In his small but powerful book Led By The Spirit, Jim Elliff describes Christians he terms “illuminists” – people who, when confronted by difficult decisions in life, seek guidance from God by getting a series of impressions which they believes come as God directly impacts the spirit. This term is not to be confused with illumination, which is the Spirit’s work of illuminating the words of Scripture to believers. The author used to practice this kind of decision-making so knows it well.
Here is a short quote from the book that I found very meaningful:
God may use the sincere individual who gets his guidance the illuminist’s way. He may bless him. He may honour his faith more than his method. I am quite sure that God always condescends to our imperfections. And if there is immaturity, we must realize that God will often use in our zealous immaturity what he disallows in our maturity.
The Great Awakening preacher, George Whitefield (1714-1770), who had such tendencies in his earlier days, later commented, “I am a man of like passions with others, and consequently may have sometimes mistaken nature for grace, imagination for revelation.” He put away his illuministic patterns as he grew in Christ. Yet, it is important to note that he was used in those earlier days just as dramatically as in later life.
Ellif is correct when he says that God condescends to our imperfections. I believe this is especially the case when our imperfections are due to immaturity in the faith. As we mature and grow, we should be able to remove many of those imperfections as we learn how to walk in the ways Christ commands us.
That is a thought that has been playing in my mind for several days now – that God condescends to my imperfection. And that God that He does, for my imperfections by far outweigh any good I may offer Him.