Are you tired of “trying?”
Is your inner voice always on repeat?
It’s exhausting! The cycle of “never-good-enough” keeps spinning while we drive to work, sit in bible study, clean our homes… The life-skill of “Disappointment with Ourselves” falls right under “Learning to Tie Our Shoes” at an early age. Thankfully, the Bible shows us another way.
“Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” -Hebrews 10:11-14
I serve a God who provided a final sacrifice.
Jesus came as the ultimate “priest” who made the last sacrifice ever needed for those of us that call out to God. Spiritual law no longer requires I kill a bull or goat to be forgiven of my mistakes. All the things I have done (and will do) that are contrary to the heart of God have already been forgiven. There is nothing I can do on my own that will get me into heaven.
It’s that simple.
Yet, even with that grace, we still struggle to breathe under the weight of our own mistakes.
Guilt and shame can blanket our hearts and begin to suffocate us. We reflect on the life we have been living and realize that we fall incredibly short of God’s expectations:
The words out of our mouths are wrong.
Our motives are selfish.
We chase our own dreams and fill our minds with everything BUT his holy word.
We are lazy and unforgiving.
We speak unkind words to our children.
We lose our tempers.
Surely God can’t forgive all of that.
We can’t fully accept that God has forgiven us of all we have done. We like to take control of our circumstances, “just in case.” We push aside God’s sacrifice and try to fix it on our own.
Have you ever done this? Made resolutions to be a better person, rather than letting God change you from the inside out? We go to church more often and try to cuss less. We volunteer to serve on a Sunday and and at least pretend to sing with the songs during worship. It becomes about how we can “do better” to please God, rather than seeking a real relationship. Try harder, sing louder, pray more- all in futility.
Despite our best efforts, our life still requires a sacrifice.
I am exhausted trying to be my own sacrifice- aren’t you?
The book of Hebrews paints a different picture of measuring up:
Jesus was the final sacrifice, NOT us.
Why? Because we needed a way to commune with God that didn’t depend on our efforts, as we will always fall short. Jesus’ blood was perfect and innocent, void of any darkness. Jesus dying meant we could live. And what did He do after his sacrifice? After he gave up his life for us?
He SAT DOWN at the right hand of God.
Don’t miss this! It is so important: There was nothing else to accomplish. It was final. His death was the only worthy sacrifice for our sins and with that, our striving to be “good enough” comes to an end! Our accomplishments, along with our shortcomings, get thrown out. A clean slate. A new beginning!
The picture of Jesus sitting is powerful!
Do you see the physical representation of finality? He was DONE. The day was over. The task was accomplished. After his ministry on earth, after all the pain, after a physical death and resurrection, he finally got to sit down.
When you get caught up in the striving and pushing and chasing, take a seat.
Jesus has already completed the striving and pushing and chasing for you.
If you believe in Christ, that is enough!
Your faith is enough.
YOU are enough.
The heart that is drawn to “be better” will live best sitting down in the security of Jesus’ sacrifice. Our salvation has been paid for. He fills you up with all the love and acceptance you need to trust in that. Your life will change- not because you willed it to do so- but because you will be so full of him that you overflow.
When we overflow, NOTHING stays the same.
Do you struggle to accept this unconditional love from God? What keeps you grasping for a salvation that cannot be bought?