What to Lose: My Self-Righteousness

What would you be willing to lose to gain the abundant life of purpose God created you for? The stakes are high...and they are very real.

A Series by Jill Holler – Part 7

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,

Prone to leave the God I love;

Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,

Seal it for Thy courts above.

–Robert Robinson, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”

 

Invincible

Sometimes as a Christian, I feel invincible.

I feel as if nothing can touch me…as if nothing can hinder my faith.

When I feel the power of God fall upon me and His presence fills my soul, I feel unstoppable.

I start to believe that no scheme of the enemy could ever penetrate my faith. That somehow I am in an untouchable realm, where sin cannot reach me and the temptations of this world could never affect me.

As I observe others struggling with sin and I see some wandering away from the faith, I cannot understand how they have gotten to such a place. I shake my head in disbelief and ask, “How can this be?” From my viewpoint, this is quite unfathomable; I simply cannot comprehend it.

A Defining Moment

Yet it is in this lofty moment that God reveals to me this astounding truth: I am not above sin. I am not beyond the corruption of my own heart. Click To Tweet

Yes, in disbelief, I find myself in the very circumstances that I once shook my head at!

I realize that my heart has drifted away from the Lord. It has sought after fulfillment on this earth, wanting a temporary fix to an eternal longing.

Indeed, [my] heart is deceitful above all things  and beyond cure (Jeremiah 17:9). And as God confronts me with my own sinful nature, I know that I am not beyond the reaches of sin.

As I look upon my life, the powerful words of the Apostle Paul ring out like a wake-up call to my soul:

I do not understand what I do….For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing (1 Timothy 1:15,19).

What a painful lesson…to realize I am doing the very things that I hate! That I have been committing the sins that Christ died to save me from!

Humbled

I sit shocked and stunned, humbled by the immense, overwhelming feeling that I am in desperate need of the grace and forgiveness of God–every single minute of every day. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature (1 Timothy 1:17).

Although I am a new creation in Christ, I walk around in this earthly tent (2 Corinthians 5:1), which is naturally drawn to the temptations of this world.

And no matter how spiritual I think I have become, my heart is prone to wander away from the One I love. It is prone to chase after the pleasures and glory of this world, to reach out longingly for things that are essentially worthless–even destructive.

Yes, sin wants to have its way in my life so that I will become ineffective for the kingdom of Christ.

Sin has a way of hardening my heart, persuading me to shut my ears to the voice of God. It tells me to keep my Bible shut and keep myself closed off from God. It builds up walls around my heart, hoping to keep God out and leave me trapped in sin and despair.

The world has a way of enticing us away from Christ and closer to the sin of self-righteousness, for "the heart is deceitful above all things" (Jeremiah 17:9). We may stumble and fall, but we are never too far gone to be welcomed back to Christ. He is our redeemer and savior, and he holds us eternally in his arms. #BibleStudy #LosetoGain #SelfRighteousness #HopeInJesus

Not Without Hope

But I am not without hope because I have the power of the cross. I have the power of God’s grace and his merciful forgiveness. My redemption has been bought at the price of Jesus’ precious blood, and there is nothing that can ever change that.

No, I am never too far gone that I cannot come back. There is always a way back home to the arms of my Father who loves me and calls me His own.

As his beloved child, I know He will never forsake me.

I may have faltered in my faith. I may feel like I have failed Him. But He stands with arms wide open, welcoming me back home.

Yes, He is my greatest hope. My never-ending hope. He is the sustainer of my life and the protector of my soul--even when I feel I least deserve it. #LosetoGain Click To Tweet

Praise God that I have such a mighty Savior!

Take My Heart

To stay connected to my Savior, I must cling to His grace and truth every day. And if Satan gains an inch, I must pray for God to regain that inch and add another one for His glory!

I must allow God to take my heart and seal it for His courts above (Robinson), praying that nothing will ever penetrate it.

A Heartfelt Prayer

Yes God, I praise You for Your goodness, and I ask that you hear my desperate prayer to You:

God, keep me true to You, even when my sinful nature turns toward the enticing desires of this world.

Help me to live for you and die to everything else, so that you may be glorified through my life, that I may shine the hope of Jesus to the world.

Forgive me for wandering away from You, the only One who can save and sustain me. Keep me eternally under Your care.

God, lead me closer to the crucified life, so that one day I can boldly proclaim, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

My life is nothing without You, God. Bring me back to life through Your mighty power!

 

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 1 Timothy 1:15

For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.  Romans 7:19-20

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24

So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. James 1:21

What would you be willing to lose to gain the abundant life of purpose God created you for? The stakes are high...and they are very real.

Enjoy other posts in this series

Things to Lose to Gain a Life of Purpose in Jesus Christ

What to Lose:

Dreams without Actions

My List of Failures

My Plans and Expectations

Indifference Toward Eternity

The Idol of Common Sense

My Worldly Perspective

 

What would you be willing to lose to gain the abundant life of purpose God created you for? The stakes are high...and they are very real. #crucifiedlife #LifeinChrist #losetogainThe world has a way of enticing us away from Christ and closer to the sin of self-righteousness, for "the heart is deceitful above all things" (Jeremiah 17:9). We may stumble and fall, but we are never too far gone to be welcomed back to Christ. He is our redeemer and savior, and he holds us eternally in his arms. #BibleStudy #LosetoGain #SelfRighteousness #HopeInJesus

2 thoughts on “What to Lose: My Self-Righteousness

  1. Steve Reason says:

    Oh, Jill, can I ever relate to that! Without fail every single time in my walk with the Lord that I began to naively feel somewhat…….shall I use the word……smugly…….self-confident and that I had finally arrived in my faith, Satan was setting me up for a big-time fall! Paraphrasing from Chuck Swindoll’s “Grace Awakening” book, “Our faith journey is like riding a bicycle. You have to keep pedaling or your going to fall over!” More times than I care to admit when I started to feel invincible in my faith, stopped pedaling, and started coasting I fell over and fell hard! Praise God He is still teaching me, leading me, and ministering to me through people like you!

    • jillusmarcus says:

      Thanks for sharing this, Steve! It means so much to me that you, a man I admire so much, goes through similar things. What you said is so true…whenever we feel like we’ve really got it together and pride creeps in, that’s when God illustrates just how much we need him! I always thought that I would someday arrive at a place where I wouldn’t struggle anymore. But as my pastor told me yesterday, it’s not about avoiding the struggle, but staying in it and clinging to Jesus. That’s what I want to do. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Steve. It means the world to me. God bless you.

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