The Christian walk is quite the walk indeed. It’s always changing, there are ups and downs, and continually we are being made more and more like Christ. This process of becoming more and more like Christ is an extremely difficult process. It’s difficult because Christ, or I should say the Holy Spirit who dwells inside of us, is continually showing us how we were designed to live and how sin has no place in that design.
These past few weeks have been the most intense weeks I’ve had when it comes to this area of the Holy Spirit speaking to me and pointing out how many things I”m doing or living in that I was never designed to live in. Continually I find myself doing, thinking, or saying things that I was told “no Christian would ever do, think, or say” and yet here I am a, a committed follower of Jesus doing these things and then thinking to myself “Wait, I thought Christians don’t do these things, how can I be a Christian?!” It is then that the Holy Spirit so gently reminds me that I am covered by grace and not by my works. That my actions have nothing to do with saving me, and that the reason I am so broken is exactly the reason Jesus died.
You see, I’ve had it so backwards. I never believed that my works saved me, but if I did something wrong (especially something deemed VERY wrong by our Christian culture), I felt terrible, I didn’t feel like a Christian, this is a toxic way to view our faith because the bottom line is that our works do not do anything to save us. Somewhere along the line we got in to this mindset where Christianity was defined by not doing bad things. So easily we forget the people God used in the Bible. So easily we forget about Rahab the prostitute, David who committed adultery and then killed the women’s husband, Paul who was a murderer of Christians, Moses who murdered an Egyptian, and let’s not forget Jesus who called fishermen, bottom of the food chain, rough, fishermen.
It is such a battle, because I know how I want to live, I know what I want to do. But then I don’t do it. The scary part? Reading the BIble doesn’t help, going to “church” doesn’t help, none of that helps. The reason? Because none of it is actually going to Jesus for help. Sometimes we think “oh I messed up, I better read my Bible” to which I say FIRST you should go DIRECTLY to God. The Holy Spirit (God) dwells inside of you which means that you have a direct connection to God. You have a direct connection to the Father.
Trust me when I tell you these few weeks have been no easy journey. I’ve been undoing so many mindsets that I’m realizing are not Christ and are instead slavery. Seeing my sin right in front of me, bringing it to God and saying “God how can you use me LOOK at what I did!” to which he replies “This is why I died for you, this is why I paid the price of that sin. Now watch me use you”. It’s humbling, it wrecks me every time because there are moments where I feel so incredibly hypocritical. This is when I’m reminded of the words of Paul
“I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.
17-20But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
21-23It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.” Romans 7
What’s my point? Start being honest with God, I say this in confidence because I know I’m not the only person who thinks this way, or has had this struggle of receiving Grace that has been freely given to us. Sometimes we think it’s all about living morally right and then we are “good Christians”. To that I say that if you weren’t good before Jesus saved you, you are not good after Jesus, only Jesus does that work in us.
I have news for you people, I am not a good person, I do not always do good, and my Jesus uses me.