Wednesday, April 09, 2014

But it looks good

So we have this interesting juxtaposition; an Asa whose commitment to God was absolute even though his obedience fell short of all that it might have been, and an Amaziah whose performance was as upright as anyone could expect, even God, but who never finally yielded the control center of himself to God. What does such a juxtaposition say about God’s will and the possibilities for human life? Surely it says that what God wants above all—and what it is possible for us humans to give—is a life which is totally given over to him. This is the heart of the covenant. This is a life that exists for one purpose: the service and glory of God. An inescapable component of such a perfect heart is obedience. It could not be otherwise. But God does not want obedience. He wants obedience which is the natural outflow of a heart totally given over to him. If that obedience is not all that it might be in other circumstances, or in other persons, he is willing to work with that fact. What he does not want is obedience which is offered in place of a perfect heart. Such obedience then becomes a means of attempted self-justification, a fruitless enterprise. — Called to be Holy, pages 60-61

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And that, my friends, is the heart of Christian holiness. It all flows from a heart that is yielded to God. The performance will follow if the heart and will are in the right spot. Holiness of heart, not performance-based, rule-bound holiness. As Oswalt says, "Such obedience then becomes a means of attempted self-justification, a fruitless enterprise." Always has been, always will be.
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