Thursday, August 4, 2005

It is Finished

“It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God…For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.—Canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (Daily Light, August 4th)

It is finished.

I find that it is hard to believe that my sin has been effectively dealt with…that the victory has already been won…that the work has already been done…that all that is required now is that I walk in the reality that it truly is finished.

I am not alone.

I spoke with a friend of mine last night who is trying to come to this realization: the sin that so easily besets him has been dealt with…he is a new creation…the old has passed away…he can now walk in newness of life.

It is not an easy thing to do.

The flesh can be pretty loud and awfully convincing…but only in so far as we let it. Isn’t that right? Isn’t it true that He who is in us is greater than the world and its temptations…even the temptations of our own flesh?

Is that not truly where the battle lies…within us? As cliché as this might sound…it is a battle for our hearts…for what we long for and desire most.

I’ve heard it said, “the heart wants what it wants.” That may be true…but what is not true is that the heart must remain the unfettered, hedonistic Ruler of all we do. Left to its natural state, the heart is “desperately sick (Jer 17:9) and often surprises us with its demands. But God…

But God can change our hearts…our wants…our desires and make it His throne, where He (not our sick heart) is Ruler of all we do. And because He is the Lord Almighty and we are His…because of the battle He has won on our behalf…because of His promises and His faithfulness we can say “It is finished!” Whatever “it” is…it’s done. The enemy of our souls need have no further empty victories…he can no longer taunt us with His lies about our defeat.

So why do we fail? Why do I fail? Why does my friend fail? Why is sin still so much a part of my life?

I don’t really know except to say that I must not really believe "it is finished"…if I did sinning again in the same areas wouldn’t be an option. But often times, I am tempted to look at it as if it is…I am tempted to think that sin is an option or an inevitability. And that just isn’t true. The Lord says “Be holy as I am holy” not “try as best you can.” The standard is holiness, the expectation is that if we abide in Him we CAN be blameless before God. Even as I type that, I am thinking “but will there be times when I mess up…sure.” Though I am not convinced that failure is so inevitable. Looking over my life, it seems as though it is inevitable…but if I am honest, it also seems as though mostly I do not “abide” in Christ or “seek first the kingdom of God” or pursue holiness as I should.

I don’t know.

One thing is certain though…it IS finished…I am His…and I do not have a “high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin (Heb 4:15)…who “always lives to make intercession for” me (Heb 7:25)…and who promises to work all things together for my good (Rom 8:28)…even my sin.

And, he doesn’t leave me without help. He has given me His word, filled with instruction for righteousness. And he promises the power of His spirit that I might obey…that I might be able to “ present [my] members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. (Rom 6:19)

Thank you Lord, for setting your standard high that I might strive for you. Thank you for your promises, for your word and for your Holy Spirit’s power. Thank you for the assurance that the battle has been won, the victory is sure! Help me to walk as such, not subject to the whims of my flesh or the wiles of the enemy, but to the truth of your word and the leading of your Spirit.

1 comment:

  1. Once more you have me speechless...not many can accomplish that! I need to read this again and soak it in like a sponge. :-)