“I am a descendent of Adam, a man of flesh. At the very core I am sinful—“as a filthy rag,” selfish, unholy, fallen and above all, guilty! But, thank God, I am a saved sinner! And now that I am saved I must do my part. My responsibilities include confessing my sins, reading His word, praying, evangelizing, reaching out in love to others, and above all, living a life of obedience. I am to walk as He walked. It is my duty to make every possible effort to lead a holy life. “Be holy as I am Holy.” I am to listen to the Holy Spirit as He points out my sins and to quickly confess and get right with God. This is not pretense. If I want to be pleasing to God I must turn away from sin. Sin thwarts my fellowship with Him and shuts me off from His blessings. I know that He is with me and will help me. And even though the temptation to sin is very strong and sometimes overcomes me (after all I do have an old nature), I know that eventually, in “the sweet by and by,” I will be in His Presence and He will make everything right!”
Perhaps you can identify with my reflection. I know many can. But this may shock you. A letter written by James and recorded in the New Testament speaks of me. He wrote, “He is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does” (1:8). He says that I “must believe and not doubt.” The above reflection is filled with doubt (even lies) and especially double-mindedness.
I was like the blind man that Jesus healed at Bethsaida. Jesus “took the blind man by the hand, and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, ‘Do you see anything?’ He looked up and said, ‘I see people; they look like trees walking around.’ Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.” (Mark 8:23-25) My eyes too were touched by the Master. I was also made to see. But unlike the blind man, I thought that I was seeing clearly after the first touch. The touch itself was fully adequate but my fleshly eyes were so used to not seeing, that unknown to me, the images seen were indistinct. While claiming to be a healed man of faith, inconsistencies in the way I was seeing things kept my faith confused. But then again, in my own defense, I had never “seen” before. I thought that my vision was 20/20. But in hindsight, I now understand that it was not. My focus was on man and his sin (primarily myself). He loomed large, like a tree without roots, wandering about. There is a significant lacking in spiritual acuity when we look into the face of man rather than into the face of Jesus. If you would have asked me though, I would have denied any such lacking. I would have said, “No, I am seeing clearly!” I would have adamantly insisted upon it. But deep inside, where others can not see, I knew something was wrong. This is where my journey began, a journey into rethinking and relearning the meaning of God’s wonderful grace.
~Intro. to my upcoming book “Rethinking Grace”