I’m tired, my friends. I don’t think it’s ever simply physically tired … it’s emotional, too. Like, at the end of a day spent mentally fighting anxiety, I feel too drained to do anything – much less, write a worthwhile blog post for you all! So, if you could pray for me, I would surely appreciate it!
Still, I want to talk to you a little bit about some things I’ve been thinking of lately.
It happened that I was reading some devotional/Christian living thing, and the thought struck me that I might not be “measuring up” in this certain area of my walk of faith. Immediately, my chest tightened. Anxiety entered my mind. Panic struck my heart.
This is bad. I’m failing. I’m not doing what I should. God is surely displeased with me. My brothers and sisters in Christ probably want nothing to do with me because I’m not as godly as them. Will I ever be good enough?
You know what the answer is?
No, I will never be good enough.
But Jesus Christ is.
Sometimes I think we, as Christ followers, (or maybe it’s just me), forget that we are human. That we are sinners, saved only by grace. That our righteous deeds are as filthy rags in the face of God’s holiness.
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; (Isaiah 64:6)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:13-14)
Perhaps it’s because I’ve been spending more time in prayer and the Word, but when this terrifying thought popped into my head – Am I doing something wrong? – another, gentler thought soon followed:
It’s okay. His mercies are new every morning! I can work at this. Sanctification is a process.
22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:22-26)
You see, on this earth, no Christian reaches the point of “perfect godliness”. No true Christ follower reaches a place where they say, “Alright, I’ve made it.” Because we will not be perfected until heaven. Until God makes all things new.
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. (Philippians 3:12-16)
We are human. We struggle with our flesh. We are weak and frail. But He is strong. And He is faithful to complete what He started in us when He saved our souls by Jesus Christ’s blood sacrifice.
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 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; 7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. 8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:3-8)
Sanctification is a process.
There will always be areas I need to work on. Places I’m weak. Struggles. Deep and hidden hurts. Things I haven’t surrendered yet to my Lord. Sanctification is a journey. I don’t have to panic over not being perfect. I can put my imperfect, struggling, human heart into my Creator’s hands. I can let my Father lead me gently. I can ask my Lord to work in and through me. Make me more like You, Jesus.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. (2 Corinthians 4:7)
When those things come up and you realize, in this area or that one, you haven’t been walking in the way God wants you to, don’t panic. Don’t cower in fear. Don’t hide in shame. Run straight to your Redeemer! Humbly come before Him, asking Him to help you change to become more like Him … so you can walk more intimately with Him and love Him and others well.
Nothing beautiful is made in a moment. Lasting things do not instantaneously happen. You don’t need to “fix” yourself.
Let Christ do His work in you.
There will be sacrifices on your part. Changes. Effort. Prayer. I’m not saying sanctification is easy – probably nothing worthwhile ever is – but it should not be a process filled with condemnation. Because perhaps that isn’t true sanctification, but rather you slipping into legalism.
As God sanctifies us, I don’t believe it’s a harsh, condemning voice He uses. But the gentle, loving tone of a Father.
Trust your life, your heart, your soul to Him, dear readers.
You need to know, first, how very precious to God you are. How very deep, and wide, and long, and high is His love for you. It is, perhaps, when your heart is softened in this incredible and unconditional love that He can do His good and redeeming work in your life.
16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:16-21)
When you know He loved you before you knew him … He loves you as you are … then a true change can begin in you.
Lady Grace ❤
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:4-10)