I am constantly amazed at God’s faithfulness in our family’s journey. Every time we step off the proverbial cliff on the path the Lord has called our family to, it is tough, but He is so faithful. This path to Texas has been a difficult one for our family, but if you know me well enough, you know I have this side of me that anticipates and looks forward to life’s challenges. The challenging seasons are where we grow in character and bond as families.
The last month has been no different. The Lord has challenged me in the area of mixing the old covenant (covenant between God and the Jewish people) and the new covenant (Jesus) in my faith. This is an area that I believe many of us who grew up in the church struggle with. This is also a massive topic and one that has many facets that need to be discussed, but I want to share one piece that has affected me deeply this past week. It is pretty basic and in theory many of us know it, but do we live it?
We shared communion together with our family this past Sunday. As I was contemplating the meaning of communion, I went through the same exercise I do every time, I mentally walked through my list of sins and asked my Father to forgive me. I was struck by the impression the Lord put on my heart at that moment… “Scott, it is not about the one sin that caused you to miss the mark, your entire life misses the mark…you fall short of My glory.” This is a principle that I know, I have read, and I am keenly aware of the fact that I fall short in every way! Yet, in my desire to develop a personal list of rules and guidelines (my own personal old covenant) to follow in order to stay in God’s good graces I have allowed pride into my life. Pride you ask? Yes, by me going through my “list of sins,” I inadvertently communicate the rest of my life is just fine and worthy of God’s glory. NOTHING IS FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. I am messed up, I am broken, I am as Paul would say the worst of all sinners in my eyes, and only by His grace am I worthy of a relationship with my Heavenly Father.
When we walk through life trying to live up to a list of rules and regulations, we miss the ability to fully surrender ourselves to the Grace of God. Why? Because we are constantly measuring ourselves against the list of rules and regulations and we simply cannot measure up…this was proven over and over throughout history! There is no inbetween if you want to be successful; you either surrender your mind to complete depravity and live like hell or you surrender yourself to the grace of a loving and forgiving God…the inbetween will be a constant battle of trying to live up to something that is unreachable. The only way to fully surrender ourself to the Grace of God is to recognize that we completely fall short, there is not one area of your life that is worthy of Him. But, like the loving and perfect Father He is, He is waiting for you with a coat of love in His hands to wrap around our broken bodies and a ring of heirship to put on our finger.
Living life while trying to follow a list of rules is so restrictive and will never allow us to experience the freedom Christ brought to us. Jesus brought the ability to be united with the Father without barrier through faith in Him. Only when we realize our complete inability to live up to any standard will we be able to live fully alive and fully free in Christ Jesus. This is where the reality sets in that you are no longer a slave to this world and the rules you try to live up to, but you are God’s son and daughter, and you are an heir to everything that is HIS….PERIOD!
Join with me this year by pursuing God’s highest ideal, not a list of rules and regulations we have created. Let’s see where it takes us.