Do you ever fear not being good enough? Do you feel like surely something you do will mess up God’s good plans for your life? Are you continually fearful that your mistakes and misteps will take you so far out of the will of God that you may miss your eternal destination with him?
Earlier this week I had a conversation with a woman who wildly loves Jesus. She seeks to honor him and live the life he died to give her. However she continually worries about her own ability to do everything right to maintain those good standings with God.
Well let’s get right to the heart of this because if you’re walking around afraid something you do or don’t do is going to cancel your welcome into Heaven, you’re probably living in a whole lot of fear and missing steps of opportunity on the daily. Yeah, let’s go ahead and talk about this!
Can you screw up your own salvation? Can you accept Jesus, but then do something that causes him not to accept you?
Well, what brought you into a place of salvation in the first place? Was it your perfection? Was it your holiness? Was it your righteousness? Was it your perfectly placed steps knowingly taken within the will of God? Was is your stellar performance or impressive success? Nope. None of that. Not a single thing you ever did was taken into consideration for your salvation.
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” My wild guess is, you’re included in that ‘all’. I know it’s a real shot in the dark and I could be wrong, but I’m assuming you too have screwed up and fallen short of perfection. If I’m wrong, you go ahead and message me, but I’ll move forward here assuming you’re part of the “all” that don’t measure up and you’re with the rest of us that have fallen short a few times.
Every single one of us have been excluded from the glory of God. God was going to have to turn his back on all of us because his holiness cannot look at sin. His righteousness cannot be in the place of such unrighteousness. (Is that a word? If God is righteous, we are the ‘un’ version of that.)
And THIS is why God sent his son Jesus. This is exactly why Jesus sacrificed his life. He is the holy sacrifice. His blood makes the unrighteous righteous. Covered in the blood of Jesus, God’s presence never leaves us. His eye is always on us. His hand is always over us.
Your salvation is solely about what Jesus did for you. Your ticket to heaven is stamped with the blood of Jesus. Because it’s not what you did, and all what he did, you can’t stumble into some sort of stupidity that might jeopardize your eternity in Paradise. Your part is simply to accept it, or not. Grab your ticket and live your life, or refuse your ticket and miss what has already been done for you.
You are securely in the hands of God. You can drop your need to perform and earn your place with him. You can stop living your life in fear that you’re going to screw this thing up. Honey, you’re not that powerful.
Last week in the episode about the sheep falling in the ditch we looked at John 10: 27-29 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”
Yip, still true today. No one is able to snatch you out of the Father’s hand. God has given you to Jesus, Jesus grabbed you and covered you in his blood, and there you are secure. You are held tight.
I know some religions tie strings to our salvation. Some give us a list of do’s and don’ts and rituals to follow to keep us in good standings with the Almighty God. I’m not saying they’re wrong. It’s good to have a rule to live by. Our children need our rules, and we too do best with some clear rules. However, you breaking the rules or missing the rules isn’t going to exclude you from the family you’ve been adopted into.
I believe God isn’t so concerned with your religion, he’s concerned about your relationship. I’m pretty sure God isn’t going to be checking for your church affiliation at the gates of heaven, he’s looking for one thing … you got Jesus? Alright then, come on in!
There is no return policy on you. You were bought with a high price. Your future was secured on the cross and your acceptance of that sacrifice sealed the deal. There’s no going back girl. It doesn’t matter if you now seem defective with a tendency to continually screw things up, God got you and he’s keeping you. Done deal.
It’s as if we imagine some sort of return counter in Heaven. Jesus brings you up, sits you on the counter and says “yeah, I need to return this one. She’s broken. She keeps screwing up. I don’t think I want her anymore. Can I get my blood back please?”
God isn’t going to walk away from you my sister. He’s not returning you. You are held tightly in his hand and no one is going to come snatch you out of his hand.
Isn’t it a work of the enemy who has been defeated to go around and poke at the things he can’t undo. He can’t do a darn thing about your eternity in Heaven and his eternity in Hell. Once you’ve accepted Jesus, he can only go around and poke. He pokes at your shame and your guilt. He pokes at your mistakes and stirs up doubt. He pokes with his accusations and questions. And guess what, those pokes will always reveal your imperfections. The pokes of the enemy will always remind you of your failure to stay perfectly in God’s best plans.
But guess what devil, no more poking on me! Back off! I’ve been fully bought by Jesus, I’m not yours to poke around on. Your accusations and insults are worthless. I won’t be listening to your lies today. Guilt and shame have no place in the life of a girl like me. A girl like me who has been redeemed. A girl like me who has been chosen. A girl like me who securely belongs to Jesus! A girl like me who has the Spirit of God living within her!
Maybe the enemy has been poking at you, causing you to fear living in the freedom you have been given. Yes, you have freedom to screw up. Freedom to take a step and then realize it wasn’t the right step. Just because you’re covered in the blood of Jesus doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to always get it right, it simply means you’re guaranteed to be forgiven if you ask.
This isn’t permission to be your worst, this is a responsibility to work toward becoming your best. But honey, you’re not going to do this thing perfectly. Your performance is not required here. Your superstar success is unnecessary. God’s not impressed by a single good thing you do. And he’s not shocked by a single bad thing you do.
So what if you screw up … like yesterday. You screwed up yesterday. And maybe you feel like your personal level of screw up is world-class. The enemy pokes at that hard, doesn’t he? He tells you coming back from this one will be impossible. He tells you you’re hopeless and useless. But he’s wrong. The way back has already been made.
You’re covered girl. Live like it. No fear. No doubt. Fully secure. Still loved.
And when you live like a fully loved girl, you begin to live differently. You recognize the potential God has put within you and you start stepping up to it. You are no longer discouraged by past failures, or distracted by dark offerings. You’re not tripped up by an unhealthy need to perform or impress. You accept your humanness has been covered by His holiness.
You know who you are and you know whose you are. And you know that won’t change.