, got free lodging, went out for dinner...but they spent little time with God. He said he found himself not wanting to even think about God. And when he got home, he felt so ashamed of himself that he thought himself unworthy to even pray.

But....are we ever actually worthy enough to come to God? The times when our routine is distracted and we don't get to have that "personal worship time" or "1-hour-a-night" bible time, does that make us "unworthy" or is it that we are always "unworthy"? hmmm?

His message hit home. I am never worthy enough to come to God. The only reason I even came to God was because He called me to Himself first! The only reason I love is because He loved me first! The only reason I can approach Him is because of His Son's sacrifice. So the days when I do my "Christian" things make me no more worthy than the days I forget or seem to sin more.

I am not trying to say "stop trying" or anything like that, we are alive only through Him and it is because HE is worthy and because HE is perfect that we are made right. And even still, the merit due to us is ZERO. ZIPPO. ZILCH!

Oh how dark our hearts are, yet how marvelous His grace is to save us.


Anonymous said...

That's so true. It is hard to remember that it is ALL God. Paul expressed nearly if not exactly the same thing you expressed in that post in Romans 7. Read verses 14-22, we indeed must depend entirely on God because we are nothing without Him.

Stan said...

21 miles? I mean, is it really worth it? Impressive, sure, but ...

I mean, I wouldn't be arrogant if I flogged myself today more than anyone else. I'd just be stupid.

Okay, so this is all coming from someone who doesn't "get" running. Truthfully, I'm impressed.

One little note. The verse says "man who runs", not "God who runs for man". While He indeed gives us all we have and we indeed rely on Him to even exist, even He will tell His beloved children "Well done, good and faithful servant."