Although Christians are God’s children, we are still fallen children, no matter how polished we seem on the outside.
As a preacher, I am all about seeing the good in everyone, but, truth be told, I am also very aware of the struggle within the dark caverns of our souls.
You could have had a myriad of mountaintop experiences, victories, and even accomplishments. You could have been wrecked by that altar call at church, marked by that mission trip with orphans, witnessed power and miracles. Yet, at the end of the day, when you go back to your room and lie in your bed, you’re still flesh and bones. You are still a sinful person living in a depraved world.
Simply put, no one can claim to be without sin (Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:8), even the most impressive of Christians.
Recently, Lou Engle, one of the greatest spiritual fathers and forerunners of faith today, made a confession about his sins at a conference called Onething.
There was an outpouring of responses from those who resonated with such brokenness on display. This was, perhaps, one of the most significant moments in Church history where a spiritual leader was able to declare that he understood the pain of shame just like the rest of us.
It moved many, including myself, to witness the humility and vulnerability of someone who mobilized millions of Christians throughout his life. I’ve read his books, listened to his preaching, and even began my own lifestyle of fasting because of his ministry. Yet, despite being all these things, he stood on a platform in front of thousands and admitted that he, too, was broken.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Your mistakes. Your failures. Your addictions. Your losses. His redeeming power does not just erase them. He turns them around and uses them for your good.
Throughout this Soul Food series, I have laid out some of the steps to this journey. After you have repented for your sin, reclaimed your identity in Christ, and began the journey of restoration… you can look forward to tasting the goodness of Christ’s full redemption in your life. It’s more than just forgiveness. It is radical change.
What was once to your shame would be to His glory. Your tears become a testimony, pain becomes power.
Allow your Yes cry to Jesus be the loudest cry of your day. It has to be louder than your hatred towards sin. It has to be deeper than your disdain over your weakness. It has to carry more conviction than the regret over your past.
Oftentimes, Christians push towards sanctification with the fuel of guilt and shame. Unfortunately, none of these things are powerful enough to redeem you.
It has to come from Him. And you access Him with a simple Yes cry, for James 4:8 promises, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
How can this be applied practically?
Start focusing more on His goodness than your own foolishness. Thank Him for what He’s done to love you, instead of mourning over the possibility that He doesn’t. Pray like you are His beloved child, not like you are a second-class citizen of the kingdom. Be hungry to understand Scripture so that you can experience more of His promises fulfilled, rather than reading the Bible out of obligation or fear of punishment. Start dreaming kingdom dreams, rather than focusing on how to survive another day as a well-behaved Christian. Ask yourself each day, how would you live that day if you were already 100% confident that you are loved and forgiven?
John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”