Weekly Devotions

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Weekly Devotions - February 13, 2018

Parallel Arguments

“For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21, NIV 1984).

My last patients were late so I was caught up in conversation with an African American Buddhist patient with CLL. He went to great lengths to explain the difficulties of our soul and the God within us. He spoke of grace and of unconditional love and of man’s brokenness stemming from the Garden of Eden, the beauty of the teachings of Jesus and our lost connection with our true inner selves. He also spoke of slow vibrations and rapid vibrations and personal auras and meditation: pathways to bring us back where we need to be. I told him that he and I saw the plight of man in similar ways. “But we, as Christians, believe in a personal God who is separate from our selves. We believe that the fallen nature of man is due to our turning away from God. We call that sin. We believe that the teachings of Jesus, especially in the Sermon on the Mount, are the direction we need to go in returning to God’s plan for our lives. But all the focus and meditation and work we do in trying to get there will never be good enough. We can never reach the wholeness we seek without the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. When we commit to Jesus of the cross as Lord, we are then transformed by God into people who can then step onto the right path to wholeness.” I ended our conversation when they knocked on my door; the late patients had arrived and had been waiting too long.

I hope I got it right in trying to show this man the truth of the gospel. Throughout our conversation I was praying for God’s wisdom and words. I spoke the best I knew in the moment. I was impressed with the parallel nature of our thoughts until it came to his solution for human brokenness. My mind kept asking the question, “How is my faith different in ways that I can clearly explain?” My explanations were important, but probably more important than my words were my prayers for this man and the presence of God’s Spirit. More important than my logical description of the gospel was the power of God whom I had asked to be present. As a follower of Christ, I know I must be ready with a clear description of God’s work through Jesus, but never will my description change anyone from lost to found. It is God’s power and God’s grace that transforms those who have turned from His kingdom. With all the wisdom of the world, the best I did with my words for this patient was to run a parallel argument, but parallel arguments will never transform a lost sinner into a saved child of God. Only when the nature of God is implanted by the power of God can a person be brought home to God.

“If all Jesus Christ can do is to run a parallel counteraction with what Satan can do, His right name is Culture, not Savior…He came to implant in us His own nature, so that Satan’s power in the soul is absolutely destroyed.” Oswald Chambers

Our place is to care deeply, to pray earnestly and to speak—even if only partially prepared—confident that God will be present to do the work only He can do.

Dear God,
Let me be ready with the truth of the gospel and, as I speak, let your power bring the lost one home.