Not as though I had already attained, either were
     already perfect… .

     — Philippians 3:1

It is a snare to imagine that God wants to make us perfect specimens
of what He can do; God’s purpose is to make us one with Himself. The
emphasis of holiness movements is apt to be that God is producing
specimens of holiness to put in His museum. If you go off on this
idea of personal holiness, the dead-set of your life will not be for
God, but for what you call the manifestation of God in your life. “It
can never be God’s will that I should be sick.” If it was God’s will
to bruise His own Son, why should He not bruise you? The thing that
tells for God is not your relevant consistency to an idea of what a
saint should be, but your real vital relation to Jesus Christ, and
your abandonment to Him whether you are well or ill.

Christian perfection is not, and never can be, human perfection.
Christian perfection is the perfection of a relationship to God which
shows itself amid the irrelevancies of human life. When you obey the
call of Jesus Christ, the first thing that strikes you is the
irrelevancy of the things you have to do, and the next thing that
strikes you is the fact that other people seem to be living perfectly
consistent lives. Such lives are apt to leave you with the idea that
God is unnecessary, by human effort and devotion we can reach the
standard God wants. In a fallen world this can never be done. I am
called to live in perfect relation to God so that my life produces a
longing after God in other lives, not admiration for myself. Thoughts
about myself hinder my usefulness to God. God is not after perfecting
me to be a specimen in His show-room; He is getting me to the place
where He can use me. Let Him do what He likes.

On this day...

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