Positive Faith Goes to Court

 All Rise!                             

Has God ever summoned you to court? Not to condemn you, but to set you free? In Isaiah 1:18, the Lord says “Come now, let us reason together.” In this passage, the word reason is a courtroom term. How does God reason with His people? He holds court with us.

As we approach the bench, we’re told He is the judge, the jury, and the prosecutor. Positive faith also recognizes Him as our personal advocate, as well as our benevolent deliverer.

His kind face and gentle voice set us at ease. We stand before Him unafraid because we trust His judgment. As the  jury, He considers our offense and listens to our confession. As our deliverer, He reminds us of the cross and the price He paid for the penalty we deserve—death. As our advocate, He promises a myriad of blessings to the obedient. As prosecutor, He issues a warning of the consequences of disobedience. As judge, His closing remarks lay claim to His authority and the validity of His Word.

Recently, my session with God went something like this:

God: “Elizabeth . . .” (Most people call me Liz. I envision God calling me Elizabeth, as my mother always did.) “Elizabeth, you have a  problem.”

Me: “But, God, haven’t I given my all to you?  Haven’t I kept short accounts with you, confessing my sins as I become aware of them? Have I not been walking in the fullness of your Spirit, as obediently as I know how?”

God: “I know you love me and have given yourself to me without reservation. However, have you not seen the residue that has accumulated in your heart?”

(I think about that for a moment and then answer with more questions.)

Me: “Lord, is that why fear and doubt sometimes bombard my thoughts like stubborn intruders, determined to take up residence where they don’t belong?  Is it residue that steals a corner of my peace and robs me of the potential you have for me?”

God: “You decide if it is. I’m pleased you’ve finally come to the realization that your negative thinking has held you back. But you know in your heart, don’t you, that something is still not quite right?  Your positive faith is still very fragile, isn’t it?”

Me: “Yes, it is. At any moment, without warning, my positive faith flies right out the window of my heart. And when this happens, I’m consumed with doubt. And then I feel . . . well . . . deceptive. I’m embarrassed to admit this. I sometimes question if what I write is destined for the useless ramblings dump. Tell me please, what causes this relapse of faith?”

God: “It’s residue. You must cut away the residue in your heart.”

Me: “Whoa, hold on a minute?  Are you telling me I have to hold the knife?  No, a thousand times no!  I can’t do that. You’re the Surgeon. I don’t want to inflict pain on myself!”

God: “Do you want to be whole? Do you want to experience my peace in a new and wonderful way? Do you want to wholeheartedly pursue my perfect will for you?”

Me: “I do. I really do.”

God: “Then, you must identify and get rid of the residue. I’ll guide your hands and protect your heart, but you must be the one to hold the knife. It’s the only way. Besides, what you perceive as pain is actually your prescription for freedom.”

Me: “I’ll do it. Not because I want to, but because I want the results. By the way, what causes residue?”

God: “Blind spots.”

Me: “Blind spots?  What blind spots?”

God: “My point, exactly!  As I said in I John 1:9, any time you confess your sins, I cleanse you from all unrighteousness. But sometimes there’s residue in your life that robs you of the freedom to be all you can be.”

Me: “But what is the residue? How can I get rid of it if I don’t know what it is?”

God: “If you’re willing, you’ll know in due time. First, consider this. When you became a Christian years ago, what if I had dumped every single sin you would commit in the future on you at that moment in time? You would have been devastated beyond repair. Remember that first day at the women’s Bible study when you asked me to be the Lord of your life?  My goodness, you cried for the first three weeks over the sins I showed you then. Do you think you could have handled all I’ve revealed to you since?”

Me: “I think I understand. I couldn’t handle the weight of all those sins, so you took the burden on yourself.  When you went to the cross you took with you all my sins—past, present, and future. But you didn’t reveal them to me all at once. You wanted me to walk closely enough to you that I would see and deal with my sins moment by moment, along the way.”

God: “That’s right. The residue is whatever is left in your life that you’ve yet to deal with for one reason or another. Perhaps you’ve rationalized, ignored, or stuffed the problem. Or, perhaps I haven’t chosen yet to reveal it to you. Whether it’s your doing or mine isn’t the issue. The point is: My mercy is always available (Lamentations 3:22-23). If you trust me, my grace will enlighten you, cleanse you, and rejuvenate your spirit. (II Corinthians 12:9). But you must be willing.  Are you ready for me to do that?”    

Me: “Yes, Lord, I am.”

God: “Then sharpen the knife! You may not believe it, but this has hurt me more than it will hurt you. So, let’s get on with it, so we can get to the good part, the results.”

When I think of how many years it has taken for God to get my attention on certain things, I’m overwhelmed with appreciation for His patience in my life. How He must have ached for me to be rid of the idols (such as food and laziness) I’ve collected over the years. At any moment in time, I still make choices to put my selfish desires ahead of my love for God and others. And yet, in spite of all that—He continues to love me and draw me to Himself. That’s astounding!

A few words from the Judge: “Come now, let us reason together. Take heed. Learn from the mistakes of the defendant. You may join me in my chambers any time. I promise to set you free.”

Court adjourned!   

                                                

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Comments
4 Responses to “Positive Faith Goes to Court”
  1. Sandy Aasen says:

    That’s a really good devotion. Makes me think!!!

  2. Millie says:

    Great stuff, Mom!! I love when you let us in on your conversations with the Lord!!!

  3. harriett salley says:

    You get better and better!!! Love and many thanks for the time you spendfor and with us!!! Harriett

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