Christian perfection has never been nor will it ever be human perfection. Christian perfection is that state of being in a real relationship with God which then manifests itself among the many twists and turns of life and certainly the many irrelevancies of life. Personally, years of study and experience have clearly taught me that regardless how much doctrine I may know, until I have a clear picture and heartfelt sense that God is truly gracious and good, there will never be any lasting victory in my life.
Looking back, it was more than difficult to believe that God fully accepted me when my conscience told me otherwise. I cannot begin to tell you that the Scriptures which spoke about judgment all applied to me, and the ones that spoke mercy – well, they were for someone else. Numerous personal experiences in my life taught me that people only loved you as long as you pleased them. Therefore, did God really love me in spite of all that I had done and been?
It was the Holy Spirit that helped me see that the Scriptures that speak of judgment are directed at the stiff-necked sinner and not the one who is struggling with sin. As well, I came to understand that God’s promises of mercy are to all that trust in Christ and I was challenged to accept them by simple faith. The more I developed my intimate relationship with Jesus, the more my fears subsided, and, in their place, peace and confidence grew. Incredibly, there were two friends (of the old life) who did not desert me. Thankfully, there were new friends who, knowing all, still loved and accepted me. Trust me, their friendship, love, encouragement and support, provided tangible proof of God’s love. My faith grew.
For anyone to find freedom from any habit, addiction or compulsive behavior, an undermining of feelings and a letting go of what did or did not happen must occur. Ultimately, the person begins to see God as a loving Father whose unbelievable grace can bring blessing out of all that has been missed or suffered.
I greatly appreciate and value a comment by Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest…
“The only test as to whether we ought to allow an emotion to have its way is to see what the outcome of the emotion will be. Push it to its logical conclusion, and if the outcome is something God would condemn, allow it no more way.”
Has all the study, meditation, introspection, and questions been worth it? You bet ‘cha. As I have claimed and continue to claim, God is for me in every circumstance of life because of His blood and His righteousness. Solid peace and joy have driven away the old depressions that were at times incredibly crippling. By accepting the truth that God will never abandon me – because Christ has endured all the wrath that I deserve – I know that I am never alone. All things considered, I am satisfied to strive for and ultimately live in a perfect relationship with God the Father, so that hopefully and prayerfully, my life will produce a desire and a longing for God in other lives.
Recently, I shared life is not just a struggle for a few , today, it’s a struggle for everyone and no one meets all of life’s challenges flawlessly. It is monumentally important to remember that God does bring good out of trouble.
Otherwise sorrow will swallow us up.
My particular brokenness took my self-respect and gave me guilt, took my honor and gave me shame, took my honesty and gave me a double life, took gentleness and made me a deceiving man. However, out of all that stuff, came a walk with God, freedom, strength and vulnerability, the ability (I hope) to help others, and maybe, just maybe, the beginning of wisdom.
Heaven knows, the journey (which continues) was often not easy. However, it has all been worthwhile.
Indeed, push “it” – whatever the “it” may be in your life to its logical conclusion and if the outcome is something God would condemn, allow it no more way.
Pastor Phillip Lee
His Way Out Ministries
Member of Restored Hope Network
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, the I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is tested.” Martin Luther