December 12, 2007
God Gets It
by Meghan Kleppinger, Editor, Christianity.com
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
I have an illness - I'm a chronic over-reader and over-watcher. Yep, it's true. I watch movies and read books over and over again. Unlike my father who is plagued with the opposite problem, (he has the troublesome "haven't we seen this before?" syndrome), I love to re-watch and re-read for things I didn't catch the first time and to revisit beloved characters.
I'm going through an anything Oxford, English, apologetics related, and/or C.S. Lewis phase, so I'm currently re-reading C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters.
This story is written as a series of letters from a senior demon, Screwtape, to his nephew, a junior tempter named Wormwood, to advise him on methods to secure the damnation of an earthly man, mentioned simply as "the Patient." One of Lewis' most popular works (though rumor has it that he did not enjoy writing it for obvious reasons), readers get pulled into the other side of the spiritual battle going on in our midst.
God is referred to as "the Enemy," and if you can get past that, you'll find yourself immersed in a deeper level of thinking with several "A-ha" moments. I realized how simple it is for Satan to use ordinary circumstances to trip and attempt to destroy us.
One of the lines that caught my attention during this re-read of the classic was, "Remember, he [God] is not, like you, a pure spirit. Never having been a human (oh, that abominable advantage of the Enemy's) you don't realize how enslaved they are to the pressure of the ordinary."
Aside from the fact that God is God and perfect and knows the beginning from the end, have you ever grasped the concept that He also gets it?
We deal with temptation on a daily basis. We are pressured to compromise, to cut corners, to give in to selfish wants and desires, and so on. Admittedly, more than once I've accused God, "You can't understand what I'm going through."
Oh, but He does.
The truth is that it is Satan who has no idea. Satan and his demons have never experienced what it is like to be human. Yes, he knows what works. He knows what causes pain and how to tempt us. He seems to know our weak spots and works like crazy to cause a divide between us and Christ... but he has never felt the struggle and pain of being human.
God, however, sent His son to live and die as a human on this earth. While he was able to resist it and live a sinless life, the Bible clearly states that Jesus was tempted. Jesus also felt hunger, loneliness, and deep physical and emotional pain. He understood what it was like to be rejected by his family, to be hated by many, and to be betrayed by friends. He got it and He still gets it.
Jesus came and experienced humanity. He knows what living in the real world is like. Even after living on earth among His fallen creation He counted the torturous crucifixion a sacrifice worth making for us. He lived, died, was resurrected and now intercedes for us knowing what it is like to be us.
Remember we have an enemy who seeks to destroy, but we also have a sympathetic Savior who loves us and gets it.
Intersecting Faith & Life: It's Christmastime! As we celebrate the birth of our savior, reflect on what that means for you and me. Charles Spurgeon really captured it when he said, "Immanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with Him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendor."