I know what I should do.
I know what God wants me to do.
Yet, I live a ‘life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart & mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different’ (Rom 7:25-MSG)
As we all know from experience, we don’t stop falling short and messing up once we become Christians. We all have days when we feel like a lousy Christian. ‘I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.’ (Romans 7:15 – NIV)
Yes, when we least expect it, our inner dragon appears.Flames of anger come out of our mouths- usually directed at our nearest & dearest, destroying any atmosphere of love!
Sometimes a coffee is all it takes for the dragon to disappear again (temporarily) Sometimes the calendar just has to move to a different time of the month.Sometimes we just need a hug or a cry. Sometimes we need something more deeper.
In C.S. Lewis’ ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ Eustace’s ‘inner dragon’ is so apparent that the boy is actually covered in dragon’s skin to illustrate our sinful nature.
All the ‘Sons of Adam & daughters of Eve’ have a bias toward sinful nature. ‘Adam ate the apple & we all got toothache’ (so a Hungarian proverb says) ‘Every inclination of the heart is evil’ (Gen 8:21) ‘My decisions such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me & gets the better of me every time’ (Rom 7:20 MSG)
When we come to God & ask for forgiveness, we are ‘cleaned up by Jesus & set apart for a God-filled life’ (I Cor 1:2 MSG) He is faithful & just & will forgive us our sins (IJohn1:9)
But, we don’t stay clean long. We need to keep going back to God. Just like clothes in the washing machine & the dishes in dishwasher, no matter how clean they are when they come out, they get dirty again! Our lives get messy & we need many, many trips to God’s laundry room to be cleaned – to be steeped in His awesome loving grace and mercy.
We are a perfect mess.When God sees us through Jesus, we are perfect in His eyes, though we continue to mess up because of our in-built bias to sin.
Sometimes, we can’t see beyond past sins or failings either. Many of us have a lot of guilt-especially mummies. For,’Guilt comes with the placenta!’ We feel guilty about everything from bottle feeding, to not spending enough time with our kids. In the past I’ve even felt guilty because the tooth fairy forgot to come to our house!
Too often, we’re so caught up with our baggage & guilt that we don’t grasp our true worth in God’s eyes.
We find it difficult to accept God’s love, and we therefore lack confidence to reach out to others with His love. If we don’t love ourselves, we’ll find it nearly impossible to love others.
We need to take off the masks & come before God as we are. After all, we can come no other way.
Some of us are so caught up with the past that we’re wasting the present. When we look deep in the mirror, we need to truly know that with God our past is forgiven!
‘You’re infinitely messier than you dared admit & you are infinitely more loved than you ever dared dream’
God’s love covers our sin when we trust Hm to forgive us.
‘In your less-than-lovely moments, God sees a precious daughter in need of His perfect love’
‘God attaches no strings to His love. None. His love for us does not depend on our loveliness. It goes one way. As far as our sin may extend, the grace of our Father extends further.’
‘His love for us cannot be outdone or undone’
(Amanda Bible Williams)
He redeems & restores. God is able to renew us from within
‘We’re all a little broken. We don’t need varnish- we need a carpenter’
Our Creator is the only One who can fix us. He loves us as we are but cares for us too much to leave us broken.
‘God sings a louder song than any difficulty we face – a song of renewal, restoration and never-failing compassion.’
We need to focus on our Father, rather than our failings, & look to our Saviour rather than our sins.
For, ‘I stand in Christ, with sins forgiven;
And Christ in me, the hope of heaven!
My highest calling and my deepest joy,
To make His will my home.’