Today's sermon was from Gal 4:21-31, where Paul used Sarah and Hagar as allegorical examples of who we call our spiritual parents (v.24).
What struck me was this: God was not for the fertile Hagar but barren Sarah. It is apparent historically through the reading of Scripture that we are not worthy because of who we are or what we can do and achieve. We are worthy only because of Jesus.
This lesson is timely for me - I wrote about my "Great Fulfilment" and Jesus as supremely valuable as he is, in the last two days. They bear the same question: what is my worth tied to?
In my weakness and in my flesh, I've tied my worth to what I desire to be and my worth is to be realised when I achieve it, only that my standard is ever moving higher and higher as I strive at it, and in the end I would never have realised my worth. This is what I mean when I call it The Great Fulfilment.
This explains why I am always living a defeated life - I am never good in what I do, I am not accepted as who I am, I am not appreciated for what I have done. In short, pride. I've tied my worth to myself, what I see as good and acceptable; to the world, what I take as what they see to be good and acceptable.
How foolish. I need a shift in my thinking and conviction.
I must be identified with the barren Sarah, who bore the son of promise and not the fertile Hagar who bore the son of flesh (v.23).
I am to tie my worth to Jesus, to his righteousness, of which I am robed with (Isa 61:10), and he is good and acceptable, without question. What I can never be good in, or accepted as or appreciated for is good, accepted and appreciated in Christ Jesus.
What I cannot achieve is achieved in me in Christ, and is thus good and accepted by God, and that is all that matters. What I think and what others think of me do not matter. Only God matters.
And what is wisdom to God is foolishness to the world. Thus, I have no reason to measure my worth through the eyes of the world.
My worth is in Jesus, through the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
But the tension is this: does it mean that I stop doing or striving? No, I don't. I am to be a living sacrifice for God, an offering to him, and how can I be a fragrant offering if not my best?
So I still do and strive and achieve, offering my best to God as an act of worship. This is separate from my worth that is in Christ.