What brings a deeper meaning to your spiritual life? What causes you to soar high? To fly on higher levels?
Is it joining a ministry? Is it spending extra time in prayer? Is it reading and reflecting on another bible chapter? Is it opening up more and practicing accountability more? Reading tons of books about the Christian faith?
I definitely agree with all of these and I desire to be better on these listed practices.
But I am fully convinced that these are not the things that will take me to another level, or at least give more meaning to my life.
In my heart and spirit I soberly admit, the very reason why I am in the faith is the only thing that I need to also soar high in it.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is not to tune down the imperative contribution of godly disciplines. It is to elevate more the supposedly personal and continuous effect of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our personal lives.
I am guilty to admit, that thru the years I am in this faith, the desire to be a “good” christian, to be able to “pass” on my spritiual gradings, to be able to appear “fine” and “not so problematic”, has robbed me of precious time to really marvel at the precious gift I received.
Sure enough I did experienced the wonders of the gospel. I used to cry in gratitude while I am alone in a campus sharing the gospel to some students. That’s not fake, it is as true and as vivid as today. I remember the times how Jesus touched me personally on encounter retreats and really felt not like a counselor, but a sinner who is always in desperate need of his mercy. In my personal moments with Him I recall how forgiven and loved I am.
I discovered though, that there are things in our spiritual life that no godly discipline, no helpful books, and no length of prayer, can immediately cure. There are some things, big or small, that can only be addressed by the gospel. Some things in our lives just need to be surrendered rather than fixed.
As I write this, I let go of the “good” christian hat and put on my “sinner saved by grace” robe.
There are times I struggle with disappointment. The good within me tells me that it will go away if I choose to let it go and not be affected by it. Patch it up with that christian smile and laugh it out, “Oh, I understand, we make mistakes.”, “It’s okay, we can work it out”. Some days they go, other times they won’t. The gospel tells me just to admit it, process it, and look for the roots of it. Jesus won’t kill me if I’d be honest about it, even if I lash it out to him, he would embrace me, like a kid throwing a tantrum. There in the embrace I so undeserve, my disappointment slowly melts.
There are times I struggle with anxious thoughts. I dare not call it anxiety because I thought only people who have anxiety problems can call it, well, anxiety. I don’t want to accept it because I said I’m a christian, I can’t be anxious if I choose to purify my thoughts and think godly things. Patch it up with list of bible verses and quotes. Some times it works, other times it won’t. The gospel reminds me that, Jesus took my sins away, that these anxious thoughts can’t be as powerful as I thought them to be. Now, I can still be anxious, but I know I am lavished with sufficient grace to battle and walk through it.
There are times I struggle with poor self-image. I feel guilty for struggling with something that is so contrary to what I call myself to be, a christian. Instead of admitting this problem, I try to rename it or call it something else because I don’t want to admit to be battling with a problem so petty and so ‘not-for-christians’. No good deeds or godly activities can touch the root of this struggle. Only by being humble before God and expose my brokenness and accept that his Son’s death has already freed me from this grapling self misconception.
I discovered that the greatest goal I can have in a day is not to be “good”, but to be the most “dependent” in God’s grace
I discovered that I don’t have to be busy picking up my next favorite bible passage
I discovered that only few words, can already be powerful always and substantial every day
That a sinner like me who deserved death, was so loved by God, and was offered the gift of eternal life.
When everything that we are is hinged and immersed on the person of Jesus, what he has done, and what we have received despite of our sinfulness… When we live out in sober-mind this truth of how broken we are and give up on thinking we can fix ourselves… When we understand that His holy blood was shed to cover the pitch black darkness in our souls… When we realize the eternal treasure and personal, heart-felt lovingkindness he has freely offered us…
Everything else will grow dim in light of Jesus.
The gospel is like a worn out cloth in the pockets of my heart, where the good news is written. I learned to share this with others, to wipe their tears of joy when they came to know the Lord and encounter him in a personal way. Or wipe their tears of sorrow, when they are in pain. Now, I am learning to use it personally for myself everyday.
I pick it up to wipe the sweat in my cheeks caused by unrest. I crumple it as I try to contain my anger with the world and with myself. I use it to dust off the dirt on my knees whenever I stumble and fall. I also use it to wipe my own tears, caused by things unspoken and buried deep. No matter how worn out it appears to be, it’s power is always new and majestic to me.
Jesus loved me. He died for me. He resurrected again for me. He gave me hope. He continues to transform me. He’s revealing himself to me.
“The Christian life consists of sitting with Christ, walking by him and standing in him. We begin our spiritual life by resting in the finished work of the Lord Jesus. That rest is the source of our strength or a consistent and unfaltering walk in the world. And at the end of a grueling warfare with the hosts of darkness we are found standing with him at last in triumphant possession of the field.” – Watchman Nee’s Sit, Walk, Stand