Monday, July 2, 2012

The War is Over

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,  even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved ),  and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus For by grace you have been saved through faith ; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. "
Ephesians 2:4-9 (NAS)

God does not make junk. He doesn't want a refund for making you. He knew every ounce of you before you were even created...and He made you anyway. He knew our flesh would be nasty and He knew we would need a savior so we could be made right. Once you have accepted Him in faith as your savior, there is nothing left to do. You are immediately made right with God...simply because of that gift of grace. Immediately, the war is over. It does not mean your sin goes means we have raised our white flags and surrendered. It means we realize He is good and we are not. And you can work your whole life trying to please God...but my friends, please hear this: HE IS ALREADY PLEASED WITH YOU. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. He calls you His beloved.

In the church world, we have become so obssessed with our sins that we forget that God is the one who makes us clean. When you find yourself struggling with sin, God is no less pleased with you than when you are giving away everything to the poor. He loves you just the same. Do not hide your head in shame when you sin. Look to the heavens and say "thank you Lord!! Indeed a reminder that I am desperately in need of a savior!!" 

When we are in sin, we are simply missing out on the joy God has for us. It does not mean He is shaking His head in embarrassment. He is not this God of many rules. He is a God who adores, cherishes, and desires for us to experience the greatest joy possible...and when we are living in sin, we can't experience that. It doesn't mean He stops loving is God saying "I want you to stop sinning because it will bring joy to your life."

With my own child, I find myself looking at her and saying "if you would just be obedient and make your bed, we could then go outside and enjoy playing. But you continue to disobey me, so you can not experience the fun day I have planned for you." 

Do you see what I mean here? I love her the same. I want her to obey because I have great plans for us. When my child disobeys me, she is missing out on so much goodness.

My friends, God feels the same way. He just wants you to experience the joy in knowing Him.

Perhaps some may say this is a romanticised view of Christ. But someone who would create filth, yet see it's beauty and want it to so desperately that He died for us...that is the greatest love story ever told! He tells us over and over again that we are made right because of our faith in Christ.

When you accept Christ as your savior, the war is over. He will continue to polish you up until the day you are embraced in His arms in Heaven, but only He can do the polishing. Stop trying to work to please God. He is so incredibly pleased with you. Just dwell on who He is. He is beauty. And although our flesh may be filthy, a heart that has accepted Christ is beautiful.

He does not want a refund. He just wants you. Stop hiding your head when you sin. Just say "thank you God for loving me anyway." 

There is freedom in the surrender.

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