“I thought I dealt with this already… when am I going to get it together?”
I have often heard the frustration- have experienced it myself.
“My strongholds and sins seem to be endless. Every time I experience victory, it doesn’t seem too long before I discover something else I’m doing wrong- some other area where I’m entangled.”
The Apostle Paul experienced this same frustration as he expresses in Romans 7 about his inability to consistently walk out the good he longs to live. His exasperation leads him to conclude that he is a “wretched man” (Romans 7:24). Have you been there? When you have looked into the holiness of God, the perfect law that James compares to a mirror (James 1:22-25), what does that refection look like for you? Have you seen only the form of one who is hopelessly flawed, endlessly broken? Recently, I had the powerful experience of going through Phase 1 of The Ultimate Journey, which is one of the core classes we offer here at House of Hope. During that experience, the Lord brought about healing and freedom in my life in amazing and transformative ways.
The ground that God and I covered during Phase 1 wasn’t entirely new. In fact much of it dealt with strongholds of which I have been aware for some time, namely my tendency to frame my life and value in terms of my performance, to the degree that I meet the expectations of others. In various ways, over my lifetime the Lord has brought healing and freedom in this struggle. Yet, here we were again- covering the same ground… Or were we?
No! This was new healing, new freedom. Deeper, richer, fuller. And it will not end there. The Lord has more!
As amazing as it is to have those breakthrough moments where we can feel the old burdens finally fall away, the chains finally removed and thrown aside, it is our great joy and blessing that God is not finished. The conviction and revelation of the broken places within our own souls by the Holy Spirit is never condemnation. Rather, it is invitation to come and experience again the grace of God. James refers to that mirror, that perfect law, as the “law of liberty.”
Yes dear ones, we look not at a laundry list of all the ways we fall short but instead to a great promise of freedom, a picture of our wholeness realized. So may we join Paul, in those moments we feel wretched as we reflect on how far we still have to go, by declaring, “Thanks be God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25).
As we acknowledge that we still have a long road ahead in our journey, may we joyfully anticipate and gratefully receive the many more moments of liberty and healing that the Lord has in store. Because this is the truth of our walk with Christ: as much as we have already been blown away by the power of His truth, His grace, His extravagant love to transform us and set us free, the best is yet to come.
“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:6