The Apostle Paul readily admits here that he’s not yet arrived at perfection in his spiritual life. So how come we think as soon as we become a Christian we’re a mature Believer that can’t fail? I Timothy 6:12 tells us to, “Fight the good fight of faith.” The journey of our Christian walk is going to be a struggle…it’s going to be a battle between good and evil, with us sometimes coming out of the skirmish bruised and battered. But we need to get back up and not allow failures to define who we are in God. Failures simply mean we’re still trying…and still fighting the good fight of faith.
Deuteronomy 32:4 tells us, ” He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.” So let’s ponder the word “perfect” in both these Scriptures for a moment. Everything the Lord does is complete, truthful, and faultless. His manner and means will always be sincere and pure, for there is no deception found in Him. In a very imperfect world, He is our shield and refuge and the Rock we can run to in times of fear and confusion.
When you’re waiting for important test results to come back…your head can be filled with questions, doubts, and uncertainty. But if you allow the Lord to take you back, He will show you the many times that He carried you through equally tough times. And with each event He brings to mind, your faith and trust grows…for you’ll see where He has worked mightily on your behalf. Jesus tells us in John 14:1, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me.” Total reliance and confidence in the Lord means that we no longer need to question God’s plan or purpose for our lives…for we know with certainty what He’s done for us in the past… will continue into the future.
God is our only reliable stronghold in the world today. He is the fortress we can retreat to when fear over takes us. He is our rescuer when wickedness and oppression take the very breath from us. For God is the only rock we can put our absolute trust in…the only refuge we can run to for safety.
This verse tells us that even in the midst of suffering…God’s love shines forth and His favor surrounds us as with a shield. (Psalm 5:12) Circumstances can still be dark around us, but people will notice something different…a light shining forth from us, as we steadfastly put our faith and trust in God. Situations may not change, for we live in a broken world…but what can change is our attitude and reaction to them.
Jesus used His own saliva several times in the Bible to heal. In John 9:6 it says, “Having said this, He spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.” In Mark 8:23 it says, “He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When He had spit on the man’s eyes and put His hands on him, Jesus asked, ‘Do you see anything?’ ” So why did Jesus do this very primal act? We know that Jesus was fully man but also fully God…and within His saliva was His DNA. DNA that held His chromosomes…His genetic information. But the spit Jesus smeared on these men held something much more powerful… it held within it the very essence of God.
The Lord’s commission to “Feed My sheep” is without exception for all Believers. But for all of you who have been around livestock and done chores, you know that it can be very frustrating moving and feeding animals. They don’t want to go where you want them to…they’re noisy, dirty, stinky and pushy. And on top of that, daily chores are mundane, boring, and at times unnerving when the animals act up. You find yourself saying, “I wish someone else would do this!” But “Feed My sheep” means much more than just giving nourishment. For God, it means shepherding, tending, guarding and leading a group of at times unruly people. People that you can tenderly lead to (Living) water, but then watch as they refuse to drink. That’s when discouragement can set in, but remember it’s not about you, so don’t take it personally… just continue to do the chores you’ve been called to.