What is on my heart today is not an easy topic. In fact, it is something that often makes people run from church or anything having to do with the judgement of God. Today, Easter, signifies the finished work of Jesus that washes away our sins. Through Him we are forgiven and will not have to endure the wrath of God. He took our place. Once we finally allow ourselves to believe that then we start to view our sin differently. We start to be disgusted by it.
James 4:9 says:
“Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.” This is a point we all must get to in order to let sin go in our lives. So disgusted with the sin that, for a moment, we turn from joy and laughter in the sin and we mourn and feel heavy over it. This can often turn people away. They feel like they were happier in their sin and all this “church stuff”, “Christian stuff”, or “God stuff” is nothing but a bunch of judgement and expectations they can never live up to. I once felt that way, too. Until one day I realized just like Jesus’ suffering was temporary, so is ours.
There came a time when Jesus breathed one last suffered breath to proclaim “It is finished.” There will also come a time when you will say the same. We suffer over our sin so we will not want it anymore. It needs to be at a point of such disgust that you never want to bring it to the cross again. That is not to say that if you stumble you dont need to bring it back to Jesus. You most certainly do! His forgiveness is unending! But if you really want to let it go, turn your laughter into mourning over it. Let it take you to your knees, tears streaming down your face, praying to Jesus to forgive you and wash you clean. Cry in His lap as He comforts you and releases you from your suffering yet always remember this moment. Then, when you are ready, stand up and rejoice in your freedom from that sin and with a sigh of relief breathe out “It is finished.”
Do you think God sent His Son to save you just so you could keep walking around guilty and depressed? Do you think Jesus was tortured and killed for your sins just so you could continue to walk around feeling ashamed and horrible? Do you think the Holy Spirit was sent here to encourage you for you to just push the encouragement away and walk around discouraged and bitter?
We are all sinners. Guitly in every degree. Jesus washed that away at the cross. The forgiveness, the change, and the rest is all right there waiting for you to accept it. I know it is hard to let go of beating yourself up. I know. You feel like you have to because that is what you deserve. But that takes away from the suffering Jesus went through to save you. It says that what He did wasn’t enough. That you don’t think His power was enough to save you and you must punish yourself to be saved. Jesus did it because you can’t. Do you hear me? You can’t!! You will never punish yourself enough. You will never punish others enough. You will never behave well enough either and neither will anyone else.
What God sent His Son to offer you is forgiveness, continual forgiveness. Guilt creates bitterness creates sin creates guilt creates bitterness creates sin….
How do we break this cycle? Believe in your forgiveness by the power of Christ (breaks guilt). That leads to believing in forgiving others by the power of Christ (breaks the bitterness). Believe the power of Christ will change your desires (breaks the chains of sin). Do you see how accepting the gifts you inherit when coming to Christ benfits you, others, and your testimony?
Believe the words of God are for you. Believe Jesus died and resurrected for you. Believe the Spirit when it encourages you along your walk with Christ.
Believe that God is working in you. Pray back His promises to Him and let your faith grow. Like the woman that touched the hem of His garment with great faith…you will be healed.
Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.”And the woman was healed at that moment.
There are times I get confused about how I should feel or confused about a verse I read. I pray for God to give me wisdom over it. Then I start to notice devotionals about the topic. My daily verses will be similar to the topic. Different things will start to guide my thoughts on it and suddenly the light comes on. I grasp an understanding. Then I hear this voice, and I wish I could explain it better because I dont really hear it. It isnt like a thought in my head either. Its like a feeling. I feel God’s words in my heart say “Do you understand?” Or “Do you hear Me?”. Of course God knows if I understand or if I heard Him. I believe that is His way of letting me know that was Him. The understanding doesnt always bring about instant change but it does give me something to strive for. It gives me direction. Something to aim at. And one thing I have learned is: if you dont have aim…where are you going? In circles? Zig zagging to avoid the bullets of life? Where is your aim? Look to God. He is your first and most constant aim. Let Him guide you from there.
21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”