One of the greatest struggles in my walk with Christ has been believing that I have been "made right" because of Jesus. I know His word says that I have been, but it seems like on a weekly basis I wrestle through negative self-perceptions, and trying to figure out the "next step" in how I can be "righteous". I am not saying that we shouldn't look inside and allow God to continually transform..but scripture clearly points out that it is by faith that we are saved not by our works.
For the past several days I have been very melancholy as I have been allowing ungodly beliefs to circle through my head. Ungodly beliefs that say "I am not loved", "I am not wanted", "I have to strive for God's approval and the approval of my peers", and "I am an outsider in HIs Kingdom"...all of which are total lies from the enemy. It's funny, when I get in these places...it's Him that I need the most, but I end up hiding from Him and throwing myself a little pity party (you bringing the confetti:))
Then tonight, I am reminded by my Father who I really am, reminded that I have right standing with Him...as I read through Romans 8 (NLT). Here are just a few brief snippets of God's voice to me tonight.
...."And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself" (vs 30)
...."Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own? No one-for God himself has given us right standing with himself" (vs. 33)
...."he calls people but not according to their good or bad works" 9:13
....."What does this mean? Even though the Gentiles were not trying to follow God's standards, they were made right with God. And it was by faith that this took place"..9:30
My Father knows me, He knows what I wrestle with, He knows the sin lurking in my heart, and yet He loves me. The truth is that "I am loved, accepted, and wanted by Him" (and so are you), "I don't have to strive for His approval..He died for me..and loves me", and "I am an insider in His kingdom that has right standing with HIm because I have FAITH in Him!" And my good friend Cindy reminded me last night that when Jesus transforms us...He starts by telling us who we are in Him (loved, delighted in, HIs child, loved, accepted, never abandoned, etc) not by telling us who we aren't. I am incredibly grateful tonight!
Don't focus on who you aren't! Do you know who you ARE in Christ?