How Are You {Really} Doing? Part II

Well, it was certainly not my plan to delay the writing of this post so long, but I have had a cup overflowing with activity and excitement this past week or so. A whirlwind of packing, moving, unpacking, cleaning, mothering, graduations, weddings, celebrations, and needling (something Daniel’s family does for a living, which is complicated to explain) has completely consumed my time and energy, though in an enjoyable way. However, I have not been able to write a follow up to my previous post, which I have been burdened about doing ever since I clicked “publish.”
So if you have not read the previous post what I am about to write might not mean as much to you. If you don’t have time for that however, I’ll give a short re-cap.
My main desire is that the posts on this blog will be a transparent record of my daily life, the ups and downs, the good, the bad, and the ugly. The purpose for a candid account is so that God can be most glorified in the whole of His work in me. I struggle with wanting people to only see the “good”, and not the “bad”, and never the “ugly.” It’s all part of the process of becoming like Christ however, and He is made to be seen as strong through our weakness. The blog, therefore, will focus on relating how God is sharpening my vision to see as He sees.
The reason for my burden to write a follow up to my last entry is because I feel I left out some very needed encouragement to those that might empathize with my weaknesses.
So yes, I am a weak individual, full of pride and fear. There is much I shudder to think people may discover about me because of how it might lessen their opinion of me. I struggle with wanting to always appear as if I have it all together; and  because of my failures, I tend to fear that I have never really obtained the true fullness of what Christ has to offer. This fear is “unreasonable” (as Henry Scougal puts it) however. I’m finding more and more that most all fear is such because it tends to look within instead of looking to the cross, to Christ. Of course I will fear these things if I focus on myself! I’m a failure, and there is no good in me (Romans 7:18). But if I look to Christ, I am filled with hope and thrilled with joy at the reassurance viewing Him and His character brings.
God is teaching me that my fear of being “discovered” as a sinner and my fear of not truly possessing the divine life is unreasonable because of Who He is. Following the paragraph I quoted from Henry Scougal’s writing in the previous post, is his explanation of why such fear is unreasonable. He does an incredible job of pointing his readers to the sufficiency of Christ in all matters. I would quote the entire four pages of his plea for his friend to rest in the knowledge of his God, but it is rather lengthy. Please slowly read and digest this paragraph though:
“He [God the Father] has committed the care of our souls to the eternal Son of His love. It is He who is the Captain of our salvation; and what enemies can be too strong for us when we are fighting under His banner? Did not the Son of God come down from the bosom of His Father, and pitch His tabernacle among the sons of men, so that He might recover and propagate the divine life and restore the image of God in their souls? All the mighty works which He performed, had this for their scope and design; for this He labored and toiled; for this He bled and died. Has He wrought no deliverance in the earth? Shall He not see the travail of His soul? Certainly it is impossible that this great contrivance of heaven should prove abortive, that such a mighty undertaking should fail and miscarry. It has already been effectual for the salvation of many thousands, who were once as far from the kingdom of heaven as we can suppose ourselves to be. And, our High Priest ‘liveth forever, and is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him’ (Hebrews 7:25).”
My fear is unreasonable because of the fact that it is Christ that has secured my place in heaven, not me. It is His righteousness that God the Father sees when He looks at me, not my poor attempts at goodness. I don’t have to worry if others know that I don’t have it all together because their opinion of me doesn’t change anything. God is my judge, and Christ is my advocate. I can’t lose! When others see my failures, may they see Christ. Because He is using this piece of clay to accomplish His design in the earth.
Just because it is His work doesn’t mean that I sit back and watch it happen though. God gives the fruit to the farmer, but he still has to till, plant, water, and harvest to get it. God is sovereign in my life, but I am responsible as well. He has promised me power over sin and eternal life, among many other things, but I don’t see the fulfillment of that promise until I claim it. Philippians 2:12,13 says “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” God has worked the divine life into our souls and it is our responsibility, through the help of the Holy Spirit, to work it out in our daily life.
I want to call you as King David did to “Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he has done for my soul (Psalm 66:16).” God is teaching me to see Himself as He sees Himself, powerful and mighty to save. 
Advertisements

4 comments

  1. Hi Susanna! You don't know me, but I wanted to say thank you for writing. My husband is friends with you on facebook, and I think you might be related by marriage to a really good family friend (I'm not totally sure on that though.) Anyway, I was really excited to find your blog last week. It is super encouraging to find someone who is willing to write about a lot of the things that I find myself struggling with every day. I really appreciate your honesty and candidness. I'm excited to follow along your blog and continue to see what God is teaching. I really just want to let you know how God is using you to encourage me, and that as uncomfortable as it may be to write about the things you don't like, it has been exciting for me to see a godly young lady only a couple of years ahead of where I am right now write what God is doing in and for her. As I was reading your post tonight, it reminded me of a passage in Colossians that I read over and over last summer when I was in Africa and distraught over my own selfishness and sin. It says, "And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to PRESENT YOU HOLY AND BLAMELESS AND ABOVE REPROACH before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven." It was a reality check for me to realize that all that Christ endured, He endured for the purpose of presenting me perfect to God. As much as I want to wallow in self-pity for my own sin and attempt to do some kind of penance for what I've done, that only cheapens the sacrifice Christ made for me. I must learn to be dependent on His FINISHED work and praise God for what He has done in me. I am still sinful and selfish, but not in Christ. In Christ, I am holy and blameless and above reproach, and He wants me to continue living that way. He wants me to continuing glorying in the Gospel and standing strong in my faith. It is so easy to let my gaze slip from what I ought to be doing – get distracted by things or people – but what is really important is that I am living for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and working to accomplish the goal of making God great here on earth. Sorry this has gotten long, but I do want to just let you know how encouraging it was for me to read your blog. Thanks for being an instrument for Him in helping me along the way of my own journey to Christ-likeness. I'm excited to keep reading!!

  2. Thank you so much for your encouragement. This is exactly one of the reasons I want to write these things down. I am thrilled that God showed you more of Himself through my writing. That's my heartbeat, and I can't tell you how much what you wrote meant to me. You have quite a remarkable blog yourself. 🙂 I hope to keep up with it. What family friend are you talking about? Anyway, thank you so much for commenting, and for the Biblical encouragement you gave me as well. I am so refreshed!

  3. Thanks Susanna! Matthew Tuttle . . . I think he just married Rachel Hindman . . . but I'm not sure if that is the same family or not . . . ?

  4. Yes, Rachel is my husband's sister. Matt's great. They actually married 2 or 3 weeks after Daniel and I did 🙂

So whatcha thinkin'?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: