What God Will Use…(exhibit C)…

to remind you that there is a purpose, a plan, and a Perfect Planner.

 

A Comment

 

…that sparks a word study…

 

the word? “Perfect”

 

The comment was meant most kindly, and the implication was that, while God expects perfection, we all know that He gives grace when we fall short.

 

But it was like an arrow to my heart; the thought that God expects perfection. I wanted to lay down and die right then and there…I am so far from perfect, so astronomically distant from that goal that it isn’t even visible on my radar. If He expects perfection, even just once in a while, I’m doomed.

 

And yet, as I wallowed in my hopelessness, the Holy Spirit still nudged. He poked me in the back of the head and said eversosoftly perhaps you need to look at that a little closer

 

So I did. I looked at it quickly at first, like fingers testing a hot iron, afraid to get too close lest it turn out to mean exactly what it appeared and sear me forever.

 

Matthew 5:48…Jesus said it…Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

 

It sounds like a command. It surely does. And the fear grips my heart that He’s so very, very, very disappointed in me. So disgusted at my failings. Holding up the big Olympic Judge numbers:

 

 

But I read elsewhere that Jesus Himself corrects someone for calling Him “good” saying that only God is “good”…if He wouldn’t allow others to call Him “good” then is He truly telling me to be “perfect”? As in, expecting me to perform without mistake, frowning upon me when I falter, tsk-tsking me when I sprawl flat on my face?

 

So I studied that word…Perfect…yes…it does mean without blemish, spotless, faultless, pure. God Himself is surely Perfect. But in this verse, I found the word to be teleios which means “having reached the end,” “term,” “limit,” “complete,” “full,” and there the light began to dawn on my weary heart.

 

Perfection. As a process. Not as something I effect by a force of my will. But by His power alone, from glory to glory, as I am submitted to His will.

 

It would not be error, I believe, to think of this verse as “Be perfectED, even as your Father in heaven is already perfected”

 

It’s less of a command and more of a promise. It’s not expected, it’s anticipated.

 

Be perfected. Allow Him to do the work. Galations 3:3 shows Paul confirming this idea when he chastises the church of Galatia for trying to curry favor with God through works: “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?”

 

Uh. Why yes, as a matter of fact, I thought I was.

 

But I am slowly learning that slowly learning is part of being perfected. It’s in the not giving up. It’s in the staggering forward even when your knees are bloody from the falling. It’s in the knowing that from glory to glory is sometimes…really…gory.

 

But God is not afraid of gory. He who hung naked on a cross does not turn away from our wretched disfigurements. He binds the wounds and heals the hurts and gets His hands good and filthy in the process.

 

And oh. How I do love Him.

11 thoughts on “What God Will Use…(exhibit C)…”

  1. If it were to happen all at once, it would do us all in, I think. I’ve never noticed the distinction in that passage about being perfect vs. being perfected. And the difference is stunning. Keep pressing on Jenni.

    Adrienne

  2. I hope that you do not fully grasp what a blessing these posts are to so many of us, on this side of heaven, at least. If you did, you would have some serious pride to deal with. I’m boasting in Him for you, as He is GREATLY and DEEPLY using your perfecting to perfect others (me).

  3. Sissy… I just want to let you know that I appreciate you and understand the struggles you go through and you are not alone in them. As I come to find out about my issues I realize there are many parralels (sp?) between me an my siblings… especially with my sisters. I want to let you know that I’m always praying for you and any time you feel like talking do not hesitate to call me… even though you hate talking on the phone… and i’m your baby brother… and I only have one kid to your 12. But hey… us “mentals” should stick together. Love you

  4. I think satan’s fond of using that verse as a bludgeon as much as he possibly can. I remember hearing it often in my days as an anorexic.

  5. tears…

    read this, just this moring…only time I think the word perfect is used perfectly :0)

    1 Timothy 1:15-16

    “It is a TRUSTWORTHY statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus cam in to the world to save SINNERS, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I FOUND MERCY, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His PERFECT patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.”

    His Holy Spirit indwells us, His children, to train us, teach us, conform us…His work…His might, His strength!

  6. So glad you got to eat something so delicious (spiritually speaking)…I remember when I learned that perfect could be defined this way…what a release of burden!!! ((hugs))

  7. Now the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
    make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

  8. That’s awesome, it’s been a loooonnng time since I did a close study of a verse. Very encouraging 🙂
    Lamentations 3:22-23

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