(reflections after “Waiting for Taquitos from Trader Joe’s“)
An excerpt from my journal, October 29…
Is it my obedience, consecration, and dedication that make me right with God? It is never that! I am made right with God because prior to all of that, Christ died. . .Sinful men and women can be changed into new creations, not through their repentance or their belief, but through the wonderful work of God in Christ Jesus which preceded all of our experience. . . The unconquerable safety of justification and sanctification is God Himself. . . ‘It is finished.'” –Oswald Chambers
Jesus, I never realized how much of a functionally, works-based mentality I have carried when it comes to my salvation and righteousness in You. No matter how I mess up, fall short, or fail in any other area of sin, Your grace covers it. And Your grace is not some cheap sympathy which overlooks our failings because we are human and prone to stumble and fall. No! Your grace – really, Your Grace cost You greatly. It was the death of Your One and Only Son Jesus Christ, who came to this earth to die for our sin, to heal the brokenhearted, and to set the captives free (Luke 4:16-21). And it’s by this Grace that “we were saved by faith; and not that of [ourselves], it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” –Galatians 2:8-10
It’s so strange how you can study God’s word for the majority of Your life, pursue God, and take theology and Bible classes and still not fully understand and realize the truth of God in your life. It’s not to suggest that I will ever comprehend God or the work of Jesus on the cross completely, but how is it that I could live so unaware of my freedom in Christ? How many times have I read and memorized and not understood? Thank God for His Holy Spirit for He opens the eyes of the blind who are ever seeing and not perceiving, ever hearing and never understanding! It’s further evidence to me of God’s grace, His work of justification and sanctification in my life and of the abundance of His deep goodness and love towards us.
Perhaps it was growing up in the churches that I did that I can blame for my theological malnourishment in some of these fundamental areas. Who can say? But I could care less about pointing fingers right now. I feel as if I’ve made the greatest discovery although it’s been here, right under my nose this whole time. Do you get what this means for me? I don’t need to be so hard on myself when I sin, as if I could ever do anything to separate myself from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. I don’t need to be afraid when I am not living as the woman God created me to be as if He’s looking for an opportunity to pull out the rug from under me or hold back the full extent of His goodness. As I read earlier this week, “we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us . . . There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love because He first loved us.” –I John 4:16a, 18, 19
I can’t even begin to explain how wide open God has blown the door of my understanding of His truth. I am overwhelmed by His love for me and thankful for His patient teaching. He really is “gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:28-30). And I can’t help but lift my whole self in praise and thanks to this great, good God.