Friday, July 1, 2011

Grieving Grace

I've been battling, fighting thoughts of fear, guilt, inadequacy, like i totally missed my exit ramp on Wesley's Life Highway. I "knew" it wasn't right what I was thinking, "there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)". But I wasn't feeling it. Driving to work my brain was working it over and over. I messed up. I've sinned. Made mistakes. How can I fix that? I'm not perfect now...

I was listening to some worship music. Suddenly something in the song on at the time made it click: I'm not perfect now... When have I ever been perfect?? I've sinned. I DO sin. I need grace, constantly! I realized I wonder if God let me mess up like that because my pride is so darn invasive in my heart (sad but true) He had to let me fall just so I could better realize that state of grace that I should claim as His child. Now hear me! I am NOT saying made me sin, James 1:13 "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone." But because of Romans 8:28 which we all know I believe He knew my pathetically weak state and I'm sure with sadness in His heart knew I had to be given some leash to choke on a little.

This probably sounds rather dismal right now doesn't it? But it isn't! Yes, my sin is grievous. I abhor it YET my God is a Redeemer! As Job cried I too join in screaming in fear, shame, doubt, satan's face, "As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth!" (Job 19:25) HALLELUJAH! I saw, He allowed me to fall so I can better understand my need for grace. I will completely abase myself at the moment and tell you: I am one of the more prideful persons. I can't stand it! I was even so arrogant some time back to think I didn't have a pride problem; "that was a sin I don't struggle with", HA! Let me tell you God has been knocking me off my own pedestal quite a bit - like this morning- but I am so grateful. My pride was so strong I needed to fall a little deeper to see how awful I am so I can better praise Him for His gift of grace.

Once I was warned with my fellow young believers who've also grown up in the church that we were in more danger of pride and falling into sin from the standpoint that we had not fully been mortified over our sin and realized the depth of our depravity like an ex-druggie or party"er" possibly could have. They committed society's and the church's "big" sins. Where we "good little christian kids" had not. Ours were and are the private ones and sadly and erroneously the one's classified as "not that bad". We need to stop doing that! James 2:10 says I'm just the same as the druggie. But that danger is valid and true. I fell and fall into that pit. So God reminded me, "Nope, Wesley, not true. Look you sinned. Yep, you failed. You're not perfect. Shocker! Realize you are in just as much danger of being a dirty, rotten human - HUMAN, and accept that you NEED My grace."

When I let go as accepted this, my heart was nothing but filled with thanksgiving for my God who saved me from the pit. His grace is so beautiful and I don't deserve it. Even after being His child i chose, CHOSE, to spit in His face with not choosing Him, a.k.a. sinning. Yet, He was longing for me to come back. How long suffering and loving is our Father and Lord! I am with Paul completely:

Romans 7:15, 18-25a

For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am, who will set me free from this body of death?! Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

And he continues his thought process in chapter 8 which I already referenced, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the laws of sin and death!"

Praise be to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! What more can I say? God gives us grieving grace so we can then truly understand grateful grace. "O to Grace how great a debtor/ Daily I'm constrained to be/ Let Thy goodness like a fetter bind my wandering heart to Thee/ Prone to wander Lord I feel it/ Prone to leave the God I love/ Here's my heart Lord take and seal it/ Seal it for Thy courts above"