This is what I studied tonight in my quiet time. Normally, I would leave it over in Delaware but tonight I just felt like there was a Coffee Drinker out there who might be a little encouraged that no, they are not alone in the sometimes troubling pursuit of Christ.
It brings to mind Amy McL... I've said this before, but its so relatable, I'll repeat it... we were discussing sin and the mire it causes, and she said (paraphrasing), "Sometimes I feel like I'm just so terrible, I want to sit in my sin and pout. All the while, God is saying, 'You are forgiven. Keep moving' and I say, 'Don't you understand what I've done?! How can you tell me to keep going when you know who I am?!' and God replies, 'I know who you are. I know what you've done. I know what my Son did for you. Now get your happy tail up and keep moving."
So, here's my thoughts on the whole matter...
Paul gets it. I would say "Paul got it", but I think while at Home, he gets it. Romans is great evidence of that.
To suggest I am anything like Paul would be a farce... his faith and obedience stood more on a random Tuesday than perhaps I've done in my entire life up until this very minute. But one of my favorite passages is in Romans 7... its like, a Well Intentioned Christ Followers Lament...
Yes, I'm full of myself. I've spent alot of time in sin's prison. What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So, if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary.
But I need something MORE! For if I know the law, but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin in me within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes, I can will it, but I can't DO it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
It happens so regularly, its predictable. The moment I decide to do good (like quiet times every night) sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but its pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
I've tried everything and nothing helps, I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?
The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contridiction where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. (The Message)
Story of my life, really. This is who I have been and I'm guessing that many of you can relate to just such a thing. But there is hope. It's actually the passage I'm going to (re)read and (re)study tomorrow night--but for now, take heed in The Wonderful Cross, which bids you to come and die so that you can truly live.
The perfect song for this particular night, and passage, is from Chris Rice, one of his greatest and earliest hits... "Clumsy".
Think I'd have it down by now. Been practicing for 33 years.
Should have walked a thousand miles, so what am I still doing here?
Reaching out for that same old piece of forbidden fruit,I slip and fall and I knock my halo loose
Somebody tell me what's a boy supposed to do?
I get so clumsy, I get so foolish, I get so stupid that I feel so useless
But Your saying You love me, and You still gonna hold me
That You want to be near me, cause You're making me holy
Still making me holy, yeah
Gonna get it right this time, I'll be strong and make You proud
I've prayed that prayer a thousand times, but the rooster crows and my tears roll down (again)
You remind me that You made me from the dust,
and I can never, no, never be good enough, but that You're not going to let that come between us
Cause I get so clumsy, I get so foolish, I can get so stupid that I feel so useless
But Your saying You love me, and You're still gonna hold me
And that You wanna be near me, cause You're making me holy
Still making me holy
From where I stand, Your holiness is up so high, I can never reach it.
My only hope is to follow Jesus
Cause I get so clumsy, and I get so foolish
I can get so stupid sometimes, and I feel so useless
But You're saying You love me
And Your still gonna hold me
And that You wanna be near me
Cause Your making me holy
Still making me holy
Keep making me holy, yeah
You guys feel me on this one?