John Gavazzoni
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The Inescapable Position
By John Gavazzoni

In this present life, in accordance with God's providential ordering, we find ourselves, over and over again, situationally pressed to facing the necessity of taking a position, a definite position in regard to unavoidable life-issues, issues pregnant with the certainty that our assumed position will involve far-reaching consequences.

As we grow older and reflect on what has been the consequence of past positions we've taken, and the ensuing actions, some of them involving great pain, we definitely tend to be much more careful and much less impulsive than was the case in our youth when, as medical science has discovered, our brains lacked the necessary development in that area that supports a mature consideration that there is a cause-and-effect principle at work in God's world.

Of course, there are those folks so afflicted by "arrested development," that they continue through all their natural lives as accidents, going full-throttle, hell-bent, damn-the-torpedoes, somewhere-anywhere to happen. But in it all, for we who have been dragged into the faith of Christ, we are faced inevitably with being put in a position full of often-maddening tension.

Very recently I received a phone call from a young brother in the Lord, who first called me to share his excitement, and appreciation for blessings that had suddenly come into his life, but as we talked, he, as has been his habit, began to question and bemoan how it can be that the scriptures can speak so elevatingly and eloquently of the believer's identification with Jesus in His victory, and yet his life still be filled with so many negative factors, so many failures, that stand in bold contrast to the surely scriptural affirmation that we are complete in Christ.

Those among my readers, who know me well, know that at this point in this writing, it would not surprise them that I would set forth to daringly, and I confess, sometimes presumptuously, offer a theological resolution to the above, seeming enigma. But, much to their appreciation, I would think, I will not in this case.

As I did with the young brother in question, I will simply exhort us all, and especially myself, to "assume the position." What might that be? It's the unavoidable position of both reckoning ourselves complete in Christ, yet at the same time, confessing that we are desparately, pathetically, wretchedly, miserably, nakedly, impoverishedly NEEDY.

Yep, that's the BIG, unavoidable position with which we're faced living in God's world. It is the paradox that our completeness in Christ can only be existentially realized in accordance with our concurrent incompleteness. Deep does call to deep as the Psalmist declared, and the application of that to my heart by the Holy Spirit this very morning has been that it is the depth of my neediness that calls to the depth of God's over-the-top, superabundant, excessive, extravagant, gracious life-provision.

Imagine standing in a boxing ring on one leg, as the heavy weight champion of the world comes at you with his right hand cocked. You'd better quickly assume the position of standing on both legs. At the very least, a two-legged stand is required. Stand fully assured of heaven's infinite supply, AND fully cognizant of the profundity of your weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

Standing on only the one leg of affirming the certainty of God's infinite provision in Christ, will lead to what Harry Robert Fox calls "grandiosity." We've seen it; those ministries that claim to unlock the secret of unlocking all of God's riches in glory in Christ Jesus, when the fruit is examined carefully, we find more hype than help.

And, oh dear, I don't mean to be cruel here, but we've all known of those situations where a dear brother or sister, standing upon a very selective choice of biblical proof-texts, comes to claim invulnerability and immunity from those things they secretly fear, and really coming from a place of insecurity in that stance, "that which (they) have greatly feared, has suddenly come upon (them)."

But also be aware of the one-legged, dear-me, I'm-beset-by-every-disadvantage, stuck-under-it-all, victory-always-does-and-always-will-pass-me-by, victimization-mentality. Face it; take the position: You're going to have to walk on the Way shouting glory, AND groaning. Of a necessity, going forward with Jesus will combine soaring with eagles’ wings, AND finding yourself at times under a circumstantial rock-pile. And when I say "circumstantial" I include the external things that life presses upon us, along with each of our unique vulnerabilities rooted in those nature and nurture influences that God Himself has imposed upon us.

YET "In it all; in it all; I've learned to trust in Jesus, I've learned to trust in God. In it all; in it all, I've learned to depend upon the Lord." Ah yes! And in it all, trusting Him, we are more than conquerers through Him Who loved us, Who purchased us by His blood, and Who causes us always to triumph in Christ Jesus.

John GavazzoniJohn Gavazzoni
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