What does God say about our perfect imperfections?
The Bible is a beautiful tapestry, with many threads woven through it, one of those threads being God's understanding of our imperfections.
We were created in God's image, Gen 1:26, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." However, we were not created perfect. It is our imperfections unrecognized, which leads us to think we are perfect. When this happens, we descend to the level of Lucifer, Is 12:13-14, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:" and our inflated egos drag us away from God. We then begin creating our own laws and attempt to force others to obey them. Of course, we do not feel the need to obey those laws ourselves. We are somehow above them, unintentionally coloring ourselves hypocrites. This makes me think of our leaders in Congress, passing laws and exempting themselves from having to follow them. This feeling of entitlement is pervasive in our general society, a virus passed on by unfaithful leaders. Leaders are supposed to be our servants, not our gods. They should stand at the end of the lines they create for us and should never profit from their positions of leadership; they should have the same health insurance and retirement plans we do.
Until we see our own imperfections, we will continue to be intolerant and unable to forgive others. Jesus made it very clear, before we throw stones at others, we need to make sure we don't deserve the stoning, Jn 8:7, "So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." Our intolerance leads us to form divisions within our society, pointing our fingers instead of looking in the mirror. How foolish can we be, thinking we are fit to replace the perfect I AM when we can't even run a civil society. And, before we start pointing fingers, again, we need to ask ourselves, "what have I done to make this a civil society?" It begins by following all of the laws of the land we live in unless they break God's commandment of loving our neighbor, Rom 13:1-4, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." God wants us to do good and obeying laws is part of it. Breaking laws is the devil's bait, leading us toward evil. There can be no excuse for it, and we cannot make excuses for others who disobey laws.
Numb 23:19, "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?" God is perfect. Until we realize this, we will ignore His calling, Is 1:18, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." His call to reason with Him shows He does not want us blindly following Him. He wants us to use the beautiful minds He has given us, to reason with His Word until we clearly understand His Truth. His Truth is perfect and never changes, only our understanding of it does. A perfect God does not make mistakes, so if we think we see errors, we do not yet understand our own imperfections and/or His perfect Truth.
God has not picked perfect people to follow Him and lead others, for there are no perfect people. He has called the humble, the disenfranchised, the poor, and the weak. Jesus is perfect; however, He started His mission as a homeless man in Galilee, who ended up suffering a capital punishment at the hands of His false accusers. Can we not learn from this sacrifice? He wants us to understand He loves us, no matter our station in this life. God chooses imperfect people to lead others; Moses was a killer; David an adulterer who had the husband of His mistress killed; Saul, a killer, before he personally encountered Jesus; Peter a proud hypocrite; Noah a drunk; Abraham was too old; Isaac a daydreamer; Jacob a liar; Joseph was abused; Gideon a coward; Rehab a prostitute; Elijah was suicidal; Jonah a coward who ran from God; and the list goes on. God does not use those who think themselves perfect, like the Pharisees, Matt 23:1-3, "Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not." They knew the law, but they were unwilling to live it. God calls those of us who willingly do the work He has given us, and we can only do it after we accept Him as our Lord, which helps us recognize our own imperfections.
So, what is there about being imperfect that makes us better servants for the Kingdom? Eph 2:8-9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Only the humble do not boast, because they understand achievements are gifts from God and He deserves the glory, Tit 3:5, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;" Only humble people will be willing to accept Jesus as their Lord, which makes them capable of communicating with the Holy Spirit. These humble people will obey His commandments and be fit for heaven, Matt 5:48, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Abiding in Him leads us toward perfection, Rom 12:2, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Paul understood he was not yet perfect, Phil 3:12, "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus." He also knew that following Jesus would lead him through the sanctification process to the Kingdom, 2 Thes 2:13, "But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:" For Jesus has already paid the price for our imperfections, Heb 10:14, "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."
2 Tim 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." God has left us His instruction manual, to guide us toward perfection, Col 2:2-3, "That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." We need only trust Him, Ps 18:30, "As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him." to lead us, Eph 4:13, "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" to His love, which is perfected in us, 1 Jn 2:5, "But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him." and we will become holy, as He is holy, 1 Pet 1:15-16, "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."
Rom 12:2, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." We have a choice, we can conform to the evil practices we see in this world, or we can focus on the good, Phil 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." which will lead us to the fruit of the Spirit and the love of God, Gal 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
God could have left us in the desert, as we attempted to create our own gods. Or, He could have brought another flood to destroy us; however, He sent Jesus instead, Heb 7:11, "If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?" He has better plans for us, Jam 1:4, "But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." and Jesus will guide us, Jn 15:12, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." and teach us about love, 1 Jn 4:8, "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." Jesus did not come to condemn us, but rather to save those of us humble enough to see our own perfect imperfections, Jn 3:17, "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." If we are unwilling to admit our own imperfections, we will never be fit for heaven.
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