Have you ever heard the saying, “God has no grandchildren”? This means that, as God’s children, we are never fully grown in the flesh, and just like children we are born with our own unique personalities, our own strengths and weaknesses. We come into this world hardwired with certain propensities, drives and desires. Who are we to question how the Great Creator designed us, with so many quirks? Like newborns, all of what we come loaded with can be channeled and directed to take a good path or a bad one, bear fruit or wither on the vine.
Though I am mature now, both physically and spiritually, I remain who and what I always was but, by grace, I was given a refined moral compass that keeps me on the narrow path. I discovered quite by accident several years ago that I am an INTJ personality type, which is one of sixteen combinations that most people fall into. Reading in Wikipedia the description for INTJ was like reviewing a report about me. It explained all those years of my being more comfortable as an observer than a participant, a creative sort who preferred to be behind the scenes, a puppeteer who could hide behind the puppets. It explained why I have Mr. Spock logic which can often be interpreted as being cool and lacking in compassion. In truth, underneath my aloof stoic appearance is a preprogramed fail safe coping skill. Because I can grieve too deeply, even into disfunction, early on I set a standard not to expect too much lest I be disappointed. I can’t change that. And, it turns out, I don’t have to. My Father knows how I am, and loves me anyway, just as I know how each of my three children and seven grandchildren are and I love them.
That said, it explains why God, once He called me to step up to His purpose, allowed me to understand that while I am still who I was when I drew my first breath, the sum total of experiences, good and bad, choices, good and bad, exist to serve Him now because I gave it all to Him. I am gloriously imperfect and will be until I exhale my last breath, but God uses me anyway in the ways He chooses. Once I stopped worrying and wondering if I was a new being, in, by and through Christ, as they say, I realized that all I had to do was stop looking inward and put my focus outward toward Him, that is when I stopped thinking about me and my shortcomings, whether or not I measured up and started listening, obeying and trusting that He was more than adequate enough to use me for His purpose, in spite of all my warts.
Further I now understand, that He can use anyone, with or without his/her consent, but His heart is warmed by willing participants. Do you not have a soft spot for the child who strives to obey and please you?
Consider John 21:18-22
(21:18) Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. (21:19) Now this he spake, signifying by what manner of death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. (21:20) Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; who also leaned back on his breast at the supper, and said, Lord, who is he that betrayeth thee? (21:21) Peter therefore seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? (21:22) Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what [is that] to thee? Follow thou me.
Follow thou me. He doesn’t require us to compare ourselves to anyone else. How could He? He made us all so unique, not perfect, just unique. This Scripture also reveals that He has individual standards for each of His children. Humans don’t get this because they want ‘fairness” like little children who cry out, “not fair!” Or like Peter who wanted to know why John was so special.
Once we figure out that God establishes what is fair, not us, God establishes what is good and bad, right and wrong, not us, we discover that we have individual parameters that He sets for us that may or may not apply to anyone else. Conversely, we can have some latitude that others might not. This is called a personal relationship with Christ. Personal, meaning one on one, based on our own uniqueness and level of surrender to Him. I know what He expects from me just as I know what He allows. I also know when I am being chastised for stepping outside of the lines He drew for me. The key is being always ready to submit self, be humbled and repent. And then move on, forgiven. This is the definition of working out sanctification. It’s a learning curve that never ends until we expire. Every experience that leads us to humility gains us new spiritual awareness, which is something different from head knowledge.
For me the ultimate test question to be answered was: if I knew I was never going to be worthy and could never be worth dwelling with Him forever, would I turn away? Is my focus on me and my reward or on HIm and His need?
The correct answer is: the day one can say, “I would and will serve Him even if He rejects me because He is worthy to be served”, is the day one can know for sure one is right with God.