The Bare Soul - March 17, 2013
Simply Salvation

Psalm 116:6 - The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.

In Alcoholics Anonymous, there is a saying that goes something like this: "No one comes in here as a high roller!" The implication is that no one goes to AA because it seems like a fun and entertaining thing to do. It is usually a last resort in an attempt to arrest alcoholism. Some have said that going to an AA hall was like going to the "last house on the block." The implication being that this was their last choice and often their last chance at a sober life, by their thinking. Alcoholism had brought them low and now they needed the help of God and the group to find a way from this hopeless pit in which they were trapped.

In our lead scripture, the psalmist also mentions he "was brought low." Whether or not it was a result of his doing or not, it is clear that people, places, and/or things had brought him to a low place in life. Often the cause of our distress is not relevant when we are overwhelmed in its result. We just want to get out of the discomfort created by the grief. However, often our pride stands in the way of even acknowledging we are in a pit of despair. Instead, we keep saying everything is okay or it will improve if we "keep on keeping on." Another familiar truism used in AA is the definition of insanity, doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. Not only is this the apex of pride but it is also the pinnacle of ignorance. It denies both our need of a Savior and also our insistence that we are Him!

How low will we allow ourselves to go? How simple can we become? The mighty paradox of the Kingdom of God is the weak are made strong by His grace. As Paul states, not many of us who are wise by the world's standards have found the wisdom of God in salvation (I Corinthians 1:26-27). When we finally do understand how something bigger than ourselves is the one that has brought us low, then it only makes sense that something bigger than ourselves must intervene to bring us higher once again. If Jesus Christ and His salvation is not necessary and if we can lift ourselves from the proverbial mire by our own bootstraps, then His death and resurrection was a complete waste of time! Those who have been brought low by their flesh, sin, and the devil should know they cannot save themselves. There is only salvation in Jesus Christ --- Period! (John 14:6; John 8:24)

While God's redemption is utterly simple in that we must embrace the seeming foolishness of the cross, it is often not easy (I Corinthians 1:18). We all have this mental beast on our shoulders that wants to be king instead of allowing God His proper place in our lives. When we finally do experience the simplicity of the Gospel, then we can say with the psalmist: "Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you." (Psalm 116:7) As I and countless others have said, humility and surrender is not a place of perpetual weakness. They are the springboards to more strength than we can ever imagine. All we must do is believe, trust, and then surrender. The results will astound those simple enough to believe as He brings us to that higher place in Him.

O Lord our God, may we know we have been brought low by sin. May we know You are the only One who can bring us higher. Everything else is but an illusion. Grant us eyes to see and ears to hear. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,



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