Living a Holy Life. Possible for us?

] Devotional/Discussion Thought of the Day:

 7  But to keep me from being puffed up with pride because of the many wonderful things I saw, I was given a painful physical ailment, which acts as Satan’s messenger to beat me and keep me from being proud. 8  Three times I prayed to the Lord about this and asked him to take it away. 9  But his answer was: “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ’s power over me. 10  I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (TEV)

The Christian life is not hard to live, it is utterly impossible to live! Only one can live it, so let Him, in you!  (2/18F entry – Celtic Daily Prayer)

1003      Saint Teresa assures us that “anyone who doesn’t pray doesn’t need any devil to tempt him; while whoever prays, even if only for a quarter of an hour each day, will necessarily be saved.” This is because our conversation with Our Lord—who is so loving, even in times of difficulty or dryness of soul—enables us to see things in their proper perspective and discover the true proportions of life. Be a soul of prayer. (1)

This trip to the Phillipines is turning out to be somewhat of a enforced retreat, a time of being broken before God.  Some of that brokenness is physical, much more is emotional, as I receive word from home, worry about my wife and children (William and the unborn baby).  As i look out my hotel window and see both great riches and great poverty, as I hear of a couple that receives more challenging… no, I can’t just use that word, bad news today about the spread of the wife’s cancer.

Yes, Lord, I am tired, I am beaten, and in my eyes, it is not well with my soul.

The afflictions I face aren’t like Paul’s for the most part.  I haven’t been beaten or stoned, The likelihood is that I won’t have my head chopped off, or be crucified upside down.

But as I sit here in this hotel room – far from all my friends but one – and his very gracious family… I can’t do anything. I can’t massage my wife’s back, I can’t bring peace and laughter to my friends, I can’t teach and preach and share in the Lord’s sacrament with my church family.  (Oh I missed that on Sunday!)

So what do I come across in my devotions this morning – well – you see it above…. and it is more mindblowing.

I can’t live the life I want to live I read, with the disclaimer that it can only be lived in Christ.  Great Theological truth there, I’ve said similar from pulipits and in counseling to people, We have to live in Christ

One saint quotes another saint talking about prayer…. and as usual my head argues with me – I don’t want to be forced to pray, I don’t want to have to depend on this, I want to do something. And then I remember that such calls to prayer are not calls of the Law – do this or else… they are invitations to share in God’s grace.

That’s how, in Christ – we are Christians!  Holiness is simply the way to describe our lives as being lived in relationship to Christ that is so imtimate, so much a part of our nature – both conscious and unconcious, that it is who we are, and we realize it.  We know it – and when we reach these times of brokenness, these times of despair, we simply realize that our place is in God, that we share in His glory. That His power is at work through us in ways we cannot comprehend (but dang it – there are times I wish we could)  Living a life of holiness isn’t about my being perfect, about my sinning less – it is about those 10-20 minutes or somedays an hour… where I remember I am in His presence.

Living a life of Holiness is possible – being a Christian is possible – only in Christ.

That somehow – these times of prayer – sitting in a hotel room – are more critical, more powerful than anything else I can do.

I need to know this – I wish I could see this but even more – I realize I need to see just Him….

Lord Have Mercy on us is a prayer that can only be said… in His presence…

(1)   Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 3536-3540). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.


About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on February 17, 2014, in Devotions, Theology in Practice and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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