This week I read a beautifully written testimony that could be mine. Christine Hoover, of Grace Covers Me, is a far superior writer to me. She tells of her soul’s need for the child-like faith she had; but had lost somewhere along the way:
This is my favorite part of Christine’s testimony:
“Many years later, I came to understand the subtle change that had occurred: “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4). I couldn’t have related to this verse any more: I felt estranged from Christ, no matter how I attempted to set things right. And the verse diagnosed why: I had removed Christ from the equation, I had rejected grace, and I had set myself as the manager of my heart. I was an attempt-er, not a grace receiver.
So I started receiving what Christ had offered me all along, and I grew in leaps and bounds. Grace, when it’s received, affects every aspect of life, from relationships to spiritual disciplines to our prayers. And it did mine.”
I can look back almost 30 years ago to my soul’s awakening. I stood next to a door looking out to the west. What I saw was not the beauty outside; but my sinful self. It was ugly!
I had been excusing a really horrible sin by not calling it what God calls it. I knew it was wrong; but I was not willing yet to say it was wrong for everyone. That there is Grace to cover it, to wash it away.
“I did that when I was young”, often came out of my mouth, but I never followed it with, “and I know now that it is sin”.
What a wicked and crafty tool of Satan that is! I fell prey to it. In trying to ‘relate’ and build relationships, I was horribly compromising God’s Grace.
King James calls it, “licentiousness”. Paul addresses it in Romans 6, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”
Although, I was not “living in” the sin any longer. I still was not ready to admit it was sin for everyone, not just me.
I see that happening today. For whatever reason we, as growing Christians, tread lightly regarding sin. To our shame, we have become so focused on not offending anyone that it blocks our ability to lead them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
After all, if we don’t define sin the way God defines sin, very clearly in the Bible, then we cannot convince a lost and dying world that they need a Savior. That they need Grace; God’s Grace. That it will wash over them with love. Along with that love there is judgment. There! I said it, the “j” word.
How about if I substitute the word “judgment” for discipline? The most loving, though often painful discipline you have every received. It comes from the Author of the very word.
Last night I saw the movie, “God’s Not Dead”. Wow! My favorite line was, “It is not easy, but it is simple”.
Following Christ is certainly not easy. This is a steep and narrow climb; this pathway to close fellowship with God.
Yet it is simple. Praise God Almighty! it is simple. All it takes is the humble faith of a child. We all have one deep inside us.