Everyone has had a splinter in their hand or finger. Sometimes they are big suckers that need to come out right now. Sometimes they are little annoying ones that are really hard to get out. Removing the little ones can actually cause more damage in the removal process than the damage incurred in the insertion process. No matter how little they are you are very aware of their presence. They may cause you no pain just standing there motionless but try to pick something up or hold someone’s hand or something like that and the slightest brush against this little nagging intrusion will remind you of something that doesn’t belong. Can you identify with this diatribe?
As I plunge deeper and deeper into the ocean of God’s Grace, I become increasingly aware of splinters. Some are big giant ones that must come out immediately. Some are little ones that don’t seem to be a big deal, but I brush up against something and ouch! that little beast has to be dealt with. Some of the big ones are easy, like a mixture gospel. You can’t mix law and Grace it doesn’t work. For that splinter of a lie, God has made the removal process obvious in scriptures like these:
John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (KJV)
Rom 6:14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (ESV)
Gal 2:21 [Therefore, I do not treat God’s gracious gift as something of minor importance and defeat its very purpose]; I do not set aside and invalidate and frustrate and nullify the grace (unmerited favor) of God. For if justification (righteousness, acquittal from guilt) comes through [observing the ritual of] the Law, then Christ (the Messiah) died groundlessly and to no purpose and in vain. [His death was then wholly superfluous.] (AMP)
And my personal favorite…
Gal 5:4 If you seek to be justified and declared righteous and to be given a right standing with God through the Law, you are brought to nothing and so separated (severed) from Christ. You have fallen away from grace (from God’s gracious favor and unmerited (blessing). (AMP)
There are other splinters that aren’t so obvious, but still can cause much pain. If they aren’t dealt with, they could actually fester or cause some infection. The removal process may not be obvious and require more that tweezers. Maybe you have to break out the needle. Sometimes the extraction tool is not something you would consider appropriate but it works. I think about my Grandfather who was a farmer. He carried this little pocket knife that he sharpened on a grinding wheel. It was ground down to half its original size and the edge was more serpentine than straight. Still, he could extract those little splinters like a skilled brain surgeon. I digress.
There is one type of splinter that really bothers me more than others. It is that one that the enemy plants in our heads and it is patterned after the original deception in the garden, “did God really say?” These little lies may seem innocuous or maybe you have just put them in the “I don’t understand but I just trust God’s plan” box so you won’t have to deal with them. Still they can creep in and become the “final word” when life or circumstance gets hard. These splinters lead to blaming God for stuff. I really don’t like them because they are the roadblocks to seeing how awesome God really is. They are the default excuses that the enemy uses to trip us up. They are sometimes doctrine in religion to keep the people in check and living in fear of a temperamental and unpredictable God. That isn’t truth of course, but like those little splinters, they can be hard to remove. The difficulty is in the subtle nature of the deception. It may sound plausible or even logical.
2 Cor 4:4 For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers’ minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image and Likeness of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves [merely] as your servants (slaves) for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God Who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts so as [to beam forth] the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory of God [as it is manifest in the Person and is revealed] in the face of Jesus Christ (the Messiah). (AMP)
It takes one of those well used pocket knives of trust to get those lies out. It requires tender loving care supplied by our Abba Father. It is not possible unless we can use our mind of Christ and see through our Jesus filter. We have to always remember that Jesus is the exact representation of God and if it doesn’t make sense for Him then it isn’t a true picture of God. If you can’t see Jesus do it then it isn’t what God did.
Over the next few posts I want to address a few of those splinters:
1. Did God curse the Earth because we failed to obey Him and therefore we needed a continual reminder of how bad we are while we work and toil to produce nothing of value on this Earth? NOPE!
2. Did God punish Eve as the first to be deceived in her apparent female weakness by giving her excruciating pain in childbirth as a continuous reminder of her inferiority as the lesser half of the human race? NOPE!
3. Is planet Earth groaning because God cursed it as a result of our disobedience so all of the creation would suffer the consequences of our horrific sin as a human race with Adam leading the charge? NOPE!
4. Is the human race ultimately responsible for all that goes wrong on this planet because we sinned and were ejected from the Garden because we were miserable sinners and needed to be perpetually punished and as a result all of this world is suffering as a result of this punishment? NOPE!
I hope to address these in the coming posts. I’m not sure of the order but probably 4 is first. As a teaser here is the answer up front. God isn’t to blame. Man isn’t to blame. The devil IS to blame. We may have and continue to make bad choices but we are God’s greatest creation. We are made in His image and His master plan is to be in union with us as we take back the planet from the cursed one, satan. We were poisoned by bad fruit, fell under the unbearable burden of shame, guilt and condemnation. God showed mercy by putting us out of the garden with the ultimate plan of revealing His true nature to us as Jesus on a cross. He never needed appeasement for our sin, but chose to be a sacrifice because WE needed one. He is that good. The splinter of a lie is that God is mean and angry and vengeful. The lie is that God needs something from us when all He wants is a relationship with us. The lie is we are required to make up for our selfish and sinful nature when God’s plan was to free us from that nature.
That is a glimpse of what is to come. Join me in the splinter extraction. It will be fun. There may be a twinge of pain as we pull that sucker out but the elation after is worth it.