April 11, 2009

In Response to “Questions”

The following is written in response to my earlier post “Questions”. It is my best attempt at answering many of them. There are some that I do not understand and some I never will. I am not worried about the ones I can’t answer, because I know I serve a loving, merciful, powerful, just, and wise God.

Why do I keep making the same mistakes?
Why don’t I succeed?
Why do I do the things I do?
Why don’t I do what is right?

I keep making the same mistakes, because I am a sinful human. Romans 6 says that when Christ was killed on the cross my sinful nature was killed as well. It goes onto say that, because of Christ’s death I am no longer a slave to sin. A slave has no choice, but to serve his master. Since I am no longer a slave to sin I have a choice. This raises the question “Why do I chose what is wrong?” The answer is this; there is battle raging in my soul. It is the question of whether or not I will live by the Sprit or by the flesh. Galatians 5:16 says “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” So the answer is if I walked by the Spirit I would not continue to make mistakes.

Paul does a much better job answering the first four questions then I do in Romans 6:15-25.
For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

Does my life still have worth?
Does God still love me?
Does He still care?
Does He regret making me?

These questions have caused me lots of pain. For a long time in my life I believed the answer to be; No my life is worthless, God could not love me now, He no longer cares, and yes He regrets it. I believed these lies for about five years. I originally became a Christian around age five. The first couple of years of being a Christian were great, but ever so slowly I began to fall away. By the time I was in the 8th grade I had come to the place that I believed I had done so many bad things that God could no longer love me. I would not accept myself and I was convinced neither would God. I could not have been more wrong. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Also, John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have ever lasting life.” And then Ephesians 2:8 says “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;”
I was forgetting these verses. I was basing my salvation on works. If I had earned it would not be grace. Also, if Christ died for me while I was a sinner would it stop Him from loving me if I sinned again? I think not. Even after realizing these two things it was still hard to deal with the question “Am I worth anything?” One night while crying out to God about my own worthlessness, He pointed out to me, “You are worth the life of my son. You are worth the pain that I went through on the cross”. That is when I finally realized God loves me and my life is important to Him. He bought me with a price (worth) the price of His son. I am so thankful for this. I will never stop praising Him for His sacrifice and for giving me worth.

How much pain have I caused Him?
How many times do I have to try before I get it right?
How many times will I try to accomplish the impossible?
How many times will I fail?
How many times will I doubt?

These questions relate to the first four. I will never know how many times I will have to try, but I do know I will have to continue trying until I completely submit my life to Christ. Once that happens I will not have to attempt the impossible, because through Christ all things are impossible. I will continue to fail every time I try to accomplish the task in my own power. I will continue to slip into doubt until I put all of my trust in God.

The first of these questions almost brings me to tears. There is no doubt that I have caused God more pain then I can imagine. It was my actions that laid His back open under the whip.
My actions lead Jesus to the cross. I drove the nails into His arms. It was not only on the cross that I have caused Him pain. Every time I choose something else over spending time with Him, I cause Him pain. God is a jealous god He greatly desires our attention and He feels pain when we ignore Him or even at times reject Him. This pain is revealed over and over in the old Testament with phrases like “you have grieved the Lord your God.” I deeply regret all the times I have caused Him pain and I am sorry for doing those things.

When will I realize it is not up to me?
When will I realize I can’t do it myself?
When will I realize I need to trust Him?
When will I realize only through Christ I succeed?

I already realize that I need these things it. The questions should have been, “When will I act on those needs?”

Do I understand He has already forgiven me?
Do I understand the depth of His love?
Do I understand the work He did on the cross?
Do I understand…?

I understand that He has forgiven me. I am so thankful for that forgiveness. I don’t understand the depth of His love. There have been times when I thought I knew the depth of His love. Every time that happened He showed me that it was still deeper. I think I sort of understand the work on the cross. I know why Jesus had to die. I know what it accomplished. I know that He did it for love. I know I am now forgiven because of that work. However, I don’t understand why He would love me enough to go through all of that. His love boggles my mind. It astonishes me over and over.

Will I give Him my life?
Will I surrender all?
Will I let Him work in me?
Will I love Him in return?

I wish I could say a resounding yes to these four questions. I wish I could say that I already have. My actions prove otherwise. Every time I sin it proves that I have failed to do one of the four. Likewise whenever I do something righteous it shows that I succeeded.

Stop and be still and know He is God
Stop and be still and know His unfailing love
Stop and be still and know His forgiveness
Stop and be still and know He is in control

Will you surrender all?
Will you slow and ponder His unfailing love?
Will you be still?

These last seven are more of a question for you. Will you join me in this struggle to do what it right. Join me in serving God. Will you take a few moments to spend some times in silence before Him? Will you do these things and give your life to Him?
Thank you for taking time to read this. I hope that God uses it to touch your life. I pray that you will learn to trust Him completely and that you will turn to Him for forgiveness.

In Christ,


1 comment:

  1. hello I found your blog randomly and your questions caught my eye, I enjoyed reading them so thanks. =)
    Also on a random note-Titus is a very unique and cool name! haha