This blog has been online since 2006. In the beginning, I thought I knew what I was talking about. To be honest, though I have not been that successful at living the Christian life that I thought I understood and wrote about up until about the middle of 2010. If you have been reading this blog you probably notice that there is a change in my thinking and writing in September of 2010, starting with the post of a music video of a song by Aaron Keys called, “You’re Not Guilty Anymore.”
Just a few weeks before that I was so discouraged that suicidal thoughts often occupied my mind. You see, I still have habits that I consider sinful. As a Christian early on I tried to accomplish the changes that I thought should happen in my life. After close to 15 years of doing so, I got really tired. And when circumstances in my life became so challenging that I couldn’t keep up, I gave up trying to live the Christian life. In fact, I spoke those very words to the Lord. “I can’t do this and I’m not going to try anymore,” I said.
It was like a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I felt free! That was around 2000. In 2001 I moved to Florida and that was the year I first heard of a ministry called Grace Walk. The founder of the ministry was Steve McVey. As I listened to his teaching on grace it made sense to me. It was also the first time I realized what was going on in my own life. In 2000 when I told the Lord that I couldn’t live the Christian life and that I was giving up, everything seemed suddenly easier. I didn’t understand it until I heard Steve McVey talk about the grace of God.
Somehow though, I went back to my old way of thinking about Christianity. I was once again working very hard at trying to live the Christian life and failing miserably, right up until 2010. Again I found myself wanting to give up. And as I said, thoughts of ending my life occupied my mind – a lot. This time the Lord reminded me of Steve McVey and Grace Walk. So I looked him up on the internet. Soon after I purchased his book, “Grace Walk.” And soon after that book, I read another book by Ralph Harris called, “God’s Astounding Opinion Of You.”
There is a tremendous amount written about the Grace of God in the scriptures, especially in the epistles from the apostle Paul. How I ended up doing something else I don’t know. It’s not like I don’t read the bible enough. I read it a lot. I am seeing it now though. With some difficulty, I am realizing that it is not about me but, it is about Jesus Christ and His Father who have done and given and made possible everything for me. I thought I was supposed to live for Him but He wants to live for me, through me.
The gospel is more simple than religion and modern Christianity portrait it. It is hard for me to understand that God loves and accepts me, NO MATTER WHAT! This in itself causes me to desire whatever it is that He wants for me. That is just the beginning. I am still struggling with old habits. But now I am learning to accept and love myself as He does. I believe in time the habits I am so worried about will pass away without me having to “handle it” at all. Until then I am satisfied to be in the faith of the Son Of God.
I have had a change of heart. It is not me who has to live this Christian life. It is Jesus who has to live it in and through me. Galatians 2:20 I am just the vessel. And through His death and resurrection, I have been made clean, righteous, and holy. I am a prince of heaven, one of the sons of the living God in Christ. My part is simply to trust, believe, and let Him do in my life whatever He wants.
I no longer hold on to the guilt and self-condemnation that brought me to the brink of destruction. You don’t have to either. Check out the links to the videos and books above. If you are tired of trying to live the Christian life and failure God’s grace will set you free. I am convinced.