Monday, December 22, 2008

keep on keeping on

I'm not a TULIP guy (but the flowers, yes!), but a large part of the P (and probably all the T, properly understood) I think I would agree with. God's grace is at work to help us in Jesus, to keep on keeping on. This is so even after we fail and sometimes fail miserably. Or even when we're keenly aware of just how wrong and sinful we are inside. If left on our own it would be easy, and probably inevitable that sooner or later we'd throw in the towel and abandon the project altogether.

That stands to good reason since the project then would be dependent on us, but it is one in which God is at work. Yet it's a project of which we're a part. We have to keep on going, even when it seems like we're in the mire and getting no where. I think of Christian in John Bunyan's classic, The Pilgrim's Progress. He had plenty of help along the way from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City, but it was far from easy. There were points along the way where discouragement could have set in easily, leading to despair, and as I recall, there are points in the story that come close to that. But then renewed hope from God through Christ makes itself known through one "means of grace" or another. And Christian continues on in his journey.

For me it's important, certain times especially, not to live in the moment or present struggle or despair I'm in. I must go on, looking ahead to what God has for me in Christ, through the word, through other Christians. Of course Jesus was the epitome of this, setting the trail of salvation out for us by his life and through his death, resurrection and ascension. Now we go on in him, in this same kind of journey, testifying to his completed salvation and seeking to live that out in our journey in this world. We do so well only together, not alone as Christian in Bunyan's story was much of the time. Though there is an element of being alone from that story which is important. We still have our part to do. But we should seek to do so only in fellowship with God through Jesus, and in fellowship with others in Jesus.

Keep on keeping on. There's always a light ahead in the dark places. Don't look back, and don't stop moving. It's a God-thing, this life we have in Jesus. Therefore it's a sure and good ending ahead, as well as unfolding for us on the way to more and more know and make known God's glory and beauty by the Spirit in Jesus.

What might you like to add to this?


The Wingnut said...

We can't go backwards. We must not live in the past. It is dangerous to wish for the past, lest we attempt to live there in our minds.

We can only go forwards. Is it any mistake that Paul didn't include any armor for the back when he wrote that passage?


Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, Wingnut. In that analogy on spiritual warfare we're simply to stand firm with the armor and weapon in hand, and resist the devil. Certainly a most important analogy of reality for our "journey."