Perseverance: John 10 In Depth, Part 1

One of the most popular prooftexts in support of the perseverance of the saints (POTS) is —

(John 10:28-29)  “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”

The conclusion drawn by those favoring the Calvinistic interpretation is that Jesus says that the saved can’t be lost, the interpreters equating “snatch … out of my hand” with “be damned.” And it’s not an entirely unreasonable interpretation.

“Snatch”

However, I think the Greek gives us a different understanding. You see, the word translated “snatch” (haparzo) is also found in —

(John 6:15)  Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

(John 10:12)  The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.

(Acts 23:10)  The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.

The usage in the Septuagint is the same —

(Deu 28:31)  Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will eat none of it. Your donkey will be forcibly taken from you and will not be returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue them.

(Lev 19:13)  “‘Do not defraud your neighbor or rob him. “‘Do not hold back the wages of a hired man overnight.

(Psa 7:1-2)  A shiggaion of David, which he sang to the LORD concerning Cush, a Benjamite. O LORD my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me, 2 or they will tear me like a lion and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.

Clearly, the word carries with it the sense of violence. “Snatch” refers to forcible action by a third party. And it’s a particularly vivid verb — not at all the word choice if you mean to say “no one [will choose to leave] out of my hand.”

Imagine a military engineer who has just built a fort declaring that no one “can take the fort by force.” If he were a First Century Greek speaker, he’d use harpazo for “take by force.” But that word hardly indicates that the defenders will never change loyalty. He is speaking of protection against third parties.

The Good Shepherd

Next, consider the context of John 10. The chapter begins with Jesus declaring himself the “Good Shepherd.”

(John 10:12-13)  The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks [harpazo] the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

Jesus is speaking of a third-party, a wolf, attacking his people — the sheep. Unlike a hired man, Jesus protects the sheep against wolves. And the parallel use of harpazo – an unusual word — in 10:12 and 10:28-29, both in the context of shepherding, has to be intentional.

There’s more. Jesus is plainly describing himself as the good shepherd of Ezekiel 34.

(Ezek 34:2-5)  “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.”

Ezekiel wrote from Babylon at the time Nebuchadnezzar was about destroy Jerusalem — and he roundly condemns the Jewish rulers of Jerusalem.

(Ezek 34:10-13)  This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.

11 “‘For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land.”

God promises to remove their former leaders and gather his people from among the nations.

(Ezek 34:23-25)  “I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. 24 I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the LORD have spoken.

25 “‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of wild beasts so that they may live in the desert and sleep in the forests in safety.”

When Jesus said that he is the Good Shepherd, he was claiming both to be God and heir to David’s throne. And he was accusing the leaders of being as evil as the leaders at the time of Nebuchadnezzar — with the same expected result. He was indirectly prophesying the Fall of Jerusalem.

The next event recorded in chapter 10 continues the theme —

(John 10:27)  “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

It’s in this context that Jesus declares —

(John 10:28-29)  “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”

Jesus is continuing the Good Shepherd theme. Unlike the rulers who are about to allow the Romans to destroy Jerusalem and scatter the Jews throughout the Empire, Jesus promises to protect them from their enemies.

Now, the reference to eternal life certainly means that Jesus has much more than the Destruction of Jerusalem in mind, but we have to define “snatch” in literary and historical context. And the prophetic context is all about wolves — foreign armies — attacking God’s sheep because their human leaders fail to protect them. And Jesus promises to protect them from their enemies (which we’ll try to define in the next post). But he doesn’t promise to protect them from themselves.

“Eternal life”

Now, it’s easy to argue that “I give them eternal life” means that they will live forever no matter what. But consider —

(Heb 5:8-9)  Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him

(Heb 9:12)  He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.

The author of Hebrews is glad to refer to our salvation as “eternal” even though he plainly teaches we can forfeit it by rebellion. Indeed, he repeatedly teaches that we’ve been made “perfect forever” even though he also teaches we can surrender the gift.

The New Testament writers speak of our salvation as providing “eternal life” because that’s the only kind of life Jesus gives. When we are saved, we receive eternal life. We have it. But we can surrender it.

No one can take it by force. After all, Jesus himself gave us the gift — he won’t let anyone take it from us! But we can throw it away.

“Hand”

What does it mean to be in Jesus’ “hand”? Again, Jesus is likely making an indirect claim to be God by making a reference to a passage familiar to his listeners —

(Deu 7:6-8)  For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. 7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

(Deu 33:3-4)  Surely it is you who love the people; all the holy ones are in your hand. At your feet they all bow down, and from you receive instruction, 4 the law that Moses gave us, the possession of the assembly of Jacob.

The Law and the Prophets refer to the Israelites being protected by being in God’s hand. Jesus makes the same claim. But, of course, the Israelites didn’t all persevere. Many fell and died in the desert. Many others rejected Jesus. God’s protection does not guarantee continued faith to the end.

Leave a Reply

  1. Thank you Jay, this post is a comfort to my soul. Do You believe this or is this an argument for POTS?

    Can sheep stray from the fold or be enticed by outside forces of Satan?

    Cheers

    Bob

  2. "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish". If they ever perish then this is not true is it?

    "They shall never perish" is plain enough. I think Jesus meant they would "never perish".

    Jesus made some astonishing, crystal clear statements about the future of those to whom he gives eternal life. There are two clear choices. You either believe what Jesus said or you don't. Unless Jesus contradicted himself this promise is true. If he did contradict himself he has little credibility.

    Royce

  3. Jay,
    What a comforting lesson. Jesus tells us no one can snatch us away and that we shall never perish b/c we are in God's care and your take on that is that you can walk away from it. Of course, that is NOT what the text says. You have simply parsed it so as to allow a person who is already inclined against POTS to read the text in such a way as to deny the plain sense meaning of the text, or at least to say that the text leaves room for it.

    Now consider for a moment how the evil one might attempt to snatch someone away. Implicit in your suggestion is that he might walk right up to God and grab one of us out of his hand and fun off with his prize. However, do we really think that is how the devil operates? That would be like sitting on the front pew in church and lady walks up in revealing clothing and entices a young man with raging hormones to follow her into adultery. Pretty blatant activity – and don't you give the devil credit for being smarter than that.

    How about a married man has a spat with his wife just before he departs on a business trip still angry with her. The first night he is away he goes to the hotel bar to have drink with a coworker. It turns out she is lovely of face and form and listens to him, understanding his problems she consoles him. One thing leads to 10 more and they find themselves alone in her hotel room. The affair begins there, but it continues with adultery and lies and secret planning until one day he leaves his family and denounces his faith. I suspect that in your language this could be regarded as walking away rather than being snatched. I suspect the devil would be rejoicing at his success in snatching one of God's own right out of his hand.

    The force of these passages is the security of the believer – not that one can be lost while in God's personal care.

    Consider it for what it is worth.
    Peace,
    Randall

  4. Randall

    Thanks. I think If we stray it may because we make the wrong choice when tempted.

    How are you in God's personal care? Is this the guidance of the Holy Spirit?.

    I must admit to have not studied Calvinism., POTS and OSAS.

    Bob

  5. Jay,
    As I think about this a little longer I wonder if, in this passage, Jesus wanted to say no one can force you to lose your salvation but you may decide to walk away from it if you choose (after all, I wouldn't want to violate your free will) then why doesn't Jesus simply say so. What you're suggesting is that Jeus could have said saomthing like this:
    “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand, but of course they may decide to jump out of my Father's hand and be lost as neither I nor my Father would want to work in their lives in such a way as to make sure they stay in His hand where we put them. If a person chooses to do this then they must understand that I didn't really give them eternal life but only life for a while until they got out of His hand and now they may perish even though I said they shall never perish."

    Obviously the way I have written it is beyond silly, but it does seem to me to be what you are saying I know you wouldn't say it just that way but seems to be your point. If I am mistaken about your point please explain it to me simply.

    After all , almost every doctrine has at least a few problem passages and this is clearly one of them for those that do not affirm POTS.
    Peace,
    Randall

  6. Hello Jay,

    This is a great post. Ezekiel 34 is a perfect tie-in to John 6 and John 10 (of course). Also Ezekiel 16 with the Deuteronomy 7 passage you cited.

    Look at this: Ezekiel 34:4 NKJV 4 The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. Compare that with: Matthew 4:23 NKJV 23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Quite a difference in the bad shepherds and the Good Shepherd.

    Technical question: in addition to the Bible, what sources did you use and in what order did you use them in your discussion of 'haparzo'? Can something like what you did be done without learning the Koine Greek (in the sense of being able to translate from a Greek NT)? The inability to read Greek is on the list of my many weaknesses.

    Also in John 6, I hope sometime you will be able to discuss at length John 6.48-58. I don't personally understand this passage to refer to the Lord's Supper, but to taking Jesus into our life in the fullest possible sense – as physical food is consumed and becomes a part of every cell of our physical body. If the Lord's reference is to include the Lord's Supper, I don't personally feel it should be limited to that. Your thoughts would be interesting.

    I want to write about my 100% grace/0% human merit statement and how I see no conflict with obedience to the commandments. I will try to do that later.

  7. Bob Harry wrote and said to me:

    "Thanks. I think If we stray it may because we make the wrong choice when tempted.

    How are you in God’s personal care? Is this the guidance of the Holy Spirit?.

    I must admit to have not studied Calvinism., POTS and OSAS."

    Bob,
    Thanks for you note and for thinking about the subject matter. Of course Christians do stray and our struggle is a daily one. If we consider Paul's discussion in Romans 7 of how he does not do the thing he would do and instead does the thing he would not do we all find ourselves identifying with his comments. When I examine my own life it is obvious that the sin principle is still active and affecting my decisions and the way I live. I see this as part of the already but not yet of the Christian walk.

    I believe I have been justified by grace though faith in Jesus. There is a sense in which I have been sanctified (set apart) by God and that is a done deal. But in another sense my sanctification is an ongoing process. The HS is at work in my life so the the power sin has over me is diminishing; and the pleasure I find in sin is being overcome as the HS enables me to accomplish it. None of us sins b/c someone forced us to do it. No one ever held a gun to my head and told me to be greedy; no one ever twisted my arm behind my back and forced me to be arrogant or puffed up. Men and women do these things (anything from gossip to lust to stealing etc) b/c we WANT to do them. Even if the evil one was not enticing us we would still commit acts of iniquity b/c that's the kind of people we are. And Satan and his demons are rather adept at leading us into temptation and failure. They can be quite subtle about it and more successful than we might want to admit.

    So my answer to your question about the guidance-work-activity of the HS is a very loud YES. Were it not for the LORD who was on my side I surely would fail. But the HS does all kinds of amazing work in my life enabling me to know and love and serve God. Even when I stumble it is not so as to fall headlong b/c it is God that helps me. He will never leave me nor forsake me. I am confident of that and it gives the the courage and the power to continue on, even after doing the most embarrassing and shameful things. He is the Good Shepherd and I am a typical sheep – that is, I am smelly and stupid and prone to wander and easy prey for all sorts of predators. The Good Shepherd protects his flock and sees to it that they have food and water and when they stray he goes after them and brings them back safely. There is no one like God and he will not lose his sheep.

    I used the term "God's personal care" b/c that is what I see suggested when scripture speaks of being in God's hand. I am not a speck of nameless, faceless humans that God knows will some how persevere to the end. He KNOWS me – its not that he knows my name or knows about me – it is that he KNOWS ME. I am in his hand and he constantly aware of me and keeping me safe. From eternity past he knew what he was doing and his plan included me to be one of his own. And it was all of grace, not as a result of anything good in me. I was no better than those that are lost. But God gave me to Jesus and that is why I came to him and shall always be his.

    John 6:
    37All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
    38For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
    39And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
    40And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
    41The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
    42And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?
    43Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
    44No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    I hope this helps you understand why I am confident that God (the HS) will enable me to persevere to the end. I would never be able to do it in the power of the flesh. I doubt I would even want to if it were left to my "free" will. My problem has been that I do not will well. That's what caused the problem to begin with, so I don't see how it will fix the problem.
    Peace,
    Randall

  8. Randall

    Thank you your kind and thoughtful encouragement.

    Free will must be guided by the Holy Spirit.

    Jeremiah 6:15-16 This is what the Lord says:

    Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.

    But you said, We will not walk in it. I appointed watchmen over you and said, Listen to the sound of the trumpet! But you said We will not listen.

    Ask for the good way and walk in it. God grant us your Spirit to find the straight and narrow way…few be that FIND it.

    Grace and Peace

    Bob

  9. John 6:51 "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

    I am the bread that came down from heaven.

    My flesh is the bread that came down from heaven.

    That is:

    I brought my body down from heaven. I was not born. That's why I told my fictional mother "woman, what have I to do with thee?"

  10. Randall,

    Your argument cuts both ways. If Jesus wants to say "no one will ever leave his hand," why speak of someone being snatched forcibly? Regardless of your theological school of thought, you have to deal with the meaning of "snatch" — which does not mean "voluntarily leave" or "rebel" or "become hard hearted."

  11. John,

    Regarding my Greek methods, http://oneinjesus.info/2008/05/30/tools-of-the-tr….

    I've never taken Greek for credit. While I was at Lipscomb for my undergraduate degree in math, it was impossible to schedule NT Greek because it always conflicted with courses required for my major. Worse yet, back then you had to take classical Greek as a prerequisite to NT Greek.

    Fortunately, Dr. Rodney Cloud taught an afternoon seminar — for free and no credit — on koine Greek, and a few of us signed up. It lasted about 1 1/2 quarters before other responsibilities took him away from the class. We didn't get far, but having the basics has proven invaluable in knowing how to use Greek resources.

    Regarding the Septuagint, I found a Greek interlinear on the internet at http://en.katabiblon.com/us/index.php?text=LXX. To sort out the meaning of "snatch," I worked through every use of the Greek word in the Septuagint and in the NT. Much of the work done doesn't show in the posts.

    I don't usually go to the Septuagint, but the precise sense of the word is so important to the interpretation of the verse, I wanted to be extra sure.

  12. Jay,
    As I assume you know there is more to this passage than the word "snatch."

    There is the phrase in verse 37 "All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out." My understanding is that this is a triple negative (for emphasis) in the Greek – meaning it just won't ever happen.

    and verse 39 "And this is the will of Him who sent Me. that of all He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day."
    and verse 44 " No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."
    and verses 64-65 "But there are some of you who do not believe. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father."

    I could go on, but what's the point? You may parse this to your heart's content, but either our English language translation is a accurate representation of the original language or it is not. All conservative churches, including the CofC have taught this to be the case. Now you seem to be suggesting that really we need to understand the Greek in order to see that the thought communicated in the English is very different, perhaps even 180 degrees different than the Greek.

    Please be careful (even with problem texts from your point of view) lest you open your ministry to criticism that it is little different than a cult that changes what the Bible says. Surely you don't think everyone has to understand the arguments of Greek scholars (are you one?) in order to get the plain sense meaning of the text. It is one thing to enrich or amplify the text with a knowledge of the Greek. It is quite another to radically change the meaning of the text by appealing to the a better translation (your own??) of the original language. Taking a phrase from an interlinear can be disingenuous. My Greek is rather limited but I am fluent enough in a couple of other languages (besides English) to know appealing to a too literal meaning can be misleading.

    You argument is, at least in part, based on taking a (Greek) phrase or two out of context. It could be open to the old truism that any text taken out of context may become a pretext.

    When one reads the whole passage it is clear enough what John has to say. That is, the true believer is eternally safe and secure in the Lord.

    Peace,
    Randall

  13. Jay,
    I've never taken Greek for credit either. I did take the equivalent of about a semester and a half informally, but that was 25 years ago. No way would I suggest that I understand Greek well, certainly not well enough to be able to say "I don’t usually go to the Septuagint, but the precise sense of the word is so important to the interpretation of the verse, I wanted to be extra sure."

    I do hope to do some additional study now that I am retired, but still doubt I will ever make strong, convincing arguments against the English translation of any given text.
    Peace,
    Randall

  14. When someone falls down they may think I’ve messed up so bad God doesn’t want me, and sometimes that is what other people have told them, but that is far from the truth, God tells us He will never leave you nor forsake you. When I get up even after I have fallen flat on my face it is not by my might but by His Spirit. If it were up to me to get up by my might I wouldn‘t be here speaking to you now. I don't always wanted to look up to God after screwing up, yet there I am praising God even when I didn’t feel like it – God said not by might but by My Spirit.

    “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(Romans 8:38-39), “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14). We can be confident that God keeps us as He promises to complete what He started in us, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6).

    John 4:13-14 “Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

    2 Timothy 1:12 “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”

    2 Timothy 4:18 “And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!”

    2 Corinthians 3:4-6 “And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

    1 Peter 1:23 “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.”

    We should be encouraged by God’s faithfulness to always help us and protect us.

    Psalm 18:1-2 “I will love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

    Psalm 18:28 “For You will light my lamp; The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.”

    Psalm 32:7 “You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.”

    Psalm 36:5 “Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.”

    Psalm 37:39-40 “But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, And save them, Because they trust in Him.”

    Psalm 48:14 “For this is God, Our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.”

    Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”

    Psalm 63:7-8 “Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.”

    Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

    Psalm 91:1-2 “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

    Psalm 94:18 “If I say, “My foot slips,” Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up.”

    Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

    Psalm 121:2 “My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.”

    Psalm 138:7 “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand Against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.”

    I trust when I put my life in His hands there couldn’t be a more secure place to be. God is my strength, my stronghold, He always revives me, God helps me and holds me up even when I am at my weakest.

    2 Peter 2:9 “Then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment.”

    God is my strength, my stronghold, He always revives me, God helps me and holds me up even when I am at my weakest.

  15. I don’t always want to look up to God after screwing up, yet there I am praising God even when I didn’t feel like it – God said not by might but by My Spirit. (sp)