Thursday, November 15, 2012

Utterly Destroyed

I was struck and convicted pretty hard yesterday, reading through and discussing the next chapter of Saving Life of Christ, Ian Thomas talks about Saul. I just want to take a moment to summarize the story and point in an attempt to help myself remember...
As king, Saul was commanded by God to utterly destroy a people, all of them, all of their possessions, everything. God had determined that there was no salvageable thing within this people, and condemned them to death. They were a people who had been at war with God from generation to generation, who sought nothing other than the destruction of God's people.

Instead of obeying the command of God fully, Saul chose to save the king of this people, their best oxen, and their best lambs. Saul decided that there was some good within these things and that they should be offered up as sacrifice to God. The hitch in this plan was quite simple... God had already deemed all of these people, and all that they possessed as being condemned, they were to be destroyed!

To steal a line from Thomas, Saul was preparing to offer God the best of what God hated.

The implications of this, and where the conviction lives with me is quite plain... How often am I offering God the best of what he has condemned? The book parallels these people with human nature and our self-righteous flesh. Both are defiled by sin, both are deemed, by God, to be unsalvageable, and both condemned to total destruction. As followers of Christ, we are called to lay our lives down, deny ourselves, allow our flesh to be, in essence, utterly destroyed by accepting utter and complete dependence on Christ within us. We are commanded, as Saul was, to allow God to wipe out the evil at play. Yet, when the battle begins, we start to hang on to things that we deem are worth saving. Things we think are good! Things we like, and we offer them as things we can do for God's glory. We offer what we decide is the best of ourselves as a sacrifice to God, forgetting that God had condemned all that we were, without Him, to be destroyed.

I have nothing, outside of surrender and submission to the will if God, to offer. There is nothing in me that is good... Nothing in my flesh that is holy, righteous, and deserving of sacrifice. There is only dead flesh...

All that is within me that is good, has come from God, and its only His Spirit in me that is right or good... my decision to submit to that spirit is all that hinders me from doing the will of God.

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