Isolated incidents or the whole person?

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By Dave Henning / April 17, 2020

“I struggled with David as a Bible character when I looked at his life in isolated incidents.  We tend to do this to people in our lives too.  We disqualify people because of one sin or one hurtful act instead of looking at them  as a whole person who deserves to be loved despite their sin.”- Esther Fleece Allen

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out all my transgressions.  Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”- Psalm 51:1-2 (NIV)

In Chapter 8 (“Your New Names Are Personal”) of Your New Name, Esther Fleece Allen notes that God chose King David and had plans and purposes specific to him.  This in spite of the fact that David failed to live a perfect life.  Thus, God used David despite his shortcomings.  And God’s able to use us as well.

Over time David progressed from unnoticed shepherd boy to rock-slayer of Goliath to king.  Yet, more changed that just David’s role.  His heart changed as well.  Similarly, in order for our lives and names to change, we must experience a change of heart.  As Psalm 51:10 reads, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Most significantly, in Psalm 51 we translate the Hebrew word bara as ‘create’.  So, in this psalm, bara means ‘to create something from nothing’.  Consequently, bara differs from other forms of ‘create’ in Scripture.  Bara describes the type of creating only God can do.  Furthermore, bara appears in Scripture only two times, when:

  1. God forms the world out of nothing
  2. God creates purity and newness in us (Psalm 51:10)

In conclusion, Esther talks about how God bara-creates inside us:

“God creates this newness inside us in the same way He creates our new names.  Memorizing Scripture will not manipulate God into giving us a new name more quickly. . . .  the emphasis of behavior manifestation is typically on ourselves, while in reality purity is God doing His work inside us.  Only Christ’s magnificent power and the Holy Spirit’s sustaining presence can create and keep newness inside us.”

Today’s question: Do you tend to look at isolated incidents in another person’s life or the whole person?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Create purity within our hearts”

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Dave Henning

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