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Monday, July 23, 2012

Shame and Faith - Part 2


The Gospel. Good news. That is what cures shame.

It amazes me how easy I lose sight of the only thing that matters. My mind and heart become entangled in this world with ease. The struggles mount and I end up looking at my faith. What starts as faithful self - evaluation ends in shame. I start looking for the work that Christ is doing in me. I look at my life and want to see the goodness that Christ is working in my life. I want to see my life transformed.

But when I look inside, when I look at my life...It's empty. I see nothing good. I see myself as I am. I want to be holy. I want to be righteous. I want to be just, and loving, and kind. I want wisdom, I want knowledge, I want meekness. I want to treasure Christ above all else in this world. But I don't.

And I am left with shame. I am left saying "I want to do this...But I don't do this." I stand bare and naked before God with my head hung low feeling like a failure feeling shame and falling before the Almighty. I hear his voice rumbling out at me and asking "Was Christ not enough. Has his death done you no good? What good has the good news done? He broke the power of sin in your life...but you..your life is entangled in sin. You make a mockery of my Son."

Yet God...In his kindness towards his children, speaks. Sometimes loud. Sometimes soft. Sometimes in whispers. He calls to me and says lift your head. Look upwards. Look to Christ. And it's at that moment that the shame is covered.

The gospel always breaks through. Always. God always draws us back. He always lifts our heads. Last night he did it through these words.

When Satan tempts me to despair?And tells me of the guilt within,?Upward I look and see Him there?Who made an end of all my sin.?Because the sinless Savior died?My sinful soul is counted free.?For God the just is satisfied?To look on Him and pardon me.

That's when I understand it's not the Savior saying "Was Christ not enough. Has his death done you no good? What good has the good news done? He broke the power of sin in your life...but you..your life is entangled in sin. You make a mockery of my Son." Satan speaks like that. And the devil has one weapon he can use. He has only one power over me. He has unforgiving sin. He is the accuser, not my God.

And in that brief precious moment the sinking sand of my faith is anchored in firmest soil around. My faith is anchored in the faithfulness of God. It's anchored in "God the just being satisfied To look on Christ and pardon me." My Christ becomes more treasured and my longing to be like him grows.

But the gospel goes on. There is also hope. There is hope that in the day we see him, we will be like him. It's in that day that I will fully be delivered from shame. It's in that the day where what I want will finally be what I do.

Oh how I pray that I stop looking at my faith. Lord help me to stop looking for what you are doing in my life. Help me to rivet my attention on what you HAVE done. Help me lift my head and open my eyes so that I might see the glory of you Son shine more brightly.

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