when push comes to shove

Often our thoughts, or where we think we are in regard to life are soon tested. And we soon find out that when push comes to shove, we really are not where we think we are, or that we still have a way to go to get there.

Is there something wrong with this thinking? After all, we know that we’re ever in complete need of God’s grace to us in Jesus. And the further along we are in the Christian life, the more aware we are that this is so. But even the idea that there is progress in getting further along in the Christian life is itself an admission that there are levels of spiritual growth. The Bible is not lacking both in precept and story to make this clear.

One such passage I was noting in a new translation of scripture last evening:

Only let’s live in a way that is consistent with whatever level we have reached.

Philippians 3 (Common English Bible)

This does require effort on our part, and carries with it the idea of holding our ground. Of course we will fail. Without excusing it, failure is a part of life in the here and now. We simply then need to confess our sins, and God will forgive and cleanse us to the end that we will grow and do better, and by and by even leave that particular sin behind. Remember Moses who seems to have left his anger behind when he became the meekest man in all the earth. But also remember that far along into his life in God he lost his temper again, and actually disobeyed God, not being careful to carry out God’s orders. So we’re never above sin in this life, so that we ever need to be on our guard. But on guard more by heading toward the goal in Jesus, and not so much taken up with what we’re leaving behind.