I’m learning a lot of late about what it means to live in relationship with Jesus. Sometimes I feel really stupid that it has taken me so long to move from the legalism that defines religion to the freedom that is Christ. Author John Eldredge describes the situation a lot us face well in his book Waking The Dead when he writes:
“It’s undeniable: the new covenant, accomplished through the work of Christ, means that we have new hearts. Our hearts are good, or God’s a liar. Until we embrace that stunning truth, we will find it really hard to make decisions, because we can’t trust what our hearts are saying. We’ll have to be motivated by external pressure since we can’t be motivated by our hearts. In fact, we won’t find our calling, our place in God’s kingdom, because that is written on our hearts’ desires. We’ll have a really hard time hearing God’s voice in a deeply intimate way, because God speaks to us in our hearts. We’ll live under guilt and shame for all sorts of evil thoughts and desires that the Enemy has convinced us were ours. God will seem aloof. Worship and prayer will feel like chores. Of course, I just described the life most Christians feel doomed to live.”
I have a deep desire to move in rhythm with the Spirit, but yet I am so afraid at times. Afraid I will miss the will of God. Afraid I won’t pray enough. Afraid I won’t…
What I am discovering, thankfully, albeit entirely to slowly, is that I can trust God. I can trust his sanctifying work in my life. I can be confident, “that He who has begun a good work in (me) will complete it”, according to Paul in Philippians 1:6. That’s great! The burden doesn’t rest on me. It is God”s sovereign work. My only job is to acknowledge and accept his truth (confess my sin) and in so doing I align myself with the work of the Holy Spirit in my life.