It was really very encouraging and challenging to consider the transforming grace of God last Monday night. God is growing us and it is exciting!
One of the key points of God’s transforming grace which we discussed is that we are totally dependent on the Holy Spirit for His transforming work in our lives and at the same time we are responsible to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in this work. How the Holy Spirit does this is a mystery… But He progressively changes and transforms us to be more like Jesus everyday as we cooperate with Him.
Think of this illustration taken from Jerry Bridges’ book, The Discipline of Grace:
“You are seated in a jet passenger plane flying thirty-five thousand feet above the earth. Suppose (I know this can’t happen in real life) the pilot were to say ‘Folks, we’re in real trouble. One of our wings is about to break off.’ Which one of the wings would you rather lose, the left or the right one? It’s a silly question, isn’t it? No plane can fly with just one wing. Multi-engined planes are designed to fly with only one engine in emergency mode. But no plane can fly with just one wing; both are absolutely necessary.
Visualize that aircraft as though you were looking down on it from above. You see the fuselage, where you are sitting, the two wings and the tail assembly. As you look at the two wings you see the words, dependence, on the left wing, and discipline on the right wing. This airplane illustrates one of the most important principles in the Christian life. Just as the airplane must have both wings to fly, so we must exercise both discipline and dependence in becoming conformed into Christ’s likeness. (Jerry Bridges calls it the pursuit of holiness.) Just as it is impossible for an airplane to fly with just one wing, so it is impossible for us to successfully pursue holiness with only dependence or discipline. Discipline refers to training ourselves, just as Paul told Timothy to train himself to be godly. (1 Timothy 4:7)
The point of the airplane illustration is that we must not try to carry out our responsibilities in our own strength and willpower. We must depend on the Holy Spirit to enable us. At the same time we must not assume that we have no responsibility simply because we are dependent. God enables us to work, but He does not do the work for us!”
From our verse today, the Psalmist sees God so intimately involved in the building and the watching! The builders can’t put their tools away and go watch the telly. The watchmen can’t go home and go to sleep and expect God to watch over the city! They must carry out their responsibilities in total dependence on God that the psalmist speaks of HIS building and HIS watching.
Good food for thought! We will resume our study series, Living Out God’s Grace, in January.
Praying for you reader, as we enter the Christmas season! This blog will continue to focus on God’s amazing grace at Christmas!
Love, Kathy xo