What You Need to Know Today to Be Free

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. In fact, I don’t think there was a right side today. I wanted to go straight from bed to my son’s Easter chocolate. I woke up disappointed in myself because I’m a mess and I tried so hard. I tried so hard.
I wondered how I can say, “Jesus took my sins and nailed them to the cross, I have no debt with God, I’m free.” and go on living like yesterday…but I’ll struggle with my flesh until I’m dead. And so I wanted to hide in the pantry and consume my way to holiness.
But then I remember the truth. People have told me that Christianity is a crutch, but really Christianity is a person. The person Jesus, and he does it all for you, and it isn’t a crutch, it’s a cure. All you have to do is let him. All you have to do is trust him. You see, I was doing it myself. I have been doing all of it lately, because I’m stronger than the clay I come from. And since it was all about me, I cry when my clay cracks.

“When we go to the cross, we see our God dying for us. If you let any other god down, it will beat you up. If you live for people’s approval or your career or possessions or control or anything else and you don’t make it or you mess up, then you’ll be left feeling afraid, downcast, or bitter. But when you let Christ down, he still loves you. He doesn’t beat you up; he died for you.

Let his love win your love, and let that love replace all other affections. The secret of change is to renew your love for Christ as you see him crucified in your place.”

– Tim Chester

I can say now, three hours after I crawled dejectedly out of my bed, that I’m okay with my ugly side.
I’m okay with admitting to the entire Internet, and the stranger, and my Mother, and my Grandma, and my Great Uncle that I am full of rage and violence and there is no good thing in me, and I am the writing on the wall. No one wants to admit that they are evil and full of madness, but that’s what I needed to remember today to be free. Who is the one who condemns? I needed to know that the only good comes from Jesus in me, and only when I decrease and let him take over, only then are there sparks of holiness. And you need to know that too, because if I’m a mess, you’re a mess.
Stop striving and know He is God. Then give him your mess. He died for it, so hand it over. You won’t do anything good with yourself anyway. Trust me, I’ve tried. Hand it over and be free. The road is hard but his burden is light.
There is no sin that his blood doesn’t cover. This is the good news for you (and for me) today.
“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

holy experience

14 thoughts on “What You Need to Know Today to Be Free

  1. Why is it so hard for us to hand over our messes? If my kids get into more than they can handle they show me, they cry out, they ask for help. I think it is a habit of mothers to try and manage it all and boy do we create messes. Thanks for being so honest.

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  2. “Hand it over” That's got to be my favorite line of the whole day. I'm such a greedy little girl, clinging to my favorite troubles…

    btw…love the ham and cheese post 🙂

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  3. I am so thankful for the gift you are…for your honesty and messiness…You are right, we all fall short of the GLORY of God and not one of us is good, not even one.
    I have been taking the blame for my mess, but wallowing in it as if I were a swine instead of His beloved. I want to hold on, though I cannot for the life of me figure out why….

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  4. Thank you JoAnn for such a lovely, raw post. My burden is heavy — His is light — why do I keep trying to drag my burden around?

    Esther — I like that: “I'm such a greedy, little girl clinging to my favorite troubles.”

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  5. Yes! So beautiful… our freedom comes when we realize we are helpless to change in our own strength. I love this quote, “Your salvation showcases God's mercy.It makes nothing of your efforts but everything of his.” -Max Lucado
    Thanks Joann

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  6. Thanks for the Good News.

    I tend to get away on my own for a bit and start imagining that his burden will be heavy. I forget who Christ was sooo easily, and turn him into a condemner.

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