I remember a period of time when I went to a church almost every night of the week. I wanted to experience God’s presence in a greater way, but I often left feeling disappointed and frustrated. Years later God gave me a vision which revealed some of the reasons for that frustration. I had mentally acknowledged gospel truths but denied their implications. I had actually been praying as if Jesus never died for our sins, rose from the dead, or came in the flesh.
Christian culture isn’t always consistent with scriptural truth. Sometimes the prayers and buzzwords that make their way into our Christian culture do a lot more harm than good. They obscure our revelation of the gospel so as to keep us weak, frustrated, and powerless.
I can no longer sing some of the songs I hear in church. They aren’t a confession of truth. They are prayers of doubt and double-mindedness. They don’t glorify God.
Don’t take me wrong. I’m not bashing the church! I eventually realized how my confused belief system had been at the root of that frustration and powerlessness. When my perspective changed and I began to experience God’s power working through me, going to church became more about what I could give than what I could receive. I continued to go to two or three different assemblies on most Sundays. All of them were places where I not only found edification but I also found the opportunity to minister to people. And I had a blast! Sunday was certainly my favorite day of the week.
I love meeting with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Those meetings are so much more edifying when we get a clear vision of gospel truth and cut out the double-mindedness that sometimes makes its way into our prayers and songs. And here is one of those prayers:
In my experience with many different Christian groups, one of the common ways to begin a prayer is often“Oh God, we are nothing, but…” Maybe this kind of prayer is common in your circle of Christian friends. Maybe it isn’t. Even if it isn’t, I hope this article will encourage you to examine other phrases and buzzwords that Christian culture sometimes brings us. Here are two of the questions I ask when a brother or sister in Christ says that “We are nothing.”
Is Jesus’ Blood Worth Nothing?
We measure value by what someone will pay for something. What price did God pay for us?
1 Peter 1:19 (NIV) For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
All the silver and gold in the world was not enough to redeem you. Jesus paid the highest price possible for you—his precious blood. What is more valuable than Jesus’ blood? God saw you as worth redeeming at the highest cost possible. God never paid a higher price for anything else in the universe than that which he paid for you.
Is Jesus’ blood worth “nothing?” What would you pay for “nothing?” We may say that we are “nothing,” but God says “you were worth it all!” Jesus suffered for the joy that was before him, and that joy was us! He now rejoices over his people, whom he paid the highest price for. He certainly isn’t saying “I got a bad deal. I should never have redeemed him. He wasn’t worth my blood.”
It may sound humble to say that we are nothing, but to do so is actually devaluing Jesus’ blood. That’s not glorifying God!
Is God’s Inheritance Nothing?
Psalm 33:12 (NIV) Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.
1 Peter 2:9 (NIV) But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
God’s inheritance is his people! God considers us to be his riches! Is God’inheritance “nothing?” He calls us his “special possession.” We are the “pearl of great price” that he sold everything for!
Calling ourselves “nothing” doesn’t glorify God. God isn’t a fool who gave everything for “nothing.”
The Radiant Bride Of Christ
Ephesians 5:25-32 (NIV) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washingwith water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wivesas their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
Jesus is coming for a radiant and spotless bride. A bride becomes radiant with joy as she receives the groom’s love. A bride is radiant when she knows how precious she is to the groom, that he chose her!
A radiant bride doesn’t say “I’m so unworthy of your love. I’m too ugly. You couldn’t really love me. I can’t cook well enough for you. I could never please you.” Yet this is the way we sometimes act with Jesus.
If we think we are nothing, we tend to treat others like nothing. But we love because God first loved us. What would it look like if we as the church started treating others with the value that we know God has for us?
What is a better testimony of Christ to the world: A radiant church, or a depressed and self-depricating church? If you are “nothing,” than what does that make the unbeliever? On the other hand, if we see the price Jesus paid for every man we will show the non-Christian how valuable they are to God We’ll lead a lot more people to Christ that way!
If we think we’re nothing, we’ll probably live as if our lives don’t matter. If we understand how valuable we are to God, we’ll live as if every moment matters.
We aren’t nothing. We are Christ’s bride. We are kings and priests to our God, and we are God’s treasure. We are the body of Christ, whom he loves as he loves himself.
Bill Johnson once asked the rhetorial question “Is Jesus coming for a bride he will be unequally yoked with?”
Dan Mohler says “Pride resists, humility receives.” Saying “I’m nothing” is resisting what God has spoken about you through the blood of his Son.
Let’s humble ourselves before the Lord. God has declared “I’ve loved you with an everlasting love. You are my treasure, my inheritance, my special possession. I paid everything for you, and it was so worth it!” Let’s stop arguing with Him and humbly receive His word!