April 25, 2016

"For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of your own so that no man may boast."

Man I struggle with that.  Past sins haunt me.  Shame and failure and immaturity nag at me.  Comparison and expectation are my enemy.


I believe God's Word is true.  I believe that it is not anything I contribute that saves me.  So why do I struggle so much to rely simply on His grace and not on my own performance?  Why do I strive to perform and get discouraged when I fail?

Maybe you are like me.  Maybe you know the truth; but thinking about your failure to fully accept it and realize it in daily experience makes you feel even more immature and possibly discouraged.

But I think God has placed in us a desire to grow and to realize the "joy of the Lord" in our obedience and conformity to Christ.  The struggle to experience this freedom while also struggling to respond to God's truth in a way that resembles perfect obedience should encourage us that we are truly maturing.  It's not a matter of immaturity that causes the struggle, but maturity.  It's a desire for holiness that is meant to be good, but the Enemy comes and distorts our minds perspective by "speaking his native language" and convincing us that the struggle is a perversion of our integrity and faith.

"There must be something wrong with you!"

Paul reminds us that we will struggle to do the things we want to do - and do not do the things that we don't want to do.  It's evidence of the Spirit growing in us and us desiring to surrender to it.  It is not evidence of a lack of faith.

Shame is wrong if it persists.  There is guilt for your past sins.

But it was already paid for.  Remember:  We do not grieve as the World grieves.  That means, among other things, that we do not dwell on past sins and shame that have been paid for by a holy inpenetrable blood covering.  Learn the lessons from the consequences and move on.  Grow.  Mature.

Live for God.  LIVE for God.  LIVE for God!

Get it?  I'm still struggling, but I'm moving forward in faith.  Join me for His glory.

With you for His glory,