Tuesday, May 19, 2015

But God

Mantras are a big thing lately. A "this is what I go to when things are going poorly or I feel bad to make myself feel better". We are full of affirmations and positivity and empowerment. Why? Because we are a weak people. Even those without Christ know that we need something bigger than ourselves. 

The problem is that we pick mantras that aren't true. Christians are just as guilty of this as nonbelievers. We don't pick mantras that say things like, "I'm a rotten sinner that deserves to go to hell but by God's grace I'm His child." Have you ever heard someone declare that to themselves while staring in the bathroom mirror? No? Me neither. We pick sayings like, "I'm beautiful." "I'm a great mom." "I am a terrific, talented individual." 

We exalt self instead of Christ. 

That makes sense when it's the world that's doing it but how sad when it's the Christians. The people who know Christ and what His Word says should be different. The Bible should penetrate our every thought and action. 

We're not good enough. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We're not good people. Our righteousness is as filthy rags. 

But God. That's the phrase that changes the world. "But God." We can fill in whatever part of our story and the changing point comes at "But God." God does the work. He makes the difference. It's not that we mustered up enough goodness to be different. We didn't save the day with our terrific abilities. We didn't swoop in and hurtle people toward their destiny with our mesmerizing words. 

But God. 

I was a sinner on my way to hell but God sent Jesus to die in my place so I could go to heaven. 
I was confused about how to live but God gave me a Bible to guide me. 
I was stinking up relationships but God gave me grace to act in a way that honored Him. 
I was wasting my life on frivolous things but God gave me purpose. 

Notice the common denominator? God did it. I didn't pump myself up until I could do something. I didn't tell myself lies about how great I am so that I could accomplish something. I can't do anything by myself (John 15:5). When I buy into the world's mantras I rob God of the glory that He deserves and take it for myself. The mantras are lies.  

Staring at ourselves and saying lovely things doesn't make them true. It doesn't make us good women or great moms or beautiful or skinny or anything else. While words have power it's not that kind of power. 

"But God" is where the story starts. "But God" is where His work happens in my life instead of my trying to do it on my own. "But God" is where He gets the glory for what He can do through His power. 

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