Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Free In Him?

It just occurred to me that people coming to this site might see all these posts about failings and sin and think that the title of the site is a bit of a misnomer. It might also cause friends of mine who have heard me go on and on about how great things are right now to doubt my sincerity and wonder what sins I am hiding under the floor of my tent. And…of course, it could also be thought that I just want people to think I am all holy and without sin.

I assure you…the reality is none of the above.

So... let me clarify a bit…at least for the sake of my own mind.

The site is called Free in Him because, well, that is what I am. I have been a Christian since 1994 and up until a year or so ago, I wouldn’t have categorized myself as free. In fact, I was just the opposite. I believe my conversion was genuine…but due to ignorance and lack of accountability I was virtually powerless against my sin-nature. Because of the Holy Spirit I was immensely convicted, read: miserable, but because I enjoyed being miserable at the time, conviction alone wasn’t quite enough to get me to seek help. I cried out to the Lord to take the stuff away…and his answer was "no". So rather than press in and ask for help another way, I suffered in silence. Finally, in His mercy He led me out of where I was. The sin areas that kept me a prisoner for so long…that kept me in a perpetual state of condemnation…are no longer a part of my life. He has changed me…and my wants…I am not the same…I am free.

Yet I am not done.

The shackles that fell off were just the beginning. They had to go so that the Lord could deal with the real issues…the root sins that caused the other stuff…the ick that lurks in my heart. Daily I am reminded of the darkness there and my need of Him. Daily I am given opportunities to conform to Christ…to choose His way over my own…to think on what is good and true…to speak words of life…to endeavor to reflect His gospel. And daily I am made more aware of my need of Him…that nothing good dwells within me…that anything that even gives a whiff of Him is all of grace.

So all the talk of failing and sin is a result of being humbled before the Lord in the face of what He exposes in my heart…of the bad motives lurking behind my good intentions…of how much my life of sin cost Him.

It is also partly because of others. The Lord has been so gracious to allow me to walk along side many people. Six months ago that was not the case. A year ago life was all about me and my problems…but the Lord intervened and now my friendships are deeper and richer and more plentiful than ever. There are a few of my friends that are struggling…that have been beating their head against the same brick wall with little more than a headache to show for it…and that grieves me. I don’t mean to imply that they are making no effort…not praying…not desiring the Lord to intervene or even habitually and purposefully sinning. For the most part they are doing all they know to do…its just that all of that tends to look like the equivalent of beating your head against a brick wall. It could just be that I am impatient in general and want to see them free sooner rather than later…but really I just want to see them free! I want them to have what He has given me. I don’t understand why He hasn’t…but I also know He intends this time of struggle for their good and that His timetable and mine are not the same.

So sin…its effect…God’s power over it…life after victory is on my mind a lot these days.

I am reminded of something my pastor said this Sunday…”God has put boundaries around sin and has kept it from destroying what He has created!”

He also said “We cannot trust God with eternity and not with the Day to Day.”

So this day, I chose to be thankful for my friends…for how the Lord is using their struggles in their life and in mine…for how He may use my struggles in theirs…for the freedom He has given and His never ending grace…that no matter how bad things may look, God has set boundaries on sin…and for the story of Glory He is writing even now!

I hope that clears things up!

1 comment:

  1. Very good explanation! It's exciting to see all the Lord has done in you...I'm so glad He lead you to such a wonderful church where the Body of Christ is so intimate and purposeful. It is truly an "Acts" church. You're so fortunate to be a part of it.