Is the GOSPEL working for you?
What kind of question is that? Of course it's working for me, I believed and now I'm free of the penalty of sin and I'm not ever going to die, and, well, yeah, it worked.
But what about now? Is is working now?
Are you being transformed by it's power NOW? Are you walking in freedom now?
Is freedom even possible? FREEDOM now, in this life, on this earth? I want to believe that it is. When Galatians 5:1 states that "it was for FREEDOM that Christ set us free", I want to believe that living a life of freedom is a definite reality. But today my heart is grieving over all the bondage I see (in myself and others) and I'm not talking about addiction that is visible because it has come to it's complete end and is manifest for all to see in any number of ways. I'm talking about people in the church pew, people who go to church, who claim to be disciples of Jesus and yet their indwelling sin is made manifest by the words that proceed out of their mouth.
No condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus as Paul declares in Romans 8:1, there is forgiveness and grace and mercy flowing from these words and great sorrow and anguish of heart at what I see being lived out of lives I know have experienced the saving grace of Christ.
BUT, and I'm not even sure what to write next...that BUT is killing me, grieving my heart and creating anxious prayers for healing and redemption of these things that are only seen in close proximity as life is lived day in and day out. These issues haven't manifested themselves into full blown visible sin, addiction to alcohol or whatever, pornography or infidelity or you name your favorite visible sin state. These are issues of the heart, discontentment, anger and frustration, gossip, self-centered actions and words flowing from hearts that point to other things that dwell there, possibly undiscovered and seemingly unchecked. IF there is knowledge of these hidden things in the heart and confession has been made to someone they trust, there seems to be no turning to Jesus for what is needed to satisfy the weariness of these souls. There is no healing taking place...forgiveness ABSOLUTELY but what about HEALING...what about living in freedom and killing these disgusting little foxes that will spoil the vine? And that is exactly what these little hidden issues (lest we call them what they are) have the potential to do. Big sin starts in the heart...no one wakes up one day and says, "hey I think I'll have an affair today". That sounds so silly but it's so very true. There is danger lurking in OUR HEARTS, not all around us as we seemingly believe...IT IS INSIDE OF US!!! WE have the potential to participate in the most grotesque sin our minds can fathom, the one we've said, "I would NEVER do that". Get a grip, Yes, you would and so would I.
So, what's the cure? How do we defeat the sin inside of us? How do we attain this elusive freedom? Here's something for ya, YOU ALREADY HAVE IT, you're just not walking in it!!! Our freedom was purchased the day Jesus nailed our sin to the cross. But HOW do we "walk in freedom"?
We hide, just like Adam and Eve in the garden, we're hiding from God and our friends and
constructing our suit of fig leaves to cover our shame!!
The ways in which we come out of hiding and own our sin look different for everyone but the effect is the same. When we bring our hidden sin out into the light, when we name it and turn to Jesus, and are accountable to someone (a counselor, a recovery group) there is power then to heal. That's when you gain the POWER of the Gospel to overcome these little annoying personality straits that seem like they're just who you are...name them, call sin sin and experience healing and the power of the Gospel to CHANGE YOU!!
Please read this with the understanding that the writer is still working diligently, pursuing freedom, confessing sin to sisters in Christ and turning to Jesus for the power to live free of my annoying sin habits. I am THANKFUL beyond measure for women in my life (and a wonderful professional counselor) who not only believe the Gospel, they live out the Gospel to me every day!! They love me in all my brokenness and walk with me as I trudge through this life living out of my wounded broken self. They, are merciful and forgiving and welcoming and I will be eternally grateful for the community God is building!!
You Girls ROCK!!!
To the rest I leave you with these words: