God is the one who enables you both to want and to actually live out his good purposes. Philippians 2:13 (CEB)
Mistake-prone. That’s me. In the wake of my chaotic choices, I’ve left a few shattered hearts with my untamed tongue. I don’t always mean to, yet this week, I’ve let my mistakes get the best of me!
Do you ever feel like you just can’t get it right…ever?Do you ever feel like you just can’t get it right...ever? Click To Tweet
Why does life have to be so messy?
That’s where this week has left me. Willful disobedience, accidental disobedience, and ‘no-fault of our own’ mistakes always leave their mark. Yes, like a coffee cup stained over the years, our mistakes leave a stain on the hearts of those around us. At my house I have a college student and a work-from-home husband, sometimes when we’re all home for what seems like days on end, our home becomes a breeding ground for residue and resentment.
In our everyday lives, we have to be intentional about putting others first and choosing our battles wisely. It’s not our nature to do so and if we’re not careful, we find ourselves cleaning up a lot of messes. If your house is as messy as mine, you might need a clean-up day. Listen, I hear you, I’d rather do laundry all day long than clean house, however, this clean-up’s a little different.
Roll up your sleeves, girls!
It’s time to do some dirty work. Our relationships don’t just heal themselves. Although it takes hard work from both sides to tidy up this kind of a mess, it definitely starts in our own heart. Just like yesterday’s laundry, it’s easy to get and hung up at this point in our clean-up day. But, if we do, our lives stay messy.
When we know our best won’t be good enough and we’ve poured out all we have, what do we do with our empty cup? We’ve but one choice, humble ourselves and ask the Lord to fill us up. Because when our energy’s been sapped and our do-good is drained, we need Jesus to meet us in our mess. Empty of endurance, down to our last ounce of empathy, when we ask, He fills us up to overflowing. However, our emptiness actually enables the Holy Spirit room to move.
When we’re at the end of our ourselves, our empty is enough.When we're at the end of our ourselves, our empty is enough. Click To Tweet
What does the Bible say?
In the Bible, James speaks right at our messy, mistake-ridden lives. He rightfully says that deep inside we want our own way with both God and man. Yet, we rarely get it. Things tend to get ugly in our relationships when we try to force our way. Repeatedly, we make futile attempts in rebellion, manipulation, or coercion.
But, in the end, we’ll find this internal battle is only won by waving the white flag of surrender.
Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it...You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way. You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way…It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.”
James 4:1-10 MSG
Our selfishness attempts to clean ourselves up are like the soapy suds of dirty water trying in vain to remove the stain of sin. It just doesn’t work.
Even if you wash with detergent and use a lot of soap, I would still see the stains…Jeremiah 2:22 GNT
Only the blood washes white. Surrender is where we come clean.
You see, no matter how hard we scrub, we can’t clean ourselves up. Our efforts alone won’t work. Only the Savior’s blood can cleanse us. The beauty is in the simplicity, to come clean, we only need to ask. Simply asking makes us pure and white.
Call to Me and I will answer you…I will heal the people…I will give you peace and security… And, I will restore and rebuild…I will cleanse them from all the sins…Jeremiah 33:3, 6-8 GW (*paraphrased)
I will scrub them clean…Jeremiah 33:8 MSGOnly the Savior's blood can cleanse us. Click To Tweet
What is God’s plan?
Before the foundation of the world, God had a plan to take away the stain of sin. His plan was Jesus. And guess what, sweet girl, it still is. The cross cleans up the messy mistakes of His people. Ironically, once we’re washed in the blood, we’re clean. His blood runs red washing us white as snow. We’re forgiven, yet, still human.
God knew we wouldn’t be able to stay clean. In His redemptive plan, something unbelievable happens. Though washed and white, the stains of sin don’t really come out, however they do get covered…covered by the blood of Jesus. And that’s how God sees us…without stain, clean, pure and white.
God’s cleaning process is called sanctification; that’s just a fancy word for the ongoing work He does in our lives until we see Him face to face. It’s never just a ‘ten-minute tidy’ because when God cleans us up, it’s powerful and purifying; it’s all Him.
…Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow…
Therefore if any person is ingrafted in Christ, the Messiah, he is a new creation (a new creature altogether)…
2 Corinthians 5:17
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image, from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:18
For the love of Christ controls and urges and impels us…
2 Corinthians 5:14-15
Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.
Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
Without a doubt, the most refreshing thing to know is that we don’t have to get all cleaned up before we run to the Father. When we’ve made a mess of things, and we ask for forgiveness from our Father, family, and friends, He’ll clean it all up. When we’re at the end of ourselves, worn out, and empty, He’ll make up the difference.
Our empty will be enough.
Be free from pride-filled opinions, for they will only harm your cherished unity. Don’t allow self-promotion to hide in your hearts, but in authentic humility put others first and view others as more important than yourselves. Philippians 2:13 TPT
God is the one who enables you both to want and to actually live out his good purposes. Philippians 2:13
Start saying, “NO MORE!” to the sin in your life and “YES, LORD!” to let Him have His way. Then, the little ‘no-fault of our own’ mistakes won’t seem so big or make such a mess. Ultimately, the more we’ve been forgiven, the more forgiveness we’ll have to pour out.
Let God fill your empty cup today…He always gives a generous pour.Let God fill your empty cup today...He always gives a generous pour. Click To Tweet
I am the Lord your God, the one who brought you out of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. Psalm 81:10
So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. Galatians 4:7
We’ve been forgiven. We’ve been set free.
Fortunately, we don’t have to stay in our bondage, chained to our sin. He’s brought us out of the land where we were once slaves. It is for freedom He has set us free…free from our messy mistakes. Instead, God makes us an heir…makes us more than conquerors, and ultimately more like Jesus. He makes us a Victory Girl through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit!
Finally, it’s Jesus, in us, who makes us victorious in the battle to keep our mouths shut when necessary and ask for forgiveness when we don’t. Empty of ourselves and full of the Spirit…that’s how sanctification works… we keep surrendering our all in exchange for more of Him.
PRAYER: Jesus, meet us in our messes and make our empty enough. We surrender our way to You. Show us Your ways and give us the grace to follow. We come, simply asking for less of us and more of You in our lives and our relationships. Keep us humble and clean us up, Lord. Amen.He makes us a Victory Girl through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit! Click To Tweet
If you enjoyed this blog, you might also enjoy this episode of the Past to Power Podcast “The Grace Parade”
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