Every now and then I watch one of the old Pink Panther movies with Peter Sellers. I still find some of the jokes hilarious to this day. The bumbling detective Clouseau, played by the ever serious Sellers, just cracks me up.
The scene in the hotel where Clouseau sees a dog and asks the clerk, “Does your dog bite?” The clerk just says, “No.”
Clouseau bends down to pet the dog and promptly gets bit on the hand.
“I thought your dog did not bite!”
“That is not my dog.”
You may not think that is funny but to me it is hilarious.
Poor Clouseau tries and tries to be a good inspector for the police but seems to just be able to mess things up worse and worse. His boss is having a complete nervous breakdown over the consequences of the clumsy detective. Things go from bad to worse as Inspector Clouseau tries to enforce the law.
I kind of consider myself the Inspector Clouseau of law enforcement. I have a tendency to somewhat manage to obey part of God’s Word and then proclaim myself an enforcer of that law. I like to point out the offenders and judge them in a court of law designed by myself.
The problem is that I am not a very good example of the law myself. No, the real problem is that God doesn’t want me to do this. It is a distraction and a detriment to God’s plan for my life and as such can not be something coming into my priorities from God. Yeah, I am hearing that other guy that takes me into bad places and doing what he says.
I know good and well that trying to justify myself by living up to a set of man-made standards is a waste of precious time. It may keep me out of jail but it won’t transform me into a more godly man. It will merely point out my failures and my faults and pronounce me guilty time and time again.
Galatians 3:10 But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.” 11 So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” 12 This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.”
I have such a tendency to reject grace and live under a curse that I have to be on guard every day as to how I am living my days. Am I struggling under a burden I cannot bear or living in a grace beyond compare? When I become overwhelmed with life and feel like I am sinking, frequently I am basing that point of view of what I can do to fix things when I should be placing my faith in God and pressing forward.
I used to think that this only applied to spiritual stuff. But God’s Word applies to my entire life. Every thing I do with God as my source of hope and strength opens my eyes to new ways to allow him to be a part of my life.
Tonight I have to put brakes on my wife’s SUV. I fully intend to take God with me into that endeavor. God doesn’t mind a little grease and a sore shoulder. Why do anything on my own? I hate being lonely. When something goes wrong working on that vehicle (it always seems to in my forty-plus years of experience working on cars) I can be encouraged and maybe I won’t throw that wrench into the weeds and have to go traipsing into the brush with the ticks and chiggers to retrieve it.
Galatians 3:13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith.
I don’t receive from God by works or goodness. I receive from God through faith. Other people receive from God by my good works. Those works do far more when fueled by faith. Without faith I become oblivious many times to what works I should do. God seems to give me direction and ideas that I feel are far beyond what I can do. They are. He is the key to my day, my salvation, my work and my motivation.
Today I need to realize that I am starting and ending with Abraham’s blessing. I am never alone or under-powered.