Saturday, October 25, 2014

The arm of flesh

Stand up, stand up for Jesus
  Stand in His strength alone - 
The arm of flesh will fail you, 
  Ye dare not trust your own ...

We have sung about the strength of God until we are blue in the face. We have said with our mouths that we do not trust "the arm of flesh." That we don't trust in our own strength, but in His. 

Until ... until we turn around and we're presented with an opportunity to trust in our own abilities ... or in God's. And what do we do? "Oh well, I'll take it from here, God. Yeah, I got this covered. No, I'll just call You in for the hard stuff." 

Hmm. Really. 

Yeah we believe in spiritual warfare, pulling down unseen strongholds. But what do we do when we feel threatened by something in our society? we write our member of parliament, of course. And we don't even see that what we are doing is depending on "the arm of flesh." It's the WORLD's way of doing business. Squawk, make a fuss, stand up for your rights, sign a petition, join a march, carry a placard. Because after all, God is not able to change anything, right? 

Sure, we say we are all for people growing spiritually. And then when we are speaking or even sharing something on Facebook, we belittle them by saying, 'Can't I even get an Amen?' or 'you should have done ____ instead!' ... and making them feel guilty that their expression of spirituality is not spiritual enough, not what we're looking for, substandard. That kind of behavior is classic codependent manipulation, trying to make ourselves feel better by trying to control the behavior of others. I know ... because I have had it done to me. AND ... I've done it myself. Either way, it's not a nice feeling.

Photo "The Cross And The Hand"
courtesy of njaj at
And that's not counting all the little instances of everyday assumptions we make that are completely self-serving and self-centered. Things like buying into the world's mindset that we can change our own destinies, that we can do anything we set our minds to, that we are owed certain things and that it is up to US to change our world, to do do do until we drop drop drop. No, that's not the way it works. GOD can change our destinies, we can do all things (by the way that means that we can face being poor AND rich, check out the context in Philippians 4) through HIM, and we owe HIM our lives and our gratitude for all that HE has done to be in relationship with us, to impart His righteousness to us. It is up to GOD to change our world and the only part we play in that is just being enthralled with how wonderful HE is to have made it all possible. He will look after the results, one heart at a time. 

I've said it before. His yoke is easy. The arm of flesh WILL fail; it will fail because it is human. The everlasting Arms are inexhaustible. They will never fail. They alone can hold us up, help us stand, and fight our battles. 

Our only work, then, (and the more we realize how deep His love is for us, the less work it is) is to lean hard on those Arms... the ones that once were flesh so as to redeem our spirits once for all eternity. 

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