Hard times. Hard realities. Hard lessons. I could go into particulars but you don’t really need to be taken into my numerous shortfalls. Just take my word for it, they’re there.
I’ve been reading and studying God’s Word a lot recently and in contrast, as far as me walking faithfully, not so much.
I don’t always look at God’s bigger picture, I don’t always focus on His intent over my own. I don’t stand victorious in all areas of my life.
It seems as though, every once in a while, God reminds me of my utter dependency for Him in literally every area of my life. My nature is to sin, sometimes I forget that. And I don’t mean that I forget that I sin, what I mean is that I forget the depth at which my nature is to sin. My nature is to want my perspective acknowledged over that of another. My nature is to hold others accountable and overlook my own accountability. My nature is to action my own desires above God’s and others.
Most of us are familiar with where Paul talks about the internal struggle we all encounter in Romans 7:14-25 NIV where he states: “We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”
So, right now, I’d be at the “What a wretched man I am!” stage. The reality of that surfaces in me every once in a while and I am reduced to what I call the”basics” of my relationship with Jesus. That’s where 1 John 1:9 NIV comes into play where John says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” If we confess our sins. That would be me confessing.
There’s always a danger of looking at our sinfulness and placing it in a position of superiority over the grace and love of God. That’s where those darts come into play and the accuser wants you to throw in the towel. Sometimes we need to be brought back to reality. Sometimes we need to really understand just who we are and why we have been deemed righteous. It has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with us and our own nature. It’s all about God’s love and grace expressed in and through His Son Jesus the Christ. The playing field per se lays flat and even. There are no exalted positions that I am aware of. Only Jesus is exalted and for good reason.
I’m not keen over these times of re-clarifying. I’d like to think that I’m not near as bad as I used to be or that I no longer chase after my own desires as I used to, but as time and God’s Word take their effect, the truth of the matter is, I’m a habitual sinner. Layer after layer. I don’t deserve God’s love, not at all.
I can in truth say, like Paul, “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
All of us have different scriptures that we love. I have many. But there is one that ranks in my “special” category where Jesus asks the twelve if they want to leave too and Peter responds in John 6:68-69 NIV “Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
That’s about as basic as you can get and that is where I am.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!