Friday, November 4, 2011

Where Our Real Hope Lies?

“Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.” – 2 Samuel 12:10
David was called a man after God’s own heart. God was with him when he killed wild beasts that threatened his sheeps. God was with him when he killed the giant Goliath in the Valley of Elah. God was with him when he succeeded King Saul as the second king of the Jews. God was with him in every victory in the battlefields. God made him powerful, rich and famous. Not only that, from his lineage came the Messiah which forever engraved his name in the history of the salvation of man. Clearly, David had a very special place in God's heart.
Yet despite his special relationship with God, David faltered. He committed not one but two grave sins in succession. First was adultery. Then murder.

When I reflected on the fall of David two questions immediately came to my mind. Why David hit rock bottom? If a man with such special relationship with God faltered then what hope there is for us lesser mortals?
Let me ruminate on my first question. Despite David’s superhuman accomplishments he was still human; he experienced sensations, desires and urges – hunger, thirst, sex, etc. – like the rest of us. Though these are God’s built-in mechanisms to sustain our human body, and the humanity in general, these also become the Enemy’s favorite entry points for his attacks on us. His goal is to get us addicted to certain sensation, desire and urge and go overboard like David.
David was vulnerable to sexual sensation and urge. Evidence of this was his habit of keeping a number of concubines aside from his wife. This was not too bad in David’s time since he was king. But he went a little further and crossed God’s line by committing adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite. Then his selfish desire to keep Bathsheba only to himself led him to plot murder against Uriah. He abused his God-given power as king over Israel and committed grave sins. He hit rock bottom.
This leads me to believe that for us Christians to be able to love and serve God effectively, we should be the master our body, not the other way around. We should strive at every moment to live a lifestyle of doing what is right even when it’s difficult, uncomfortable, painful and scary. Serving God without self-control is like trying to swim with no legs and arms. You get nowhere, and have no real growth.
This lead me to the second question, "Is there hope for the rest of us who lesser than David?"
Yes, there is. God forgave David and restored him though the consequences of his sins weren’t lifted from his shoulder. Like David God loves us that He gave us His only son so that whoever believes in Him shall live and not die.
Jesus came with a message of hope and love. He came to save, and not to condemn. In fact, our salvation was already signed by Him with His own precious blood. It’s a done deal!
But in order for us to avail of the salvation offered by Jesus we need to (1) Sincerely repent of our sins and confess, (2) Believe in Him, and (3) Follow His teachings and commandments. No one can be saved by being a Lone Ranger; many of us don’t even realize how desperately we need Christ in our life.
In retrospect, I never got healed from my addiction to pornography when I fought it with sheer will power no matter how hard and long I tried. The saying “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” was so real to me during those dark times. My breakthrough came when in my despair God spoke to my heart that I cannot do it alone. Then the process of healing started when I acknowledged this truth.
(By the time I asked God’s forgiveness I was crying bitterly out of shame. When all my tears of sorrow ran out a strong urge got hold of me – the urge to proclaim, “I love you Jesus.” I kept saying this over and over again because it felt so good. And I cried again a lot, but it was already tears of joy.)
Trying to attain salvation on your own by doing good to look good before God is a ‘subtle’ recipe for disaster since no one can do, say, or think 100% good all the time. Sooner or later your spirit weakens and falters to the many traps that the Enemy laid ahead of us. To make matter worse, God's legalistic standard is so steep and strict that it is written, “…the wages of SIN (even only one) is death...” Trying to attain salvation by our own good works is simply not sustainable. In the end we will only end up bruised and frustrated.
When all is said and done, it turns out that our real hope lies in our love for Jesus. (He said, “No one comes to the Father except through me…”) In doing so, instead of finding yourself naked and trembling alone – being your own lawyer – before GOD the FATHER and the other heavenly beings in the Courtroom of God, you will find yourself standing behind Jesus when you hear Him say the sweetest words you will ever hear in your entire life, “Father, he is with me.”

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