She is a published author and skilled communicator. She has endured with resilience and grace what many would describe as an unfair twist of fate. Her testimony in the Lord’s faithfulness to deliver her not from but through her tragedy is both inspiring and challenging.
However, I listened to her speak with a mixture of unease and dread gnawing at my stomach.
I began to make an unofficial tally of how many times she named the name “Jesus.” I don’t know why. I just grew curious. I think I counted once. And, if you’re wondering, as was I, “repentance” came up with a subtotal of zero.
Not a scientific poll, of course.
I tried to both ignore and discount my misgivings. I wanted my unease to be unfounded, my misgivings unwarranted. I wanted to enjoy her jokes and be inspired by her beauty and her zeal. She was sincere; she was passionate; what more did I want, really? Who am I to judge?
All attempts to quiet my apprehensions fled when I glanced over at the notes the woman next to me had jotted down. My eyes caught the phrase “Cross: trust and adjust.” I nearly came out of my chair. Adjust? As if we approach the cross and find a little something in our lives that needs tweaking, a mere “adjustment”, and then we carry on our merry way because the rest of our lives is just fine? We just needed to “adjust” a little here and there?
I would offer that the kind of “adjustment” required of those who would seek the mercy Jesus offers at the cross is less of an adjustment and more like, well, death. Jesus commands that those who follow Him must take up their cross and die. Paul said he was crucified with Christ and he no longer lived but Christ lived in Him. In our flesh, we are sinful, depraved, wicked, rebellious children of wrath, fully deserving of an eternity of punishment in hell. Repenting of our sin isn’t an “adjustment”; it’s acknowledging our helpless, hopeless state before a holy, righteous God who will indeed judge sin with its rightful wages: death.
Trust is no small adjustment either. If I am truly trusting Christ and Christ alone for my salvation, I realize that there is nothing–nothing!–I have done to merit God’s favor. Nothing. Trust says that I place my hope fully and completely in the promise of God to save those who come to Him in repentance and faith. It’s all God; salvation is utterly and wholly His work. Trusting Him is both humbling and humiliating. No pride can stand before God’s sovereignty in salvation.
Genuine faith doesn’t “adjust”; it dies to self and responds in humble, faith-filled surrender.
Perhaps you think I am unnecessarily mincing words here. Perhaps you think me too harsh. After all, this speaker loves Jesus and certainly is not intentionally seeking to promote heresy of any kind. Of that I’m certain. She’s sincere; isn’t that more important?