How Quickly I Forget!
For the last few weeks, and maybe even months, I have forgotten the Gospel. I guess I am what they say is a “Gospel Amnesiac.” But isn’t God so kind to never leave us there; even after we forget to walk by faith and we believe we can do it by ourselves. He is gentle and sweet to remind us that this is not the Way. Let me tell you my story.
I don’t know exactly the cause.
I could blame things outside of myself; the change in our family dynamics; the deep loss we have experienced; the rejection we have faced and the trials we have had to endure; but then… well, they really are only influences.
I could blame the change in my body, for during these times of hardship I have not taken care of myself very well, but again… it is only an influence.
I could even take things farther and blame my God who is in control of everything… but this is not the Truth.
It is I who have sinned and have fallen short and have forgotten, not He.
I have listened to another gospel, not that there is another (Gal. 1:6), but I have in of sorts either created my own, or listened well to the heartbeat of this world. I have been fearing man, so deeply and so ferociously that it has kept me up at night in anxiety of what I have done so poorly and what I probably would do the following day. Simple things, like keeping the house clean, eating well and exercising, the words I have said to people, the messages I have typed across the forum, the clothes I wear and the way they cling to my growing body, the work I complete… Oh the list could go on. And they are small, and some could be good works (Eph. 2:10), and I believe that God’s redeeming power now may make them to be, but they were done lacking faith and under a law of sorts that I have listened to and created of my own.
You see I like to boast about myself, and in December my world fell apart and I didn’t feel very good about myself. I did cling to Jesus to be my Rock to get me through, and in my thinking He did. In my acting, I trusted myself and the laws I made. I think I’ve been doing this a long time. Maybe longer than just December. And maybe for the first time I’m seeing the Gospel in a new way, or God in His Grace has given me a fresh remembrance. Praise Him regardless.
I have fought to keep laws and not fought to trust Him.
I have fought to make my family keep laws and not fought to help them trust Him – although in my head I have superficially given the head nod to try.
I have set up boundaries of excellence and tried to achieve them. I view myself as an achiever. I work hard to achieve things. I always have. And it’s not bad to work hard – in fact we should be striving for good works, it’s just the “how” that got me into trouble, and I guess the “why” as well.
My obedience has been misplaced.
My devotion has been misplace.
Paul has seemingly asked me the question directly this morning in his letter to the Galatians. He said:
“You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?” (Gal. 5:7)
Back it up a little and he reminds me:
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.” (Gal. 5:6)
It’s not about keeping the law… but my flesh does long to do this.
I was reminded again why…
“For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.” (Gal. 6:13)
I like to boast in my flesh.
I have fallen to the idea that my self-esteem is better than my identity firmly founded and placed in Christ.
“For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.” (Gal 6:15)
I am His. I am a new creation in Christ. I have all that I need and it is not found in me.
I am depraved. I am poor. I am lost and without – that is – without Christ.
I have been called to freedom!
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Gal.5:13)
and to do good works – to love!
But it is not I that does them but Christ in me!
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal.2:20)
I repent dear LORD and turn back again from the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world whose slave I wanted to be once more (Gal. 4:9).
And I know I will probably have to repent again, but I do so with joy and gladness and I pray that Christ be formed in me soon and that I do not cause too much anguish of childbirth in those you have set before me to disciple me (Gal.4:19).
Thank you for restoring me Father – in Your always gentle Spirit. Please may I remember this lesson so that I may also walk in this way and show Christ to those You put in my life. (Gal. 6:1) Keep me Father lest I be tempted again.
I have deceived myself (Gal. 6:3).
I am nothing apart from Christ (Gal. 5:6).
In Him I cry “Abba! Father!” (Gal.4:4-7)
Praise the LORD!
“You who have done great things,
O God, who is like you?
You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
you will bring me up again.
You will increase my greatness
and comfort me again.”