As Christians we can experience pressure to strive for perfection. Sometimes it is due to how we were raised; sometimes it is mis-placed zeal to please or be more pleasing to our King! Of course, the truth is God does not expect perfection from us. If perfection – consistent, never-failing obedience to exactly what He asks of us – were possible, there would have been no need for Jesus. We are asked to seek to be perfect, not to stress about it!
2 Corinthians 3 and 4 supply a beautiful picture of this by illustrating how God created the relationship between Him and us to be and why:
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit….5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (2 Cor. 3:17-18, 2 Cor. 4:5-7 NIV)
This passage helps us understand: yes, God uses us as He used Jesus. Through us He desires to reveal Himself to the world. His Spirit dwells within us as believers and thus we become the lamp which carries and shines forth the Light of the World, Who is Truth.
And yet, God describes those of us in whom He puts His Light as jars of clay. Consider the concept of a jar made of clay which was formed to shine forth light. Initially it seems an oxymoron – like an impossible opposite. Any useful clay pot is unable to shine forth light which is placed inside it because the pot is made to hold in that which it contains perfectly and hidden from view. Clay is not see-through! But in His infinite wisdom views usefulness differently.
Clay is a good analogy for how God made us. Clay is fragile and breakable. By the world’s standards, a jar made from clay which is imperfect is a complete disappointment and unsuitable for use; it is destined to be dashed into the junk heap in so many useless shards. Yet, it is only through the clay pot which is flawed (and each of us are!), that Light can shine. God delights to shine His perfect Light through our “cracks”! So God shines through cracked pots!!! (LOL, NOT necessarily “crackpots”)
The reason, God chooses to shine through our imperfections is as 2 Cor 4:7 states: so people will see God and not us. If we were perfect, how would they see God at work in our lives and desire Him for themselves?
How blessed are we that God loves us infinitely as we are! How blessed are we that God’s focus is the heart! How blessed are we that forgiveness is ever-ready for us whenever we turn and ask, and that He forgives, then forgets forever. How blessed are we to be used by the King as His chosen ambassadors in our imperfection, even as we strive to reflect Him more for His glory.
Selah! (Pause and calmly think of that!) END
UPCOMING DEVOTION: TENDING KINGDOM FINANCIAL CROPS
Remember to view the new song, “One Nation Under God” on youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d593RguxQI8&feature=share Share the link! Let’s let everyone know that the USA is and remains one nation under God and be encouraged in how God values every individual.
For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.