Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? When looking for that lost spiritual tool starts out with an innocent notion that I really DID have that tool at my grasp but simply set it aside for a moment, how quickly that changes to a lie when the tool is not to be easily found.
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
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I am in the habit of putting things half away. All of my tools have a home on my workbench, in the garage, in a drawer of my red toolbox sitting on my workbench. When I need a tool I’ll go to the toolbox and retrieve it; that is unless I didn’t put it there the last time I used it. I’m in the habit of advancing on the workbench and replacing tools in the area of the red toolbox, halfway there. However, the next time I need the tool I go to the toolbox to seek it anyway, because it’s where it should be. When I find it’s gone, I begin searching and that’s when my wife Holly says, “If you put it away, you would know where it is when you needed it.” In my mind I rationalize by reassuring myself that I DID put it away, halfway away. Unfortunately things get moved when they are just laying around, and are then harder to find than when they’re in the toolbox. My innocent ignorance rationalizes that I really did put that tool where it belonged–halfway, but upon examination I was lying to myself. Halfway isn’t away. My innocence has become my refuge, a dishonest one at best.
Looking for that lost tool starts out with an innocent notion that I really DO put things away adequately. Quickly that changes to a lie when the tool is not to be easily found. So it is with the evil we often think we put away and don’t.
Oswald Chambers writes. “We begin by trusting our ignorance and calling it innocence, and by trusting our innocence and calling it purity. And when we hear these rugged statements of our Lord’s (Matthew 15:18), we shrink and say: ‘But I never felt any of those awful things in my heart.’ Either Jesus Christ is the supreme authority on the human heart or He is not worth paying attention to. Am I prepared to trust His judgment or do I prefer to trust my innocent ignorance? As long as I remain under the refuge of innocence, I am living in a fool’s paradise. . . . Purity is too deep down for me to get to naturally; but when the Holy Spirit comes in, He brings into the center of my life the very Spirit that was manifested in the life of Jesus Christ–the Holy Spirit, who is unsullied purity.” (My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers.)
In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount he makes this rather startling claim: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immortality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matthew 5:19). Is he talking about your heart and mine? I’ve never murdered anyone. For that matter thievery, slander? I’ve been faithful to my spouse? It’s natural for you and I to think these words are aimed at others and not us, just like it was natural to me to believe that I really had put my tools away, even if in a place they didn’t belong. I was living in a fool’s paradise, as I was guilty of a complete failure to put my tools away. In like manner you and I are equally guilty of these heinous sins; all it takes is a thought. When we hide in rationalizations, as I often do with my tools, our lot is one of wasting time trying to rationalize behavior rather than accepting the condemnation, the forgiveness and endeavoring to put things straight spiritually. There is only one way to do that, and it is by receiving the correction of the one who can lead you to finding what you need. For my tools it’s Holly’s correction, for my spirit it’s the Holy Spirit of God. Trusting in our guilt and not our innocence puts us where we need to be.
We pray. Thank you Lord for exposing our sin to us by your Holy Spirit. We like to think, Lord, that we aren’t as bad as the next guy and that you should cut us some slack. But, then you remind us of your Word and our unfaithfulness, and our innocence quickly is revealed for the lie it is. Forgive us Father when we try to think that we are better than we really are. May be never hide in our innocence when we ought to trust in our guilt. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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