recently i read a book called “prodigal God” by tim keller. honestly, as i picked it up, i wasn’t too thrilled about reading yet another account of the prodigal son. but as i read, i was wrecked and encouraged and challenged.
at one point, tim shares a story where a woman came to him after a sermon. she was thankful for the teaching of the gospel. she had never heard it preached like that. she marveled at the gospel and said that it was scary. when he asked her what she meant, she said something like this…
if i was saved by my good works – then there would be a limit to what God could ask of me or put me through. i would be like a taxpayer with rights. i would have done my duty and now i would deserve a certain quality of life. but if it is really true that i am a sinner saved by sheer grace – at God’s infinite cost – then there’s nothing He cannot ask of me.
it shook me. at the core of my being, there in lies the wrestle of my heart. there isn’t anything He can’t ask of me. and the most amazing thing is that He isn’t asking for anything that He Himself didn’t set the standard in. He asks for my life, He gave His. He asks for my heart, His was all in. He asks for holiness and obedience, He was perfectly holy and obedient, even unto death.
then as i listen to a sermon by Josh this morning in preparation for my preaching cohort, he again reminds me that my life is not my own. my life is not my own. i am not living for myself as a daughter of the Most High. i am purchased by the blood of Jesus, called to give my life to give Him glory.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers,by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. romans 12:1-2
and it is there i can choose God. i can choose to believe that His hope, and His alone, will not disappoint. it is in Him that i can hope, though He slay me, as job says.
it would be so much easier to just go home and not have to worry about home foreclosures and divorces of those whom you love and loneliness and the brokenness of the world. but there would also be no opportunity for God to be glorified. there wouldn’t be a place for Him to say, remember when the world caved in around you and I came through, I lifted you from the pit.
today is the day that the Lord has made, i WILL rejoice and be glad in it. psalm 118:24