“Can the prey be taken from the mighty, or the captives of a tyrant be rescued?” -Isaiah 49:24
There are those, saved by grace, who are still under the thumb of a tyrant. Shamed and discredited, mocked and rebuked, lambs thwarted by one with more weight. A target of injustice by those claiming justice, a target of humiliation by those who claim righteous authority.
A sinner saved by grace tries to get up and the fearful big brother knocks them back down. Their relationship is with the law and the ransomed are in a relationship with grace. They make them doubt the power of the cross because they can’t believe it themselves.
I don’t know if they know what they’re doing. I’m just sad that the fight of unbelief is among those who can quote the Gospel without believing it’s enough. The addendum’s they add, the post script they scribe, was never intended by the One who died. Sometimes I feel like writing a letter: “How many more steps? Show me the boxes that need to be checked before we are free.” Because the yoke of slavery they put on the fallen is an endless list governed by doubters. Doubters inflicting painful spiritual abuse.
People have a hard time believing that God still loves them when those who claim to be His people refuse to. They have a hard time believing they can be forgiven when those who claim to be His people will not. People have a hard time believing they can be redeemed and restored when those who claim to be God’s people refuse to let them come back.
Men do not own the church. They do not have authority over the Gospel. They do not have a say in who God uses. But try telling them that and they’ll make you’re life a living hell.
“Can the prey be taken from the mighty, or the captives of a tyrant be rescued?” Will the tormented targets be vindicated?
For thus says the Lord: “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued, for I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children. I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh, and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine. Then all flesh shall know that I am the Lord your Savior,and your Redeemer…” -Isaiah 49:25-26
The tyrants can speak against you, write letters to discredit you, speak curses over your children, or even keep them from you. They can do all of this saying it’s God’s will and that you’re just fooling yourself for thinking God can redeem you. People , who claim to be His, do this and if you don’t think this is a problem, then you might want to consider that you are part of it.
“Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ -Luke 13:24-27
The narrow door, the gate, is Jesus. Many will claim to know Him, but their most painful realization is when they find out that He doesn’t know them. Jesus does not have addendum’s. He forgives before the failure. He forgives failures yet to be. He is quick and thorough. He causes you to see that He intended good where you intended evil. This is what repentance is. It’s a complete release and departure from the death blow of your sin. It puts you in complete reliance on Him and what He did. It makes you have to put all of your faith in His grace even though everything else is telling you that you went too far. The miracle of salvation comes to those who know they are unsalvageable.
The street grime ragamuffins, the complete failures, find that Jesus knows them. He loves them. He chose them. He will vindicate them. You know who they are by their love. Anyone who does not love, who does not believe, who holds your sin over you at their whim are as good as dead.
These people are not contending with you, they’re contending with Him and He will vindicate you.
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” – God’s work about Jesus in Isaiah 49:6
It is too light a thing to save the insiders. The Gospel is not just for the insiders. They reject Him repeatedly. The Gospel is for everybody. Let the outsiders come running. He’ll hold on and never let you go.
I recommend that you read all of John 17 because it’s a prayer Jesus prayed about all of us. This is an excerpt:
“Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life that you conferred as a gift through me, so they can be one heart and mind as we are one heart and mind. As long as I was with them, I guarded them in the pursuit of the life you gave through me; I even posted a night watch. And not one of them got away…” –John 17:11-12