This is the tenth post for the March series To Love is to Live in Christ, a series reflecting on how we can receive Love (God), so that we can live and move and have our being in it. This post is based on 1 Corinthians 13: 5 “it keeps no record of wrongs”. It is linked up to Carolina’s #OpenMicMonday:
God tells us:
- “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103: 12 NIV),
- “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” (Isaiah 43: 12 NIV),
- “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8: 12 NIV),
- “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. (Isaiah 1: 18 NIV).
And yet, how many moments a day do I spend berating myself for confessed sins? Too many. For even once is already too many.
All He requests from us is that we come to Him, that we confess what is in us, so He can wash it clean and release us from its hold. And then He tells us to receive the grace He has already extended at the cross.
All He’s asking from us is honesty: to say: “Here I am, LORD. My ‘heart is desperately dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But [you], GOD, search the heart and examine the mind. [You] get to the heart of the human. [You] get to the root of things. [You] treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.’ (Jeremiah 17: 9 – 10 MSG). So, here I am, LORD. Truthfully, I do not trust you right now, I’m frightened that you’ll reject me. I’m scared that I’m not good enough, even though You tell me otherwise and I profess to believe it. Lord, I’m angry, really angry at what’s happening. Where are you in this. Why are you letting this happen?”
And just look at what He does in and through such blunt and truthful souls. Moses, Gideon, Job, David, Jeremiah to name just a precious few of the many. Perfect? No. Trusting? Not always. Ceaselessly praising God? No, often only after confessing their true distrustful hearts. Always doing or saying the right thing? No, definitely not.
In fact what we see is this: often they are very angry souls, telling God He’s not doing such a great job of things. And very needy souls, telling God they desperately want Him to prove things and show up in their lives, and NOW!
You know where I am, GOD! Remember what I’m doing here! Take my side against my detractors. Don’t stand back while they ruin me …
Led by you, I went off by myself. You’d filled me with indignation. Their sin had me seething. But why, why this chronic pain, this ever worsening wound and no healing in sight? You’re nothing, GOD, but a mirage, a lovely oasis in the distance – and then nothing”
(Jeremiah 15: 15 – 18)
And what does God do? Remind them of their past sins? Say: “Oh, here we go again! Have you still not learnt your lesson?!” Remind them that they deserve all the hardship inflicted upon them? Leave them to it?
NO! What God does is turn their broken, desperately needy hearts into cascading lips of hopeful praise and trust, by turning them to the truth of their deceitful hearts and leading them to confession. And in and through confession to breaking the wall of sin, keeping them from communion with Him – from His Gifts of Love, Faith and Hope.
This is how GOD answered me:
“Take back those words; and I’ll take you back. Then you’ll stand tall before me. Use words truly and well. Don’t stoop to cheap whining. Then, but only then, you’ll speak for me. Let your words change them. Don’t change your words to suit them. I’ll turn you into a steel wall, a thick steel wall, impregnable…
(Jeremiah 15: 19 – 21 MSG)
From early on your Sanctuary was set high,
a throne of glory, exalted!
O God, you’re the hope of Israel.
All who leave you end up as fools,
Deserters with nothing to show for their lives,
who walk off from God, fountain of living waters—
and wind up dead!
(Jeremiah 17: 12 – 13 MSG)(Jeremiah speaking)
So, whenever we are plagued by reminders of our sins, we must turn to Jesus. Confess our distrust in holding onto what He has placed as far as the east is from the west, blotted out from memory and washed as white as snow. And let Him lead us back into true communion with Him, where distrust has no hold on our minds and hearts, and neither do despair, shame, unworthiness, fear or insecurity. For He promises that as we draw near to Him, He draws near to us.
“When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.
“When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.
“Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” GOD’S Decree.
(Jeremiah 29: 12 – 14 MSG)
And so, as our distrustful minds draw near in confession, His truthful Spirit moves in to take residence, to push deceit out and the truth in. For, God is Love and Love delights in the truth, in the truth of God’s beautiful grace. So, as we begin to receive God in the confession of our desperately deceitful human hearts, He moves in to remind us not to fear, not to be ashamed, not to lean to prove our worth and therefore keep no record of both our own wrongs and those of others. For with God, we have nothing to prove, nor fear.
This is the way God put it:
“They found grace out in the desert,
these people who survived the killing.
Israel, out looking for a place to rest,
met God out looking for them!”
God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will.
Expect love, love, and more love!
And so now I’ll start over with you and build you up again,
dear virgin Israel.
You’ll resume your singing,
grabbing tambourines and joining the dance.
You’ll go back to your old work of planting vineyards
on the Samaritan hillsides,
And sit back and enjoy the fruit—
oh, how you’ll enjoy those harvests!
The time’s coming when watchmen will call out
from the hilltops of Ephraim:
‘On your feet! Let’s go to Zion,
go to meet our God!’”
(Jeremiah 31: 2 – 6 MSG)
Praise God! So, let’s bow on bended knee as ourselves: desperately deceitful hearts in desperate need of His Love, a Love that keeps NO record of wrongs.
You stood before creation
Eternity within Your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand
You stood before my failure
Carried the Cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand
So what can I say?
What can I do?
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You
So I’ll walk upon salvation
Your Spirit alive in me
This life to declare Your promise
My soul now to stand