I heard an interesting term today.
I’m an avid follower of beautifulsilliness’s blog– if haven’t heard of her, for crying out loud get off this blog and go over there and recently she posted on her thoughts on a theologian named Tozer. Never heard of him before, so ever the “I gotta know it” guy, I looked him up and found a series of audio files featuring his sermons from the 1950s and 1960s. I linked onto one in particular which I felt might speak to my situation and it certainly did. A.W. Tozer identified “morbid humility” as that characteristic which marks the penitent sinner who dwells in their unworthiness and does not make the effort with God to attend to the commandment given in Philippians 2:12-13:
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
Work it out.
We don’t earn salvation; it is a gift freely given. But it is a gift meant to be used, to be explored, to be a healing force, a healing action in our lives.
Sometimes it’s not that I’m dwelling in sin, but I’m not dwelling in salvation.
When Jesus meets me at the bottom of my personal barrels
-I’ve substituted, once again, perhaps, a vacuous, addictive pleasure or impulse for a truer connection to Christ or others-
Am I receiving His loving grace, His unconditional Love, His care and concern and desire to be with me despite my failings…
with relief at His immensity and furious Love for me?
am I anticipating the next time I will screw up?
Am I dwelling in shame? Remorse? Guilt?
or doing the Shame+ Power thing, which comes up with the statement that “I’ll never do it again,” trying to use the power of my guilt to build some false sense of security against future attacks?
Been doing that for a while.
I’m so tired.
And I’m starting to realize how many blessings I have that I literally do not have the energy to enjoy or recognize because of that exhaustion.
yet before I start guilt-tripping myself over that…
What’s it like to dwell in salvation?
I just took a deep breath. Maybe it feels something like that.
But it is more. It is the courage to work with God toward the reordering of my life. To believe it possible and strive toward it. Just to even see it.
For crying out loud, Zacchaeus climbed a tree, looking a fool in front of everyone, just to get a glimpse of Jesus.
He climbed a tree, Jesus saw, Jesus wanted to come into Zacchaeus’ house.
To dwell with him.
When Jesus said “I must stay at your house today,” I think Zacchaeus already knew salvation had come.
Zacchaeus acted on that. He turned his whole life around, right then and there. For him, it was making amends for financial misdeeds in the past.
What does dwelling in salvation look like for me? What does the freedom Christ offers look like for me?
Pray I dwell on that a bit longer, and keep trusting in His will.