4:30 a.m. I randomly run across a pastor describing his old porn addiction. “I asked God to let me reach the nations”, He describes. “But my addiction remained.”
He went on…“It wasn’t until my prayer changed, freedom came. It changed to, ‘God let me know you more.'”
He explains, we must get to that place of desperation to know Him better, knowing He rules and reigns over any works we might hope to accomplish.
God’s primary goal is for relationship, not to do, labor, try harder or repay Him.
And I wonder, how many of us feel weighted with a mountain of debt, have guilt that we owe God something? How many of us have had sin plaguing our dreams and thoughts and just feel like if we “offered some payment”, God might take it away?
How many feel the crippling weight of a life clogged down with hurt and pain, loss and offense? How many wonder if they “did more”, “served God better” somehow they might get lucky and their penalty might be forgiven?
There were a group of men in scripture that ruled the church, laws and judgements. They followed the code, played by the rules, and would die making sure other people did to.
But still, their bondage remained.
Like the pastor I listened to, the weigh and consequences of their own guilty hearts gave them no reprieve from condemnation and shame.
See, it wasn’t the sacrifices and duty, works and acts God needed, it was the surrender of their whole hearts, that ultimately brought freedom.
And I wonder today, are you carrying around sin? Do you stress with the burden’s of the things you have done, the places you have been? Have you cried out and labored and worked to relieve your mind from the dept of your experiences?
Maybe, just maybe God wants you to come to His throne room empty, not demanding, abandoning the notion you can somehow “earn” or “pay the dept” for what you have done.
I open scripture this morning. The night is still dark, house quiet, mind asks God for more revelation and wonders of His love.
I read, “In that very hour, Jesus was healing many”. It goes on, “And many who were blind, He gave (the free, gracious, joy, giving gift) of sight.” (Luke 7:21)
Yes, to see…that God might open our eyes and let us fully see.
And I question when did we think we could buy free gifts? When did we act like Simon, offering a price, willing to make sacrifices to get what God posseses’? (Acts 8:18)
When did, in our driven, winning, success, beating, outdoing culture, did we ever think bartering, beggging, demanding, or purchasing the gifts of the spirit would ever be successful or acceptable to God?
When did we think we could offer Him good works, more striving, better “Christianity”, somehow assuming it would pacify Him, distract Him from wanting our whole hearts and complete surrender?
Don’t we know there is no substitute for our sold out, surrendered, abandoned worship of Him?
Haven’t we learned, it’s easier to give than receive? Almost effortleess to offer a money gift or a good work and somehow then think God is pleased with us?
When, what if He wants the fruit of a humble and contrite spirit instead? What if He modeled getting low and used the greatest sacrifice of His son, as an example of what real love looks like?
Have we forgotten God doesn’t just give, but takes away? Did we not remember, we possess nothing, and His wonders are alive in our spirit being…not in anything our hands may possess?
Have we found it easy to just go to church on Sundays, while abandoning the notion that God wants our moment-by-moment faith, listening as He leads us, surrendering as He calls us, intimacy and devotion every single day of the week?
Recently, I sensed God as a lion and my own petty heart as I’ve shrunk Him up into something small, containable, that I can dictate or control.
I became away of how many times I’ve let doubt or lack of trust, faithlessness or unbelieve minimize God to some wood idol I put inside my pocket and only take out when I actually need Him.
But then He showed me, He roars in all authority and dominion. He is the Lion of Judah, the King of Kings, the Lord of all Lords, despite what my small mind can fathom or understand.
Yes, He is good and loving, but that’s not a substitute for His ability to shatter all addictions with just one breath, create lands and kingdoms, with simply one word from His mouth..
And yet, I read, “When they had no means of paying….He freely gave.” (Luke 7:42)
There is not one dept to God you could ever repay. Your words or striving or good behavior doesn’t pacify God or even slightly diminish the ugliness of your sin.
It is Christ alone who took our dept from us, paid the price for us, sacrificed His life for us, shed His blood that we could live in freedom and joy.
He gave us power, grace, and forgiveness of sins. He washed away every stain, leaving us as white and forgiven, making our hearts pure as if they’d never sinned, throwing the weight of our pain as far as the east is from the west…
And His love is good, patient, kind and abundant. It does not delight Him to bring judgement. He simply waits at the alter of our hearts. He has already forgiven us.
Will we come to Him with transparency and humility?
The clock strikes 6:30, the sky is still dark, but I know the sun is coming. It comes not because I labor or pray for it, read my Bible, or begged God to make it turn day.
The sun comes because God is still God of the Universe. And He’s an expert at turning darkness to day.
I don’t know what your sins are today as you read this….porn, lies, unforgiveness, using God as a mask to solely cover up your pain?
But what I do know is that He forgives. He forgives freely, willingly, without demanding your shame, or seeking some kind of payment.
He offers hope and healing, not because of anything you have done, but because His love abounds, and His compassion is abundant for you.
Friend, won’t you come to the alter of His mercy? Lay down your life and rise up with His hope and healing? Give Him the weight of your guilt and shame, resting in His goodness?
Your life will never be the same again.
He already paid for the dept for everything you have or will ever do. You don’t have to pay God back…
Remember, “When they had no means of paying….God freely gave.” (Luke 7:42)
Your debts are already paid. Won’t you step forward, towards greater freedom? Surrendering your need to strive? Abandoning your heart to Him?
He has bountiful things waiting!
Latest posts by Jen Avellaneda (see all)
- When You Just Need Some Rest From This Chaotic, Collapsing World - February 19, 2018
- What I Learned from my Parents the Day they Gave My Dog Away - February 13, 2018
- In Debt? How Much Do You REALLY Owe? - February 10, 2018