I am so broken right now. I don't even know where to begin.
I have attended 2 seminar type thingies in the past couple months and I have felt the Holy Spirit move in my heart, in my way of thinking, and in stirring my soul. I have to say that I am done with the way that "church" is usually carried out. Done.
I am broken because I realize that over the last century we have categorized, organized, programmed, and ultimately cheapened what the true Church is supposed to be. In doing so we have robbed people of a chance to know Jesus fully, and have created a culture of unbelief in the Gospel. I have been both a victim of this and an instigator.
I grew up hearing about all the behavior change I needed to do to please God, and how my life didn't look like it was "supposed" to as a Christian. I never really understood what the church leaders were talking about other than that what I was doing "wrong" (sin) didn't make God happy. I was a young man that made a lot of mistakes, so of course I figured (and was told) that I needed to change the way I acted. I needed to be better, nicer, more holy, quit doing this and that, and now..... now my heart is broken. Was there ANY truth to it? Yeah, there was some truth, but it was never presented to me correctly.
I was told that Jesus died to take away my sins, but I was never told that His work on the cross was sufficient in every way. Nobody really ever told me that Jesus paid it all and that when I stood before Jesus at judgment God the Father WOULD, in fact, see my sin, but that it would be on Jesus and not me. All that was preached to me was what I could do to be in a better standing with Jesus, not that there was nothing I could do to "earn" salvation.
Why didn't someone tell me early on that Jesus loves me no matter what I do, and that He is NOT disappointed in me when I sin. What Jesus does when I sin is says, "Don't worry Jim, I got this one." And you know what? He does it EVERY time. Every stinkin' time he loves me, and that will never change. Why didn't someone tell me that?
For a HUGE part of my life (and even still) I struggled with things such as greed and lust, and I would beat myself up over these things after I stumbled and stumbled and stumbled and stumb.... Why didn't someone tell me about the freedom that believing in Jesus brings?!? Why is it that when I kept beating myself up someone didn't tell me about my unbelief in the completeness and sufficiency in the Gospel?? I realize now that the reason I kept (keep) struggling in certain areas in my Christian walk is not because of my iniquity, but because of my inability to claim the Truth that Jesus is bigger than anything. It is unbelief that Jesus paid it ALL. It's me still thinking that I can "do better" or "do something" to earn Jesus and make Him happy with me.
The Truth is that Jesus already is happy with me.
The Truth is that Jesus already has paid my debt.
The Truth is that Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection was sufficient to conquer sin & death.
The Truth is that Jesus stands before God as my intermediary.
The Truth is that my righteousness is not my own, but it is Jesus in me that enables me to be counted as righteous before God.
The Truth is that all the fear, doubt, timidity, weakness, anxiety, worry, hurt and stress I have is a result of my unbelief in the power of Christ and the Gospel.
So, my heart is broken because I know that I, along with the traditional "church", have also fostered this false gospel of self-atonement and self-reliance. So I am taking this opportunity to reclaim God's Truth in my life; that God has already done it all; that Jesus' work on the cross was and is sufficient. From here on out I plan to live in the Truth of the Gospel as God's adopted child whose righteousness is not found on my own merit, but in the merit of the work of Jesus. My response is thankfulness and worship.
I am also inviting YOU to come with me. I know that Jesus' work on the cross has already covered my/our sin against His people. Much of what we do week in and week out needs to be redeemed, especially the way "church" is done on Sunday rather than through our every day living. Let's get to living normal life with Gospel intentionality. It's time to get to work. Let's not prepare the way of the church program but prepare the way of our coming Lord!