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536. The Encouragement of Faults. May 12, 2024

Updated: 5 days ago



KEY SCRIPTURES: 2 Timothy 3:16-17

ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.


RELEVANCE

I was recently musing about the Prophet Elisha's death. 


Elisha lived around 850 BC. He followed the famous Prophet Elijah into ministry after Elijah was taken to heaven by a chariot in a whirlwind while still alive.


Elisha was a mighty prophet—bold enough to ask God for a double portion of the Spirit God gave Elijah. 


Elisha performed many miracles during his life, including raising people from the dead. Yet despite all his wondrous works, he died from illness. 2 Kings 13:14 Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died.


Why am I mentioning this? 


When we read of Elisha, we can mistake him for being superhuman, someone who rose to a level humans could never attain. Yet, when we know that he died from the same natural causes that you and I might die from, he becomes ordinary, real.


Elevating people in our minds makes them unreachable, whether we consciously think it or not—too spiritual for mere mortals. But we get a strange satisfaction when we realise they had faults or issues indistinguishable from ours. We obtain great hope from the humanity of our biblical heroes. 


For instance, Elijah brought down fire from heaven so powerful that it consumed the false prophets of Baal, and we wonder how he was able to do it, but we cannot. We're in awe of how God used him and resign ourselves to the level of ordinary believers. Then we find he ran and hid from Queen Jezebel, a human being. 


We find ourselves in awe of Peter when he healed the lame man in Acts 3, yet find a remarkable closeness to his typical human reactions of lying under pressure at Jesus' trial and cutting off Malchus's ear in the garden in an effort to defend his Lord.  


Holding these people so incredibly high is aided by seeing them in paintings and stained glass church windows. Yet they would be the first to say, "Please get me off that window. I am a human being just like you. Give all glory to God and nothing to me." 


God documented the faults and failures of biblical individuals so readers could understand and appreciate those infirmities. Every reader is shown their main shortcomings. Hence, ALL scripture is inspirational, even those highlighting their weaknesses. 


Regardless of age, you don't know what the Lord has in store for your life. Elizabeth was about 60-70 when she became the mother of John the Baptist and embarked on a new mission field. 


There is one common thread in the lives of our biblical heroes: they were committed to their Lord and Saviour. A commitment is more than just a hope. It is a life course. It is more than simply a contribution here and there.


What will God use you for? 


It is helpful to remember that we're not offering the Lord a faultless human being. We offer ourselves as faulty people saved by Grace through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. God views our offering, warts and all, through the prism of Grace, accepting and using what He can when He can. So, never give up, and give your best at all times.


PRAYER

Dear Lord, I have been guilty of placing these people on pedestals so high that their lives seem perfect. Yet, you have ensured their faults are not left out. Warts and all stories are so vital for me to know. It gives me hope that you could also use me for some things.

Photo by Brett Jordan

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