Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.

Deuteronomy 9: 8

 

Wow! What a statement about the way that God views His own people. It throws some very cold water on the idea of personal accomplishment, and it should cause the hearers to startle awake with its implied question of, “Who, me?” However, God is really addressing me, and He means the statement to convey all of His great love and concern for my well-being and fruitful living. I am personally forced to take as my own story this account of on-going failure to let go of sinful thinking and behaviors and of failed trust in the God who has done it all.

 

God has given me a land, a place in the world that is significant for His purposes. He has not only placed me where I can use the gifts, skills, and talents that He has created in me effectively, He has truly granted me a valid stake in the game. In light of Christ’s sacrifice and victory, I share with God in the ownership of this land. I possess it. It would be easy to start listing all of the reasons why God has chosen me. It would also be very human of me to focus on all that I do for God’s Kingdom and on my righteousness in comparison to this world where I live. It might be easy to do these things, but that listing would be made up of things that are false and infinitely shallow.

 

Whatever righteousness it is that I bring to this life that I live belongs to Christ. Any goodness that I do is the result of His work in me. Conversely, the pain that I inflict and the harm that I cause are brought about out of my stubborn refusal to yield myself fully to Christ’s will and to His way of thinking and acting. Still, God has lovingly entrusted me with much. He continues to be true to His promise to all of His people that He gives us a land where we can live fully, a mission that is rewarding, a glorious eternity that has already begun, and His never-ending presence in our lives. Christ calls to me and He says that He wants me to come and trust Him fully so that I can rest in His assurance of my place in this world, setting aside the sinful ways that I stubbornly hold onto. By yielding to Him, Christ will transform my stubborn brokenness into His great sufficiency.