This has been on my heart to talk about for a while. Please read the whole thing with an open mind and heart before you start writing it off. Thanks!
Up until this year, I don't know how to describe my relationship with the Lord. I mean, I accepted Him as Savior, but nobody told me (and I didn't investigate) that I had to give everything over to Him. I didn't grasp that really up until this year.
I've read the blogs, heard the messages, read the books, that basically tell you that if you struggle with sin, it's cool because Jesus died for you and God forgives you. I believed that for so long. That as long as I tried with part of my heart to please the Lord, that was good enough and the rest of my heart could do what it wanted. That doesn't work. At all.
So this past month or so I've been constantly focusing on making sure that whatever I'm doing, it's glorifying to God. Sounds so easy, but you have no idea how much grace I need each day... well you probably do, but that's beside the point.
I need His grace.
I'll never be perfect and despite my best efforts (and I do mean best), I'll never in my entire life be able to earn His love or grace. I'm really thankful He doesn't ask me to.
I thought I was playing God. I thought I had Him fooled. The thought would cross my mind, 'You really need to stop this. If you don't, do you really think you're going to spend eternity with Him?' and I would get upset only for a moment though, because the enemy (Satan) would quickly swish in and remind me of a nice verse about God's love for me. (Yeah just FYI if Scripture is being used to lure you into sin, it's not coming from the Lord, it's coming from Satan.) Been there before? Yeah, it stinks.
Jesus said in Luke 9:23, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me."
Those are the terms that we follow Christ by. Not ours, His. He said we have to deny ourselves and take up our cross daily. That concept has been lost in our world. Nobody, even in our churches, talks about the denying part too often. They don't talk about how surrendering to Jesus is not just a one time thing but an every single day of your life choice. It's all about grace, but grace is supposed to change you. His love is supposed to change you. I would say if you haven't changed radically since you met Christ, you probably haven't truly met Him. We think we shouldn't do the "really bad" sins like have sex before we're married or cuss, but Jesus wants ALL of our sins laid down at His feet and for us to leave it there. Don't go pick it back up. That's like having a glass of clear, pure water before you, but because you've always had not as clear, not so pure water you refuse to drink it.
I need His grace.
More than that, I need His life. If my way of living worked, I wouldn't seek something more. I wouldn't seek to be satisfied by something greater. Same goes for you. Are you saying you don't seek something greater or more? Dear one, God did not make you to survive through life, He made you to live an abundant life in Him!! And that abundant life is only found in Him so if you go seeking it somewhere else, I'm telling you now that you will not find it.
Sin is not okay. Sin is NOT okay. It's not. Brushing it off as if it's no big deal is just plain stupid. Sure, in human eyes it might not be a big deal, but humans opinions don't matter. God's opinion matters first and foremost and He says that sin is not okay. He said that over and over in the Old Testament and as I continue reading through the Old Testament I see that the main theme of it is God's holiness. He is so holy and His holiness cannot be muddied up by our sin. So, He sent Jesus. He made the atonement. If you tell me that sin is okay, you're basically saying that Jesus died in vain; for nothing. When I know He didn't, I'm telling you, you're wrong. Not because I want to argue, but because I don't want you to fall for the traps of the enemy like I have in the past.
I pray God helps me hate sin as much as He does and that it will push me further to love Him greatly and honor Him in all I do and then to love other people with the same great love that He saved me with. I'm praying the same for you too! Don't fall for Satan's lies. He'll tell you that it's not a big deal, but we cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24) and the devil definitely knows that. You can't pursue God and not take up the life He has given. It doesn't work. Trust me, I know. As I continue to press forward and take up the life He has given to me, I find myself more in love with Him and my desire to please Him is even greater. I find satisfaction growing within my unsatisfied soul because truly my satisfaction can only be found in Him. Yes, I fall daily, but this time, I'm not trying to sin or accept sin in my life, I'm striving to be like Him.