The Christian life is not so much about attaining holiness, but in grabbing hold of the holiness that we already have in Christ. I’ve said that. I believe that.
This being said, there IS a striving for holiness that is required. We don’t strive for this holiness because we are trying to earn God’s favor…we strive for this holiness because of God having shown his favor. It is not a seeking of God’s approval, though for sure, we do want that…but it is more an understanding of the fact that we have God’s approval, and a desire to show that to the world and live in that joy. This is a beautiful place to be…No doubt.
As a child of God, as one redeemed by His blood…I desire to live out God’s call on my life. I desire to live in that joy-filled state. I want to tell people and proclaim what God has done for me. I want to live out all of the implications of a life saturated with the Gospel…
But, I so often don’t.
I want more than anything to close that gap between where God wants me to be and where I am. I want more than anything to close that gap between what I preach, and what I practice…
Some days, I am very successful. Most days I am not. Most days it feels like the gap is getting wider. Today has been one of those days.
So what is one to do? What can I do?
Ask for forgiveness? Absolutely.
Repent? No doubt.
Try to do better? You’d better believe it.
Wait. Rejoice? How can I rejoice in the fact that I am a miserable sinner? How can I rejoice in the fact that I am often a poor excuse for a husband, dad, son, pastor, friend….and I could keep going, but won’t.
How can I rejoice in that?
Well, that is not what I’m rejoicing in. My sin saddens me, it breaks my heart…though I often feel powerless against it…even though I know that I’m not.
It’s that pesky sin thing getting in the way.
Either way…I’m rejoicing in the fact that the gap has been closed. In Christ there is no gap. When God looks at me, he sees the beauty and righteousness of Christ. Irregardless of my sin. I should continue to preach, proclaim, and talk about what God desires of us. I should indeed talk about what it is to live a Gospel/Grace saturated life. I should indeed strive for that. I should indeed strive to shorten the gap between what I practice and what I preach. But even more than that I have to rejoice that in Christ, the gap is closed.
Should my heart be filled with sorrow over my sin? For sure…and it is.
But even greater than that sorrow, is the joy that the one who redeemed me is even greater than my sin.
Now, by the grace of God, may I live like this is true.