All My Best Intentions

2014-07-21 15.25.57

Lately, I’ve noticed God pressing something on my heart. He’s spoken through daily devotions in the gospels with J.C. Ryle. He’s spoken through my current reading on Hebrews with Stuart Olyott’s book, I Wish Someone Would Explain Hebrews To Me!. He’s spoken through my listening to Pastor Ben’s sermons on Romans 12-13. He’s spoken through Elizabeth Prentiss’ Stepping Heavenward, when I read it again for the first time since being saved.

What He says is nothing necessarily new. It’s something I already know. Something He’s already taught me in the depths of my soul.

Something that broke me into a humbled, sobbing mess just before God saved me.

The reminder. The gentle, but firm, reminder that I don’t have to try.

I don’t have to pick myself back up and try better next time.

I don’t have to force myself to “be good”, to “think better thoughts”, to “do this”, to “don’t do that”.

It’s not up to me anymore.

I’m not held to the condemnation of the Law anymore. The condemnation that I don’t have what it takes to follow it perfectly.

Something about being of the “reformed” doctrine causes me to forget this. I still catch myself — less and less, but still now and then — pulling a stiff upper lip and striving to do better, before even repenting.

It’s tiresome. If there’s one thing reformed Christians should learn from fellow non-reformed Christians, it’s the constant rejoicing in God’s endless grace. His constant forgiveness for those who depend on Him. His instant washing of our dirtied garments upon repentance. His guarding of our hearts, even when we are unaware.

I don’t have to try so hard. Because it’s not me who saved me in the first place.Christ lived according to the Law, perfectly. He was tempted so He could understand me, perfectly. He humbled Himself to the burden cross, perfectly. He rose again so He could renew me, sanctify me daily, perfectly.

I’m the furthest from perfect. And no matter how hard I try… no, in fact, the more I try, the more I fail, the further away from Christ I become.

But Christ. Christ is the propitiation. He did what I could not so that I could partake in His inheritance.

I will sin because I am human. I didn’t “get better” at following the Law when I was saved. Not at all! If only you knew my heart within simply the past 24 hours.

No, the only difference is that my desire is to follow God’s Law. I want to. I’m no better at it than I was before, except that Christ is in me.

Remember with me, believers, that upon our salvation, He eradicated the grip of the Law on our souls. Christ accomplished it already. All we need to do is rest in His righteousness and His sweet, sweet grace.

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