Not So Violent

1024px-male_mooseIn my last two posts, I explored the idea that we all have stuff within us that is limited. Without an exchange of our limitation for the fullness of our promise, we are going to be stuck short of maximum capacity. We need some help if we are going to fully understand things in our scope, restrain ourselves from our own depraved desires, make it through times of trials and troubles and, ultimately, do the great and glorious things we are intended to do.

We can claim the fullness of our redeemed limitations only by receipt. It’s an active appropriation of the exchange, not a passive sitting back and hoping it gets better. It’s going to the Source for the redemption of our souls. The next question we naturally come to is, “yeah, but how do I do that?”

I saw the answer when I saw a mistake. It was a mistake that I had made myself and heard others make as well. There is a passage which is great for men’s ministry and often wrongly applied. Matthew 11:12 says “the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.”

Great passage to encourage men (or anyone) to take action and be doers of the Word. The problem is that’s not the entirety of the verse. The verse starts out with “From the days of John the Baptist until now . . . ”

John the Baptist was the last of the prophets that pointed people to the law. Jesus came to usher in the Kingdom by His grace, not our keeping of the law. The “now” was Jesus and continues to this day so the “from” ended with Jesus. In other words, we no longer have to violently take anything by force. It’s all afforded us by grace. Jesus will give it to us.

The way to receive isn’t by violently trying. It’s not “for God” that justifies our efforts, but “in Christ” that affords us our hope. As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1:20, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”

Appropriation of the exchange of our limitations for His fullness comes in our agreement with Him. When we give Him our unconditional “Yes” and “Amen” we are positioned to receive the redemption of our souls. That “Yes” and “Amen” requires no extra effort or violent taking. It’s receiving and agreeing, not striving and toiling.

When we agree with Jesus and allow Him to restore the limitations of our soul, we will:

  1. understand things beyond our limitations
  2. be restrained from corrupt desires
  3. persevere through trials; and
  4. accomplish great and glorious things

These things that He does in us will be done in our rest. His burden is easy and His yoke is light.

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