Thursday, December 18, 2008

Condemned by Condemnation

Have you ever had those downwards spiral of thoughts? The ones that just get you no where but depressed, overwhelmed by failure, and feeling miserable?

"I should've known better." "I haven't been reading the Bible enough." "How can I even call myself a Christian when I treat other people this way?" "All I've been doing is focusing on myself. When will I get a life?" "God has to be so disappointed in me." "Maybe next time if I work really really hard, I can do better..." "Other people must be so annoied with me. I can't believe they put up with all of this." "Do other people really love me? Or do they just think they have to?"

And what's worse, then it proceeds as you think of how you SHOULDN'T be thinking these things. Again, more failure, more misery, more condemnation. Condemned in condemnation.

"In thinking this, I'm robbing myself of joy. Great. Another thing I'm doing wrong." "Do I think Christ's sacrifice wasn't enough, and needs 'adding to' by my works? Ugh, I'm so proud." "No one could possibly describe me as joyful, all I've been doing is moaning and complaining- I haven't been applying the Gospel at all."

Do you catch my drift?

Well, welcome to the last 24 hours of my life. I have listened to The Gospel Primer four times. I have fought for joy. I have wrapped myself in Gospel truths. I have worshipped. I've had a friend remind me of grace and that Christ is bigger than my sin.

And I don't feel any different.

And that's just it. The beauty of it. It doesn't matter what I feel. Christ maintains my justified status before God anyways. He's not waiting for me to get victory. He's not waiting for me to clean up my act- to get it all together. He's here. With me. Right now. In my mess. He knows my sin better than I do-- He bore its wrath entirely. Drinking the cup of God's anger so dry that there is not even one drop left for me to drink. Whether I think it or not, I'M FREE from sin! Freed from the slavery of various lusts and pleasures. Freed from condemning thoughts. When the Father looks on me, He has nothing but love for me in His with no admixture of wrath whatsoever.

"There is therefore now no condmenmation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8
"Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more." Romans 5
"Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows." Isaiah 53
"Not that we have loved God but that He loved us" 1 John 4

Oh Father, help me relate to you based not on myself, not relating to you on my feelings about the Gospel, but regardless of my emotions, help me to live my justified status before You. Help me not see you as the angry tyrant that You are not, but make me see you as You are. Full of love, compassion, and grace which is Your delight to lavish upon me. Help me, please. I love you.

1 comment:

My year in Wales... a memoir in the making said...

Praying God gives you the grace to fight for Joy and rest in his saving grace! Glad you made it home safe! Miss You!