Sunday, August 9, 2009

God Does Not Expect Us to be Perfect


My pastor's message was so powerful today and relevant to our lives that I wanted to pass along a few notes from it. These are completely his thoughts and words to us this morning. His name is Ed Gungor and our church is Sanctuary in Tulsa, OK.

Why do we feel that God wants and expects perfection? He created us to need help in order to live "rightly" and He knows that we can't ever acheive perfection. We read about all kinds of rules and instructions in the Bible that are to be followed and obeyed. He gave us that law so that we may see that we can never make it work. We need help. We need Him. He wants us to always be aware that apart from Him, we can't make it. There is no way to be right without Him. That's why He gave us Jesus. He wants us to be right, in Him, not in our own perfection. He is committed to working with imperfect messy people!

We sometimes feel that if we just lean in a little closer to the rules, get past hurts healed, memorize Scripture, pray longer...we will be perfect. It's like the greyhounds who chase the rabbit, always getting closer and closer, but never quite making it.

God will never touch us in a way where we don't need Him anymore! His touch cleans us like a shower. We'll smell pretty good for a while, but don't be fooled...the stink comes back. That's how He likes it...us always having to come to Him for help and cleansing.

It's like an airplane. We can fly if we get on the thing that flies. We will crash and burn if we try to fly without it. We participate in faith by getting on the One who is flying. God is after His perfection expressed in us...not our perfection! He doesn't give perfection to us, He is perfection in us. It's the same with joy and peace and every other gift. He doesn't give us joy, He is joy in us!

God doesn't dwell on our imperfections. He's not freaked out by them. He was freaked out by sin, but He dealt with that in Jesus! Be friends with God. He's not mad at us, even when we mess up. Run to Him because He's made a way for us. What God is after is our trust in Him to be those things in us that are good and right. God's strength is made perfect when we are weak. Paul boasts in his weaknesses. He did not cover them up. When we learn how to do this, to expose our weaknesses instead of covering them, we will "board the plane that rises above the crud."

Think about the trust fall. Almost everyone has been a part of an exercise where you are supposed to trust the person behind you enought to fall and know that they will catch you. When we are falling backwards, there is something in us that wants to save ourselves. He wants us to see that we can't do it, and we must trust Him to catch us when we fall into sin.

God hates sin because it deceives us. Sin makes us think that God is mad at us. Sin makes us forget our role in the story. We become completely distracted by our sin, then by our feelings of inadequacy from committing the sin. Soon, we begin to believe that it is useless, futile to try to live the life that God has called us to live.

Watch a toddler. When they feel small or insecure or just want love, they lift their arms up for their parents. They want to be brought up to where the parent is. That is where they feel safe and whole and perfect! Raise you arms up to your Father and be perfect in Him!!






10 comments:

  1. That is a great message-and one I need to remember!

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  2. WOW WHAT A BIG JOKE YOU ARE
    GOD IS ABLE TO MAKE US PERFECT IF WE ASK HIM
    AND IF WE REALLY WANT TO BE PERFECT: PS.18:32

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  3. To the person who left the comment above, you, my dear just proved that you aren't perfect. I believe that the Word talks about calling people names and being judgemental. So, you should probably re-read PS 18:32. I pray that the Lord touch your heart and give you grace. If you were perfect then you wouldn't need Him or any of the works He came and did for you. ~Bless you.

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  4. IF GOD DOES NOT EXPECTS US TO BE PERFECT, THEN WHY
    DOES HE COMMANDS US TO BE PERFECT
    GEN.17:1 AND MT.5:48

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  5. You have no scripture to back this up

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  6. Yes, God calls us to strive for perfection. There are hundreds of Scriptures in the OT that talk about how imperfect we are and how badly we need redemption from someone who is perfect and spotless. But no such man could be found on the earth...thus the life of Jesus! If we were capable of reaching perfection, He wouldn't have had to allow His son to be killed for us. Jesus came to fulfill the Law because we couldn't. If you have found the secret to perfection then you should share it with the rest of us. Most Christ followers strive, everyday to to walk in the way that He would have us walk. Lots of times we succeed and lots of times, we fail. Thank God for the redemptive works of Jesus when we do.

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    Replies
    1. Good reply. Don't let the troll get to you. The other reply though I think was asking if you could make scriptural references to some or all of your points, just to drive the truth home. While I feel what you are saying is true, it is always good if you can point back to the bible too.

      Thanks for your insight either way!

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  7. Thank you Erin for sharing this! Now I too will share this with a friend of mine that is struggling with this question.

    Jana

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  8. Well It's been a while since a comment was made here but I will leave this anyway. So many people keep using the word STRIVE but nowhere in scripture does GOD tell us to strive to be perfect, He says to BE perfect..This is a huge difference..The Holy Spirit is what will make us perfect as we allow it to dwell in us..and the Holy Spirit by no means strive for perfection, it is perfection...It's like we are no longer living in our bodies but the spirit is and anything that contradicts the word has to be false...Saying that we should strive to be perfect is completely contradictory to what our Lord says..Why would He compare that type of perfection to the Father's perfection if we were only to "strive"

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    Replies
    1. I guess then that we are not us but we are possessed by perfection, where is the choice in that. If God fully takes over we have done nothing. The point I'm trying poorly to make is that surely we have to turn to Him to take over when faced with the choice of sin?

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Thank you for giving us a little nugget of truth from your heart!

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