Do you ever question your salvation? Like, if you’re truly a Christian. If you’re going to go to heaven? I know I do. In fact, if there is anything that makes me doubt my salvation, (I’msure other people that know me think this too) it’s this: If I love Jesus Christ.
If I truly am following Him. If the Holy Spirit truly lives in me. Then why is my heart so prone to wander? Why is it so easy for me to willing run right to a sin? I mean, if I am truly alive in Christ and dead to sin when does the dead to sin thing happen? Why is my life transformation moving so slowly? Why am I not conformed to the image of the Son like the Bible tells me I would be?
These are rhetorical thoughts, as the Bible answers these questions in several ways.
1) "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."-- Philippines 1:6
This comforts me. I know I am a weak man and incapable of fixing myself. I just mow over the weeds in my life. In time they come back stronger. Only the Lord can pull them out by the roots.
2) "The LORD will vindicate me; your love, LORD, endures forever-- do not abandon the works of your hands."-- Palms 138:8
This is the cry of my heart. All the time. "Jesus please don't give up on me," especially when I blow it big time.
3) "He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." -- 1 Corinthians 1:8
It's clear that our struggles are life-long. We are not" finished" until we get to heaven.
The notion that HE will keep me firm to the end is so powerful to me. I am such a weak-willed man. I need Him to sustain me to the end. In fact, if there is anything that makes me want to go home to Jesus, it is the promise that I won't have the ability to sin in heaven. I am so tired of failing! I am so tired of hurting other people! But more than anything, I HATE the feeling that I am letting Jesus down!
Jesus, I'm ready to come home.
Check out these quotes, they give a deeper look at this issue:
“...when we love God, we naturally run to Him-frequently and zealously. Jesus didn't command that we have a regular time with Him each day. Rather, He tells us to 'love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' He called this the 'first and greatest commandment' (Matt. 22:37-38). The results are intimate prayer and study of His Word. Our motivation changes from guilt to love.”
― Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
“If you don't feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.”
― John Piper, A Hunger For God
I look at these and think my problem is that I don't love God enough.
Here is my takeaway: In reality, I am strong-willed. I’m independent. I don’t always feel like I’m THAT bad. I mean, I’m trying to save babies in Africa. Even though I’m walking across the country with a goat, the reality is I live a comfortable life. So often I don’t feel that desperate NEED FOR GOD. These quotes point out how half-hearted my love for Him truly is and how blind I am to the complete wickedness of my own heart. I’m more like a Judas than a John. But thank God that He is always calling us through opportunities to trust and need Him. Something that I have seen in myself and people that I have met along the way is the emptiness of the "American Dream". Success, cars, clothes, money, power, facebook friends. Boredom is the tragedy we face, and the emptiness of a “secure life”. Let me try and explain what I mean about security being a hindrance and not a helper.
Imagine you’re a ship. And you are on the coastline and your anchor is down Thepurpose of an anchor is for security. To keep you safe, to hold you in place. I’ll say it again, to hold you in place. If you never pick up your anchor, you will never sail. You will never have an adventure. My point is this, the security can be a bad thing. You are meant to sail the high seas. You are meant to leave the safety of the shore. You are meant to go explore the ocean. If youalways live under the banner of security, you will never be free. You will live in the “security” of the prison you willingly created for yourself.
One more thought I’d like to add is this. We convince ourselves that alone we can fix allof our problems. The reality is that God uses our problems for refining and teaching us to seek Him and need Him in ALL situations. The Lord gives us these opportunities to becomedependent on Him. I will even dare to say, we need to look for the difficult things and we need to do them. Foster care, working with the homeless, sharing your faith, apologizing to your mom when you are wrong. “Sorry Mom.” Do hard things. Difficult Things + Jesus = True Joy.
I’ll leave you with this poem and I love it…
When God wants to drill a man,
And thrill a man,
And skill a man
When God wants to mold a man
To play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways!
How He ruthlessly perfects
Whom He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which
Only God understands;
While his tortured heart is crying
And he lifts beseeching hands!
How He bends but never breaks
When his good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses,
And which every purpose fuses him;
By every act induces him
To try His splendor out-
God knows what He's about.