Since last months challenge without screen time, I figured I had the right to reminisce a little of what has happened over my life the last few years. Honestly, when I was done looking back at all the good memories and of things that I’ve been apart of; I had the realization that I have seen and been apart of many things that are impacting the Kingdom of God in a real way!
It was extremely humbling. I saw so much good in my life that only the Lord provided for me. He chose to use me even though I am still not perfect in my walk with Him. I had the realization that God still used me, inspire of the fact of my imperfections.
This year has been one of the most amazing years of my life thus far, and I can easily say that it came with a prospective shift of less of me and more of Him. I know that is a cliché saying, but the fact of the matter is that it’s completely true. If you take away your selfishness and allow yourself to honor and exalt the Lord, He will ALWAYS provide for you. Literally always provide. (If you read Jourdan’s last blog on the Daniel fast that we completed, you will get a few examples of what I mean.)
It’s so easy to get caught up in your day to day life, and to come up with excuses of why you can spend time humbling yourself before the Lord. Trust me, I still suck at doing it, but I know the impact that happens to me, and everyone around me whenever I do spend time with the Lord.
The things that I have been learning so far this year may seem basic and fundamental, but I made up my mind this year that I am building a foundation for the rest of my life to stand on. It starts with humbling myself and honoring God for who He is and how He provides for me.
I’ve had a lot of conversations about this topic lately, and it’s all been encouraging to know that I’m not the only one who thinks like this! In the most recent conversation my buddy came up with a good analogy for my thought of my imperfect self, and it was this.
You have this idea in your head that when you get to (_____ fill the in blank) you’ll be able to shake off the things that are holding you back from being the next best whatever. But that’s not true, its absolutely not true. This “perfect/future” you is only an image that condemns you instead of encourages you. When you fall and look to the “perfect/future” you and see how they are pointing and judging you; it tears you from the grace that God actually has in store for you. It diminishes His work in your life and makes it more about your limited abilities to overcome sin instead of allowing Him to change you.
This was all boiled down to my ability not to see grace in my life, and not to acknowledge the power of Christ’s justification in my life. Romans 3:23-24 (ESV) describes it like this, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption the is in Christ Jesus.”
Although I am a sinner and I fall short of the glory of God, I am justified by His grace! I am empowered by His Holy Spirit to see the desires of my sin nature to die, and the goodness of who He is flourish. The same is true for you!
But I think what tends to happen is when we are on our mountaintops and life is looking good we see life through this prospective. Then there are the times when we fall to sin, and then we start to feel all doom and gloom. We tend to look to our sinful-self and begin to think that we are the scum of the Earth.
This isn’t true though. Proverbs 24:16a (ESV) says this, “for the righteous falls seven times and rises again…”
Do you see the importance of this?
Here is another verse to help put in prospective the walk of a righteous person that we all know well, the Apostle Paul, “for I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” Romans 7:15 (ESV)
I think we tend to forget that only one person who has ever walked the Earth and never fell to sin was Jesus. But we still idolize the Apostles, and believe that they have never sinned like Christ, but thats simply not true! They were sinners just like you and me!
So what does that mean? That because the people who the Lord uses for His good are sinners that we are ok to still fall to sin? Absolutely not! This is where the sanctification process begins to take effect in our lives. It has to be a daily process to humble ourselves before the Lord and ask for His help to defeat the indwelling sins of our lives.
In the epistle of Romans 6:1-3 (ESV) we see Paul writes this, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue to sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”
It’s not okay to take advantage of this idea of sinning because we are saved. We have to work and partner with the Lord to overcome the indwelling sins. It a process that we will have for everyday that we have breath on this Earth. It may seem overwhelming, but remember what Proverbs 24:16a says, “for the righteous falls seven times and rises again…” When you fall get back up. Don’t linger on the sin, ask for help from the Holy Spirit and walk in confidence that He is going before you.
Here is a link to a free e-book from John Piper who writes on the importance of the sanctification process of our lives and the desperate need of it in our lives. http://www.desiringgod.org/books/sanctification-in-the-everyday