There’s one thing that’s been on my mind lately, and that’s myself. Yes, the good old Lucas you love so much isn’t so perfect after all 🙂 A conversation I had with a friend of mine really awakened my own realization of who I was, and what I was doing in my own life, and that’s failing.
Readers, if you read this and look up to me, please don’t, because I’m not perfect, and I’m definitely not worthy to be an idol, only Christ is. But I never used to think that. I wanted to be that idol people looked up to. I wanted to be the one who people looked to and said, “He’s got everything under control.” I tried to be the best person for Christ I can be; and I’m constantly trying to change my actions. To turn away from the sins of my youth. Yet, each time I fall.
It’s a cycle we all go through, especially new Christians. They receive Christ, and they love Him and want to do His will, yet their sinful nature is just too strong. Believe me, it’s like a sumo facing an anorexic. In our own strength, there’s no way to win. It’s as simple as that. We aren’t strong enough to defeat the flesh nature, but Jesus is.
You hear the preachers that say after you’ve received Christ, “Now you need to change your habits and turn away from the life of sin you once lived.” Pastor, I wish I could. I wish I could have the power to change my ways. I wish I could run from my sin, but I can’t. Why is that? Why do I feel such a burden on my back?
I wasn’t fixing my eyes on the work that’s already done. I was focusing on changing my ways, on becoming a Christian worthy of God’s love and grace. Yet I never got there.
The good news of the Gospel is this, Christ died for all sins, past, present, future, and there’s nothing else we need to do to become worthy and loved. The work is already done. I was trying to be my own saviour. I was trying to add to the work on the cross, to carry the cross beyond calvary, which was why I fell down so many times, and why I still do.
When we focus on our own works, at trying to be a better person, it’s prideful. It’s your own works you want to count.
We need to fix our eyes, not on our own works, but on His. And once we fix our eyes on His work, our works will change, because the Holy Spirit will come in and change us from the inside out. I found this true for myself. There’s this one temptation that gets me every time, and when I try to stop it, it always manages to swallow me up. But when I fixed my eyes on Christ, and rested in the knowledge that if I fell, it’s ok, my desire completely changed. That temptation no longer had a hold on me because Christ’s love became so much more fulfilling than any wrong I can do. That’s one of the reasons a lot of new Christians bail out. They simply can’t run the race because they can’t perform. The law places us in condemnation, which enslaves us, but grace places us in freedom, which saves us.
But what happens if we don’t want to change? Our sinful nature is a monster that will take us down to the lowest of lows, and because God can’t interfere with free will, He lets it. Folks, if we want to stay in our ways, we’ll only end up somewhere we don’t want to be, but if we want to only follow Christ and not your old ways, He’ll begin the process of change in you, because greater is the one living in you, than he who is in the world.
What I want you to go out with today is this: if you fall, get back up, and keep your eyes on Him, because the work He’s begun in you, He is faithful to complete it. It was promised when He cried out on the cross, “It is finished!”