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(12) Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
(13) Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.
(14) Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
1 Peter 1:3-5
(3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
(4) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
(5) Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Thank God for the Holy Spirit that He has given to all those who trust in Him to be their righteousness and salvation! How sad when believers do not understand the keeping power of His Spirit in them, the resurrection power unto "newness of life" that is theirs, and the hope to which they have been called! That "hope" is a surety that His salvation is theirs eternally and is preserved for them just as they are preserved for it. How it must grieve the heart of our Father Who provided all for us! Some think it is their "faith" that keeps them. Yet the Word says it is HE Who keeps them, BY HIS POWER, through faith. Not faith in your faith being strong enough to keep you, or faith in your faith to persevere, but trust in HIS keeping power that is given you when you believed into Christ and became His child.
Trust...relinquishing anything on your part...unto Him, Who alone is able to save you to the uttermost and keep you. Even when your "faith" fails, He will not, because He abides in you and is faithful (2 Timothy 2:13). I remember the revelation it was to me when the Lord made me to see it was "Christ in me" Who was my hope of glory (Colossians 1:27), not my perseverance. All that I thought was my perseverance had been Him persevering in me all along. I read that many times, yet I really was not grasping it. Christ in me...suddenly that became very real and tangible and I had peace that He would indeed act to do all in me according to His finished work and His promise. I have His presence truly in me through the Holy Spirit. He is real. He abides in me. He is my hope of glory. Not my willpower, my strength of spirit, and not my "faith" but His presence-His resurrection life. I trusted myself into Christ, and He came into me, and He alone is the keeping faith abiding in me, faithful to keep me through all in this world. I trust His faithfulness, not my faith. I trust the faithfulness of His Word. Not because I have to keep "believing hard enough." That is faith in my faith. But His presence in me when I trusted His power to save me, is the same saving power that continually works in me to keep me. Faith abides in me because He abides in me.
Those who think to be kept by their faith in their faith, have missed the joy of their salvation and their eyes again are on themselves, and something in themselves to keep them. In my own experience, the Lord showed me again and again that my own faith would fail. The "trying of our faith," I believe, is not so that we can muster up enough faith, but sometimes it is to show us our faith is misplaced. When we come to the end of it, realizing it is only another aspect of our flesh trying hard, we finally are able to relinquish all unto Him, and He directs our trust, our rest, our reliance to Him alone and His FINISHED work. Maybe it's a blessing that I am a weak person in the flesh. I do not have a strong willpower. I am a quitter by nature. I don't have strong inner or physical strength. I've had to "give up" many a time when faced with adversity, because I am not a strong person. Yet in doing so, I have found the Lord to be my strength (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). I have found His strength to be perfect in my weakness I have found His faithfulness not to fail when my faith fails. I have found the Lord to be my all. I have to feel sorry for the strong person who thinks it is their strength of faith or will that is keeping them and enabling them to persevere to the end. Sometimes a strong will is truly only a stubbornness in our flesh, which is all the harder to be broken so that true faith can take over. They have not found the Lord's rest. Oh they would say it is the Lord helping them (and it is more than they realize), but they are depending on their ability to have enough faith and inner strength still. May the Lord show us our own faults. As the Word above says, "who can discern his errors?" We can't.
We cannot discern our own hidden faults and the errors in our thinking and our ways. Only the Lord can make us see the errors in our faith, our thinking, our living, as we come into His light and ask Him. As in my last two devotionals, "Morbid Introspection" and "The Lord As Our Portion," we must be made to see our own searching only leads us as far as our own thinking and understanding can, and we cannot be made to see where we are blind, to see ourselves as He sees us (Proverbs 3:5-7). And when we are brought to the end of our resources, our strength, our faith, and even all hope, it is so that we are finally in a place to see by His light, by His Spirit in us, and to see the Lord Who is our portion...our all in this life, and to see it is all of Him from our saving to our keeping and our being made into His image. Each moment of our giving up, and our seeing Him as our portion, is our true growth spiritually. In the end, it is not our misplaced faith that will keep us, but His power that will keep us unto eternal life. He has given us His Spirit as a guarantee of that (Ephesians 1:14). In this life, the more we relinquish to Him, the more we enjoy that life in Him and the power of it to deliver us here and now from the corruption of the world we live in, and the more He is glorified in and through us in this pilgrim journey. The more that life is manifested through us, the more we are able to bear fruit for eternity and receive Heavenly rewards.
Faith...complete reliance on Him, all He is and does, relinquishing all of ourselves unto Him and into His care, is truly a surrender of faith, not a striving of faith. There is a "faith" that is a human work of the flesh, or a striving, and there is that which God continually tries to bring us to...a trust and relinquishing up of ourselves to Him, trusting all He is and has done, in surrender. It's as though the soldier, during a battle, saw that he was totally surrounded and there were no more hope so he gives up, relinquishing himself entirely into the hands of another, and all that they will do to them and for them, and depending entirely on their mercy. True faith is wrought in us by God when we are finally at that place of giving up...surrendering to Him. We are entirely at His mercy. And when we are there, we find Him faithful. We learn of all He is to us and in us and then He is able to truly manifest Himself to us. True faith is not a striving to keep on believing. True faith is a giving up of oneself to the One Who is faithful, ceasing all striving, just depending on Him to do what He said. When we do, we are finally at rest in His finished work, and we have peace. We have given up the care of our souls and the keeping of it into His hands. There is no longer a striving of faith. We rest in His security. We are assured He will never fail or forsake us. Faith - "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," is the substance and assurance and evidence in our hearts of the power of His finished work and His promise to save us to the uttermost and keep us for all eternity. God puts that kind of faith in our hearts by His indwelling Spirit, Who is that guarantee (Ephesians 1:13-14). All born again believers have that promise and guarantee, but not all enjoy it in this life, but strive and struggle to have "enough faith" to keep themselves, because of lack of understanding of what that "finished work" is. They never fully enter His rest because of unbelief. They haven't realized it's only the power of God that can conquer the giants in the land (Numbers 13:27-33).
As long as His presence is in us, He will provide the keeping faith, through His faithfulness, that we will be kept by His power. He has told us that "He will never leave us or forsake us" (Hebrews 13:5), and that His Spirit, once given, would "abide in us forever" (John 14:16, and 1 John 3:9). It does not say, "unless" or "but" or "if" there. It simply says His Spirit in us, will abide, remain in us forever. So often people take "if", "but" verses in other places of Scripture and add them where they are not meant to be. So they read those verses out of context and obscure their meaning. In their minds they are then convinced it is up to them to strive in faith to be kept, or they will lose what only the power of God can keep. They have changed the Scripture to read that they are kept through their striving of faith in God to give them enough power to keep persevering, rather than being kept by the power of God. It is Christ in them, that is the power and presence that keeps them through faith...faith that is enabled by that power and His abiding presence...His persevering faithfulness, in us. It is not "the perseverance of the saints" but the perseverance of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us that keeps us.
There is a huge difference in these two kinds of "faith." One, is of human flesh and effort, one is of the power of God. What is it then, to be "kept by the power of God through faith?" It is a rest in His power to keep us because of His presence in us when we were made His child, through the finished work of Christ, and His Spirit that will abide in us forever, not a faith in our perseverance or level of sanctification. In that resting place we are able to walk in the power of His salvation and stand against whatever the enemy throws at us, dressed in full armor. He is always at work in us to enable us to see our flesh in His light, and to reveal more of His own power and faithfulness and provision for us. If each trial and suffering we go through becomes an opportunity for us to say, "Lord help me to see myself through this, and to see You and Your faithfulness," He will reveal Himself to us. Every suffering or loss becomes an opportunity for us to know Him more, and to know our own errors more clearly. Our normal reaction is to be defensive of our own flesh, our own ways, and to try to muster up more strength in ourselves to hold on, which we perceive as our faith. Sometimes the severity of the trial is so that we are broken, brought to the end of ourselves, and our own defenses and strivings, and yes, even to the end of our own understanding and "faith." What we thought was faith in God, is really now seen to be faith in ourselves. The sooner we see and let go, the better off we'll be! Even if the suffering does not end, the ability to endure it with all He provides and to glorify Him in it will be greater. We may feel devastated, shipwrecked even, but then just as though we were in a sinking ship, seeing no hope to survive, we see the lifeboat that is Jesus Himself, and we relinquish ourselves to Him to carry us through. He did not start this journey with us, across the turbulent sea of life, only to have us lost at sea. He intended to keep us and bring us safely to the other side (Matthew 8:23-26). What He begins, He has made full provision for in order to bring to completion. We are kept by His power, to the end, regarding our salvation; yet, temporally, we are not always victorious in keeping ourselves from the corruption of this world, if we are looking to our own faith to keep us in it. We may fail Him in the trying of our "faith" but He will never fail us in the proving of His faithfulness (2 Tim. 2:13).
2 Timothy 1:12
(12) For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
(6) Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Dear Abba, I thank You so much for the confidence, assurance, and faith we can have in You, because of Your faithfulness. Your promises are true and faithful and will never fail. I have nothing to boast in. I only see in myself my own failures, my own weakness, my own sin and shame. I see again and again, Your faithfulness to me, Your working in my heart, my mind, revealing Yourself to me, drawing me to You, correcting me, teaching me, being light to my path, and again and again sustaining me with Your great love and mercy. I see You and Your work again and again over the years for me and in me, revealing Yourself, giving me faith and hope in You alone, showing me that You are faithful to the end and I can rely completely on You and on Your Word. I ask this for my brothers and sisters in Christ, in Jesus name, amen.
If you are not sure you have eternal life, if you want to know more about salvation through Jesus Christ, and how you can be sure, you can read more about it here.