What Is Owed Us?

Like everything else in Christianity, communion is never owed to the Christian. There is a large temptation when seeking after God, to think, “If I do this particular thing, then God will owe me his presence.” The older, wiser Christian learns that this is wrong fairly quickly, but then often gets stuck in a more mature version of the same thought: “If I do this particular thing, with the right attitude, then God will owe me his presence.” This is just as wrong as the first thought.

How long will it be, until we learn the truth of the words, “Apart from me you can do nothing.”

The beginning of that phrase says this, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

I often mistakenly look at this as a commandment that can be followed. If I abide in God, then I will be able to do things. So I must first abide in God. That must be something I, in my own power, am able to do. If not in my own power, then there must be something that I can do, that God will always reward by drawing near to me. In my experience, there is no such thing. Instead, the words, “Apart from me you can do nothing” apply even to our abiding with God.

What must we do then? Apply the principle taught in 2Tim 2:24-25(ref). We read our Bibles, we pray, we do everything we can to humble ourselves and exult in the Lord. Yet even in all of that, God will likely never draw near if we say to ourselves; “Look at what a good job I am doing.” Instead, say to yourself, “God may perhaps grant me repentance.” It is not owed for our service, but God delights to give it, so we wait on it, we look for it around every corner.

Then, so often, it comes. It comes unexpectedly: in my experience, always unexpectedly. Joy floods in.

God, may we have this attitude in everything we do, that we will, in humility, run hard after you, saying all the while, “God may perhaps grant repentance.”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.