God’s Fixer–Upper

It is said the Heavens rejoice when each soul is saved. And in each who is saved the Spirit of God resides helping us each to see the world in a different light; to walk by Faith and discern the Word of God; to hear His voice and know His touch. I have this feeling when the Spirit moved into the temple called Tim Lamb all the heavens whispered "Wow, talk about your fixer–upper!"

It is said in Atheism we find our moral footing in the empathy we feel for those who suffer. I find lately, in the honest realization of what work God has yet to do in me, that I empathize as much with the god–less, evil, person who inflicts the suffering on others. That is, I understand the mind of evil because I battle it every day.

It has taken me years to figure out the story of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, as told in the Disney movie adaptation of Hugo’s novel. It is the story of one man’s battle with depravity. The anger toward the Gypsies that Frollo displays is really the result of the repression of his lust and jealousy; his carnal desire for the Gypsy Esmeralda. In his evil motivation to have Esmeralda for his own Frollo persecutes the Gypsies incessantly. His heart is revealed however in a scene where Frollo is alone contemplating His torment. What surprised me is that Disney got one thing unexpectedly correct when Frollo blames the Devil for the torment he feels but he’s wrong when he excuses himself with this statement "It’s not my fault if in God’s plan He made the Devil so much stronger than a man."

I’m glad the folks at Disney recognize that God is Creator; however, Frollo’s sin is his own fault just as our sin is our fault. Regardless of how strong the Devil is God is stronger. God does not call on us to be good on our own He calls us to be good with Him, in His strength. Satan has no power to tempt us beyond our own desires. As in the Garden of Eden, Satan can trick us and set up the opportunity but we chose to eat the forbidden fruit.

Salvation is evident, not in that we stop sinning but in that we despise our own sin and what tempts us. It is not for us to conquer Satan but for us to be on God’s side in the battle. Faith is not understanding God and the cosmic battle of good and evil. Faith simply takes sides because God is Good and the Devil is bad and there is no compromise and no neutral ground.

Realizing what sin is and taking responsibility for our sin is what the giving of the law/commandments of God is about and it is an essential, early step toward our salvation. We cannot confess or repent of what we cannot see.

Matthew 7:22,23 "Many will say to Me on that day, ’Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ’I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

This is perhaps one of the saddest verses in all scripture. Can you imagine thinking your whole life you were saved because you did God’s work and finding out as you stand before the throne that you had practiced "lawlessness", and the Savior "never knew you"? It is precisely those who think their works cover their sin that don’t know Christ Jesus, and He doesn’t know them. Sin needs to be confessed.

1 John 1:8,9 " If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Deceivers in this life are often God’s judgment on a wicked people who don’t want to think about sin and never deal with it. But others need to be told of God’s law and the need for repentance. This is love, this is why Jesus died; Jesus "knows" those who confess and repent. The problem with sin is not too much Devil, it’s not enough Jesus.