Christ is the divine/human reference point for both God and man. Just as no man can come to the Father but through Christ, God does not come to us but through Christ either. In this way Christ is indeed the only mediator between God and man. Just as we see God through and in Christ, God sees us in and through Christ. Therefore, just as our reference point in our dealings with God is not ourselves, not our sin, and certainly not our performance as Christians but rather is Christ, His righteousness and His performance on our behalf—God’s reference point in dealing with us is the same.
This is the truth behind Psalm 103:10, in which we are told God does not deal with us according to our sins. How can this be? Because He is dealing with us in accordance with another reference point—that point of reference, being Jesus Christ Who made an end to all our sins!
As I have taken the last thirty days to read through my Bible so as to better catch the flow of God’s divine drama, I was especially impressed if not confounded with how God could carry on fellowship and often intimate unbroken fellowship with the likes of men who lied about their wives, had more than a few wives, were not the best of fathers, kept a few household idols around just in case, took advantage of others, and otherwise chose not to deal with some serious sin issues in their lives thus failing to break down the “high places” that were a constant scourge to their spiritual progress. During this time I also read the short biography of A.W. Tozer, a man whose intimacy with and knowledge of the Holy very few would dispute or have experienced. Yet, for all his godliness, he greatly lacked as a husband and father causing them to question throughout their lives whether he truly loved them or simply tolerated them as he pursued Who he truly loved—Jesus Christ. As I read about Tozer’s less than complimentary and acceptable performance as a Christian husband and father I struggled to reconcile his intimacy with God with his lack of intimacy with his family. How could he know and relate to God yet not truly know and relate to his wife? How could he preach, pray, and write with such spiritual power yet fail to communicate and demonstrate a father’s love to his sons? Basically, I was shocked that God could and would relate as intimately with and use a man to such a degree as He did Tozer.
Now please understand, my shock was not because I thought Tozer was unfit or unqualified for service but rather because I thought he really had it all together and that is why God was so intimate with Him and used him to such a great degree. In other words, I had fallen into the trap of a performance-based consecration in which God relates most intimately with and uses most greatly those whose lives demonstrate the greatest degree of holiness and “spiritual got-it togetherness”.
Then in one of those all too few moments when God seems to come down and speak directly into the heart of His servants, God spoke to me, deep within my heart of hearts, and here is what He said, “I have no perfect servants.” What a freeing realization this became for me the more I contemplated His words. My sin, my failings, my lack of sanctification, my issues, my rough edges, my lack of godly character, and myself in general and in particular are not God’s reference point when it comes to dealing with, fellowshipping with, becoming intimate with, and/or even using me. His reference point, plain and simple, both now and forevermore, is Christ. He sees me in Christ and deals with me in Christ and this is the way it will always be. And this is what frees God to love me allowing and enabling me to experience and enjoy intimacy with Him. Not only does it free Him to relate to me in a positive way it also enables Him to use me, failings, immaturity, sin issues, and all, for His greater glory and my immense joy.
Now, I realize, that given most teaching on the subject of consecration, that saying our degree of sanctification is not the main issue when it comes to whom God chooses to use in His service, seems spiritually dangerous—it nevertheless is true. Not that it hurts to pursue holiness so as to be as sharp an instrument as possible in the hands of God but God has never been nor is He now nor will He ever be limited by the quality of the cutlery available to Him. Hebrews 11 is the perfect example of how greatly God used imperfect and in fact badly flawed and even badly dulled instruments to accomplish some of His greatest and most penetrating work. This should not surprise us either as the whole point of Hebrews 11 as well as in salvation and sanctification is not the merit of the recipient of God’s grace as much as it is his or her’s utter lack of merit. In other words, God did not use and does not use great men and women of God to accomplish great work for God for the simple reason there are no great men and women of God. God has no great or perfect servants. All are flawed, all are sinful, all have issues, all struggle, and all have Christ and His righteousness as their point of reference when it comes to how God sees them, relates to them, and uses them. In this sense, all are trophies of His grace.
The point of consecration in terms of greater sanctification is not service or spiritual usability as much as it is a greater capacity for seeing and thus experiencing and enjoying God. “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” is the promise made to all of those who have become partakers of divine grace and mercy. The point of consecration is not greater service for God but greater vision of God. Divine happiness, of which, we have all been enabled to enjoy as much of as we desire, comes not through our serving of God but in seeing God. In fact, to find a greater joy in serving than in seeing God is idolatry in its purest and most hideous form. We serve because we see not vice versa. Furthermore, we serve Him most Whom we see best. But we will never see God to serve God and in fact to enjoy God if we continue to view the quality or lack of quality of our relationship with God through the false reference point of ourselves, our sins, our failures, our immaturity, and our glaringly true spiritual inadequacies and inconsistencies. Only one reference point exists by which the believer is to view God as well as himself and all that is within him which, in all honesty, makes him wonder why God would have anything to do with him and that point of reference is the same one through Whom God views, deals with, and comes to us—The only Mediator between God and man—Christ Jesus our Lord!