My, oh, my. The Christian walk doesn’t always feel easy, does it? There are some days that I just get so fed up with myself and my inability to do what I know God wants me to do. Some days I am just too tired to be nice or to go out of my way to help someone. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by guilt and shame because I deliberately go against what God says. I feel like a dirty, broken sinner.
And I am.
I am a sinner with blood on my hands and lies in my heart.
But I am also so loved by God.
The other night I was talking to someone about letting go of guilt and shame and embracing the love of God. I remember saying something along the lines of, “When we wallow in the fact that we sinned, when we let the guilt chain us down, we are focusing on ourselves. We get this self-righteous attitude because we’re making it all about us. We ignore God’s promises in favor of our self-pity. It’s so hard to face God with blood on our hands rather than running the other way, but we have got to stop making it about ourselves. Jesus didn’t die so that we could get caught up in ourselves and our inability to live the life we are called to live. You see, it’s not about us, it’s not about what we can’t do, it’s about what He did. Jesus died to cleanse us, to free us. We need to take the focus off of ourselves and put it on the One who saves us, the One who set us free, the One who loves us despite our sin, the One who died knowing already every act of treason that we would commit against Him, the One who said ‘Father, forgive them, they know not what they do’ as He was dying.”
I finished speaking and I sat back. I said, “That wasn’t me. Those were not my words. I needed to hear that so much.”
God put words into my mouth to say to someone else that I desperately needed to hear. It’s not about me.
When I look at myself, all I is that I feel worthless, undeserving, broken, tainted.
But when I look at God, all I see is mercy, love, grace, forgiveness.
I stopped in the middle of writing this post to go to church. Tonight we sang – and I heard for the first time – “Who You Say We Are” by Steven Curtis Chapman. The song really resonated with me and paralleled so well with the message in my heart that I had been writing about just 3o minutes before; I smiled and praised God about how amazing His timing is. While I was singing I just thought about the words, “Hallelujah! We are who You say we are.” God says we are His forgiven, clean, and loved children; hallelujah indeed
I encourage you to embrace God’s truth:
God is calling you to live outside of guilt (Hebrews 10:22 “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”);
He has made us clean (1 John 1:7 “but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”);
He gives us peace (Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”);
All because He loves us (John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”)
And wants us to live for Him (1 Peter 2:24 “‘He Himself bore our sins’ in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by His wounds you have been healed.'”).
My brothers and sisters, do not turn your face away from God, He loves you despite all you have done, all you will ever do; turn towards Him. He loves you so much.
Steven Curtis Chapman – Who You Say We Are
Photo Credit: Christopher Campbell