Posts Tagged ‘the truth about shortcomings’

Day Seventy-Two

Our Shortcomings Remain

“Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).”  Eph 2:5 Amp


            As we mature in Christ and His likeness, it is easy to believe we have left our natural shortcomings behind in the dust.  But it is the liability for these very shortcomings that keeps us humble and keeps us from spiritual pride and contempt for other believers and those not yet saved.

            It is not a pleasant thing – to see vividly our nature rear its ugly head, but what we must understand is that as we face these shortcomings with humility, and bring them to the Lord, then the very same grace from Christ Jesus that saved us is operative in the situation — and is available to bring us once again into fellowship and union with Christ.

            If I hide the truth that shortcomings still exist, if I contrive to hide them, push them down, or fail to recognize them, then I also fail in that moment to secure needed grace.  It will stand in the wings ready for my acknowledgement – but it will not fill me until I see my deficiency and bring it to Him in repentance and ask forgiveness.

            In this way – I remain a work in progress before Christ.  In spiritual places I am indeed perfect in Him.  But perfection must be worked out in me to where Christ is Lord over my flesh.  I must enforce His word over and in me to walk according to the Spirit, and in the light as He is in the light.  Without this recognition of continuing shortcomings – I become hardened, prideful, deceived and walking in contempt that others are not as far along as I.

            These, my shortcomings, are a blessing in disguise, as they keep me soft and pliable before the Lord.  They keep me ever in need of repenting, and ever in receipt of His active grace.  The danger is where I become hardened by pride, I am incapable of receiving His needed grace!

            Paul recounts this to us beautifully and poignantly in Philippians 3:12.  Concerning Paul’s own perfected state he explains:

                        “Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.”

            So what do we take away from this?  We recognize our shortcomings will never end as long as we are alive in this body of flesh.  But we additionally recognize that after I confess and repent of these, I have the Lord’s active grace operating in me to press on and overcome.  The goal is not to be fixated on our deficiencies – nor to be caught up in bewailing that we are not perfect.  But rather to lay hold of Him and His perfection because He is more than sufficient for me!  In this way, I lose sight of myself, and lay hold of Him. He increases and I decrease.

            The fact of my shortcomings is true for this age.  But they are dwarfed by the abiding reality of Christ in me the hope of glory – which is for this age and the age to come.  My face to face encounters are here to keep me humble, and to keep me open to His grace.  Many people, both believers and unbelievers may get the dubious pleasure of witnessing my shortcomings.  But hopefully they will also get to witness the overcoming life of Christ emerge out of the ashes of my collision with my flesh – if I will remain mindful that I live not to be exalted myself, but to lift up Christ in me.


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