Have you ever used your GPS or heard of someone who has? Have you noticed that if the voice tells you to make a turn and you miss it that the voice doesn't immediately scold or condemn you?! It merely "recalculates" the information it has and starts you on the correct course from where you are. YOU know you made a mistake, but the GPS doesn't point that out. It merely takes you where you went off course and gets you on the right road. It's one of the few "voices" you hear that doesn't belittle you or make you feel lousy.
God is like that. He knows when we go off course and He could easily condemn and ridicule us, much like some of our "well-meaning" brethren. God doesn't let us off without making us face some of the consequences of our failures. But He doesn't keep us from getting back "on course." He's ALWAYS READY to listen when we call on Him, in truth! Meaning, when we really mean business and want to get back where we belong - HE'S READY!
Psalm 145:18 tells us that God is near, very close, literally in the heart of every believer! He knows when you want to get back to where you belong. And He's ready to do that without condemning you about your sin. The implication is that you've recognized your sin, confessed it to the Lord, and desire to change your ways. This is all included in the words, "...who call upon Him in truth..." You mean business and He knows it.
When we fail Him, He's immediately ready, "...near to all who call upon Him..." to bring us back to the "victory road." "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." And He is always wanting us back on the "triumphant highway." "Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ..." And He wants us to always conquer the rough pathways we must travel, "...in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
The devil, and some not-so-well-meaning-Christians, expect us to "beat ourselves up" over our failures, to feel that we must "earn" our way back to God's favor (as if we ever "earned" it in the first place!) Some expect us to meet the "37 steps to true repentance" before God will listen to us! I'll be sharing more in the weeks to come how Christians can see God work in their lives, especially when they feel they don't deserve anything from Him. A good thought here is this: Guess what?! You NEVER deserved it anyway! When God works in us its always done by His grace. I'll comment on 1 Corinthians 15:10 in my next commentary.
God is near to all who call upon Him! When He gets us back on course He immediately fills our hearts with joy and the change in our lives comes. Are you ready? God is!
(My comments on EVANGELISM 360 will resume, but I'm all too aware there are many Christians who can't rejoice over their own salvation let alone seek the salvation of anyone else because they're crippled by the criticism of others as well as their own hearts. When a Christian is living in the Joy of the Lord, they are a potent force in winning others to our Savior! That's what I want to see for believers because I believe that's what God wants to see too!)