In a recent sermon, I told a nice story about a time where I was arriving home from work exhausted, and I remembered to pray to the Lord, asking Him to be my life and to love my family through me. It was a nice analogy of holiness working its way from the inside out, and it happened to illustrate what happens when we remember on the front-side to depend on Jesus.
But often times the rubber meets the road for me when I am in the midst of an independence streak and I realize the fruitlessness of my actions. At that moment, when I realize that I am failing the Lord and others, I tend to just press on in my funk, reasoning that since I didn’t get it right from the beginning, it’s too late to start now.
Yet isn’t that where faith and grace really kick in, when we’ve already taken the wrong turn, made the wrong choice? When I’ve already overly-fussed at my son for pooping in his bed and decided internally to have a grumpy morning from that point on? When I’ve already decided that I am too tired and frustrated to try depending on Jesus so I am just going to handle things my way, no matter how bad they get? Those are the very moments where, despite the enemy’s whispers to run, my call is to stand and remember. I have been given new birth into a living hope, and that truth is good all the time and is not dependent on my past five minutes of behavior. It is dependent on Jesus Christ and the loving grace of our Father, who takes the time to interrupt my independence and offer me life.
I think that for most of us, we swing and miss the first time through. But our identity has not changed, and God is calling us to surrender our way, surrender our guilt, surrender the thought that we’ll just get it right the next time, that we might see Jesus meet us in that very moment, giving us, as Peter wrote, “everything we need for life and godliness.” Amen and Amen!