I don’t know if it’s partly due to my personality, or my often unconventional way of looking at life, or immaturity, or what… but God has recently been making it very clear to me that I have a problem. Ok, I have more than one… but He’s been driving a few into my head more recently.
I struggle to accept God’s forgiveness and the clean slate He freely offers. I do. And it’s pretty pathetic. What’s more pathetic is that I’m just now realizing it.
About a month or two ago, I was (yet again) lambasting myself for failing in some area: bible study, prayer, relationships with others… I don’t know, but I was pretty frustrated. I had asked God’s forgiveness and even for His help on a fresh start, but I felt like I couldn’t move forward until… what? I really wasn’t quite sure.
Suddenly, I had what I call a ‘eureka’ moment! (These moments are usually defined by a ‘why-haven’t-I-thought-of-this-before’ realization and me running to my mom excitedly blathering about my discovery…she’s pretty awesome and knows me well enough not to be alarmed when I come screaming out of my room! hehe) Anyway, in the midst of my self-lecture, God put on my heart Galatians 5:1-2 – ‘It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.’ and Romans 8:1 -‘There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.’ Can I get an Hallelujah?!?! Honestly, hearing God whisper those words to my heart was one of the most freeing things ever! He has set me free from guilt, and sin, and the obligation to perform for His love.
I realized that I’d been putting God inside the pathetic little box of finite humanity. Think about it, if I was to betray a dear friend or family member in some way, and then apologize, they’d still love me and of course forgive me, but our relationship would need a bit of mending. Whether it was time, or, depending on the offense, regaining their trust, I couldn’t just apologize and pretend nothing happened at all. It’s just how human nature works. BUT, God’s nature doesn’t work that way! When I confess my sins, He casts them as far as the East is from the West (Psalm 103:12). Just like that, they’re gone, and our relationship is restored by Christ’s blood!
WHY HAVE I NEVER EMBRACED AND REALLY REALIZED THIS??? Seriously, it’s one thing to know it in your head, and a whole other thing to let God sink it into your heart! If you haven’t accepted His grace fully in this area, please please please ask Him to help you do so! It will change your life and your relationship with God! = )
Oh, and to make it all even more awesome, a day or two later, I went to a college worship service (Nav Night) I usually attend at USF, and they were teaching on the SAME. THING. And, it seems since then, I’ve been bombarded with verses, teachings, and people all talking about the same thing! Ever feel like God’s trying to tell you something?
So anyway, I just wanted to encourage ya’ll not to let guilt weigh you down and hinder your relationship with God. Confess, accept His forgiveness, and continue pursuing Him! I believe that conviction is from God, but nagging guilt is from Satan. Conviction drives us to our knees before God, and pesky ol‘ guilt tends to push us away with the thoughts that we have to earn His grace before coming to Him.
Remember, it is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free! ❤