by Glenn Fairman 12/2/16
Until we stand naked before the Living God, we shall not have assumed the proper perspective for building the foundations of an everlasting relationship. It ultimately comes down to a question of how vividly and honestly we perceive our need in Him. God is bound by no necessity. He, by nature, neither needs nor seeks completion through any externality that exists apart from His triune being. We, on the other hand, are veritable oceans of desire and need. Having evicted our rightful Master, our unregenerate natures, in their relentless longing for completion (and if they were able to) would absorb His entire creation to fill that boundless aching vacuum that resides within us. Both parties occupy asymmetrical states of being – and a humanity divorced from its ultimate fountain of satisfaction is restless beyond all comprehension.
Because humanity will reflexively seek to offer its Creator the scraps of its earthly virtue as evidence that a self-directed life possesses an inherent worthiness, it will not be possible for Natural Man, by reason of his carnality, to allow the proper approach of God in his life. The default “religiosity” in fallen humanity requires an auto-generated goodness: a fig leaf to hide its nakedness. And yet, Christianity informs us that only by dispensing with the faith man has invested in his own works, can God’s true work commence. It is a marvelous, but threatening paradox that shatters our conception of the religious. We would offer Cain’s justification, but God desire’s Abel’s response.
And so, in transferring that faith to the only Object that can forever salve this neediness, God can then begin His great reclamation project within us. By admitting to ourselves the scope of our nakedness (a need that the Living God is well aware of), our feet can then be anchored on solid rock and the Creator can begin an “addition by subtraction:” leveling our ramshackle edifice by dismantling the misconceptions, vanities, and self-interest that have cloaked themselves as bragging rights before The Most High.
In Christian doctrine at its most succinct, we are then effectively relinquishing the directorship over our own sovereignty and admitting to an utter futility in circumventing our need for the Cross. Whether our lives look healthy from the outside or whether we have dashed ourselves on the rocks of calamity, Calvary is our only option. We can offer no good thing of our own merit, and so our state of impoverished need then becomes the naked frontier where Christ meets us. Most truly, it will only be in our humble condition of repentance that we begin the process of laying down our rebel arms. Only then, naked in the poverty of our own necessity, can God finally have the opportunity to lovingly, but thoroughly, cleanse us and offer us His raiment of light – and a ring of fine gold.
Glenn Fairman returns from the wilderness and writes from Highland, Ca.
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