waves of grace

Lately, I have been wrestling with my unworthiness.

I have been given the greatest gift of all: the gift of eternal life. God adopted me into His kingdom and no rock bottom I may hit could ever convince Him to stop calling me His child. His unconditional love is tied to me through His sacrifice; the sacrifice He made when I was still adamantly opposed to Him. He presented me His Holy Spirit and His Word, so I can know Him as intimately as my mind can soak in and store. Day after day, He allows me to conform to His own image. Not only will I be with Him in eternity, but He sees me as perfect as He credited me with His own righteousness.

If that still does not resonate fully, think of it this way: You’re a teenager again (maybe you are now), and you’ve stayed out past curfew.

You put your noisy, hand-me-down car in park, and tiptoe in the door quietly, knowing your parents are waiting for you. They will either yell at you angrily or impart their disappointment; but whatever approach they take, you know punishment is inevitable. You wait in agony as you try to avoid their disapproving gaze, and stare at the floor as your heart sinks within your chest.

But instead they tell you, “I forgive you. And tomorrow morning, I want to take you to buy a new car.”

A wave of relief washes over you. Yet, you can’t help but feel completely unworthy of this grace. This unexpected mercy.

This feeling of unworthiness is what I’m talking about.

We are all unworthy of God’s unconditional love for us, and to reach an unwavering faith in Christ; we will be smacked by this reverberating truth. Once we see ourselves as we really are, our broken spirit will yearn for forgiveness, and we offer it up to the Lord to mend (Psalm 51:17). God not only mends us, but washes our impurities away until we are a clean slate. He counts us as righteous.

When we allow unworthiness to rule in our hearts rather than God’s redemptive story; our spirit is crushed. Yes, for a moment, we should be consumed by this unworthiness in order to come to a place of repentance. But once we repent, God desires for us to move towards the light. God wants us to revel in His grace and feel passionate about what He has done to save our hearts of stone and minds full of hate. When we understand how completely depraved we are, and how God rescued us in spite of that wickedness – we want to tell everyone about the One who saved us!

If instead we focus on our guilt, we will begin to dwell on the many ways we fail others and God instead of praising God for drawing us to Himself. Here we are met with shame. We do not realize the ultimate power of the Holy Spirit and how it surpasses any worldly obstacle with which we may come into contact. We settle into a life void of risk taking and courage by opting for a net of safety and complacency.

When I live with an identity of unworthiness, it becomes my crippling platform rather than proclaiming God’s sovereignty. Soon, my feelings of worth are measured by earthly standards rather than God’s. This slippery slope leads to resentment towards others and a frantic search for fulfillment in unfulfilling counterfeits. God allows us to fall away from Him time and time again, but all the while, He has been reigning in our hearts—waiting for us patiently. We, like the Israelites, forget that God has freed us from slavery as we wander in the wilderness. As we complain of hunger and dwell on our losses, we lose sight of the gifts God has so generously bestowed onto us to replace our calloused imitations of a meaningful existence.

My existence means nothing without Him. I would not be here if it were not for God’s sacrifice on the cross to save me from myself: one who was still drowning in treacherous sin. He traded my filth for His pure righteousness—I have been made new! Until I deny myself and follow Christ with my entire being, I will keep focusing on my wimpy agenda; which will prevent me from finding a satisfying purpose in Him. My weakness is made perfect only through Jesus’ eternal strength. Why would I rely on myself when I constantly focus on what I lack? God lacks nothing and will use His spirit to overcome the struggles I have stumbled upon—He is the only one who can conquer these small obstructions. Insecurity will not subside until I recognize God’s authority. Yes, I am unworthy and finite, but I also am placed on this earth for a divine purpose – a purpose that points back to the One who gave His precious, unblemished life for me.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’” 2 Corinthians 12:9 

Therefore; in my imperfection, I can point to His perfection; in my imperfect love, I can point to His unconditional and never-changing love; in my imperfect constancy, I can point to Christ who never changes. God didn’t bring us to Himself with nothing to show for—He transformed our hearts and redirected our lives, equipping us with His strength so we can always display His faithfulness in our lives. He gave us peace to reign in our hearts rather than doubt; forgiveness, so we may forgive others; and perfect love, which binds together everything. Why would we abandon the gifts He gave us? We did nothing to earn or lose them, so why not use them to the fullest potential? Why not take every risk and pursue Him daily to live the most rewarding life ever imagined?

 

 

Copyright © 2016 · All Rights Reserved · Melissa Carroll

 

picture source: http://scenerybook.tumblr.com/

 

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