13 Apr The Longer I Walk With Jesus
Over the years I’ve often pondered my walk with Jesus and how my understanding of everything has changed the longer I walk with Him. When He first saved me, well over a dozen years ago, I was certainly thankful, but I was also very immature. I was quick to speak and often much slower to listen. I was judgemental and certainly thought I knew what a “good” Christian was, but really, I was just ignorant. I had my opinions and was quick to share them, but I was prideful, legalistic, and lacked the grace that God had so graciously shown me. I certainly looked far more like a Pharisee than I did like Jesus. But that was then, and thanks be to God that He doesn’t leave us the way He redeemed us.
God in His grace starts a work in our lives and promises to bring it to completion. When I look back, I am overwhelmed and humbled that He saved and justified me but I’m also extremely grateful for His continued sanctification as well. I once heard R.C. Sproul say that he was so grateful that God didn’t reveal the totality of his sin to him all at once, as he believed it would have destroyed him had he fully known his depravity. I couldn’t agree more. The longer I walk with Jesus, the more I realize just how sinful I am and if I had fully understood this when I first believed, I think it would have been too much.
The interesting thing is, God, in His kindness to us, doesn’t reveal everything to us all at once but instead works in us methodically, consistently, and patiently. Our relationship has its ups and downs. There are times of tremendous growth and there are times that feel dry and hard. In the beginning, it is often big things that He is working on and cutting away at. As these big things are dealt with, He then starts peeling away the hidden, underlying sins that are just as devastating. We may no longer curse like sailors, or drink like fish. We may no longer cheat on our taxes or lie to our spouses. However now we see just how prideful we may be or how selfish we are in the little things. We may not have large outburst of anger, but God patiently and graciously reveals that it’s still just as sinful when we bottle it up and get annoyed or angry in our hearts and minds.
It is wonderful that God continues to reveal even our smallest of sins (if there are such things), because it shows just how much He loves us. God fully knows that sin, any sin, if left unchecked will grow and have devastating affects so He lovingly brings them to our attention so we can, with His strength, put them to death. The longer I walk with Jesus, the more I’ve come to appreciate this and praise Him for it. He loves me so much that He doesn’t want me to be hurt by my own sinfulness and He realizes that left to myself, I’m a train wreck, so He puts His Spirit in me so that I might find victory through Him.
The other wonderful part about Jesus continuing to work in me and reveal my heart is that it releases me from judging others. The more I understand the depths of my sinfulness and the grace that God shows me, the less I look at others. When you understand just how much you’ve been forgiven, it’s really hard not to extend forgiveness to others or stand in judgement of them. It makes passages like Luke 18:9-14, Luke 7:41-50, and Psalm 51 so much sweeter.
The longer I walk with Jesus and the more He reveals my sin is not Him being harsh, unkind, or unloving, but actually Him being incredibly merciful, kind, and ultimately loving. The fact that He continues to sanctify me is just proof of exactly how much He loves and cares for me and it actually fuels my love and worship of Him. I am incredibly grateful for His continued work in my life and the journey He has taken me on. I look forward to what He has for me next and how He’s going to continue to purge my sin from me because it means I’m going to look and love more like Him and there’s nothing better than that!
So, let’s not fear or run from His work in our lives but let’s embrace it and sing with David as he sings Psalm 51.
Love you all!