THE APPLE OF HIS EYE
I could write a book listing the miracles I have witnessed and the ones I have been a part of. Reading it you would be pressed to believe in God and His desire to work intimately in the lives of people. But then I could also write another book about the times I was in “the deep” about to be swallowed up and close to losing everything. Reading this list of my failures and struggles, you might then say, “Where is your God?”
I could tell you of friends being healed through prayer and also of others dying in spite of it. I have friends who have experienced miraculous healings and friends who have been raised from the dead. Some have received immediate response to prayer, and others have suffered what seems an interminable wait as they call on the Lord daily for healing, help, or an “open door.”
I have experienced the church in its glory as the people of God abounded in their love for one another with the presence of God among them so real it was like heaven itself. Then on the other hand, I have seen church people bite and devour one another and leave the brothers and sisters bleeding in their wake. All of us have seen people of God who truly represent godliness and right living, but we also know of those who have stumbled through sin and hypocrisy. We have seen the church demonstrating the wisdom of God, and then watched as she behaved in an embarrassingly foolish manner.
Christians gasp in shock at these anomalies, and the world uses these inconsistencies as an excuse to deny God and to mock the church. We should not be too surprised. The New Testament writers address these very issues. None of this was foreign to the early Christians. They knew both the reality of a Sovereign God and the reality of human weakness. The high priest in Zechariah chapter 3 stood before the Lord clothed in filthy garments (representing the sin and failure of God’s people whom he represented). The enemy was there to accuse them. But God shut the mouth of the accuser by saying, “I have chosen them, and that settles it.” God is Sovereign and He has chosen us. This should give each of us hope. Remember the words of the old hymn: “I hear my Savior say, ‘Thy strength indeed is small. Child of weakness, watch and pray. Find in me thine all in all.’ ”
It is easy to be critical, but we need to guard our attitude towards the church. She is the apple of God’s eye. And even with her faults, God loves her and will one day present her to Himself as a bride without spot or wrinkle, a people upon whom His glory rests. We should not use her faults as an excuse for our own disobedience, but rather as an inspiration to “labor fervently in our prayers that she may stand fast, perfect and complete in all the will of God." (Colossians 4:12).
We should recognize the realities and problems, but intercede and pray with a heart for God’s plan for the church rather than “pointing the finger” with a judgmental and condemning spirit. The apostle Paul said, “Who are you to judge another man’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Yes, he shall be held up: for God is able to make him stand.”
The purpose of God will be accomplished not because we are worthy, but because HE is worthy. Instead of falling back because of our failures, we should rejoice that Almighty God will complete His plan for His people, and will bring forth His kingdom on earth. Not one jot or tittle shall fail of what He has said regarding the church. If Jesus, while hanging on the cross and facing the agony of death could in that hour say, “It is finished.” (i.e., all things are accomplished and the scripture is fulfilled here today. John 19:25-30), how much more, in the face of our weaknesses and failures, from His position at the right hand of the Father in heaven will He not be able to accomplish His plan and purpose. The eternal purpose of God was accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. Its outworking and realization will be fulfilled because He is God.