Irresistible Grace

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I am a wanderer.

Even after everything that He has done for me, my heart still wanders away from God so easily.

It’s always in small steps.
Small steps away from everything that He’s doing in my life.
Small steps towards what I want.

I wander towards the glittering things I know I shouldn’t; captivated by them as they wink their empty promises at me. Step after step, inching closer to the mirage. 

But, of course, I never arrive. I just keep on wandering until everything settles into a dull, lifeless grey. I become restless and irritated, looking everywhere for purpose and satisfaction. Refusing to look in the only place I know I’ll find it. I buy things, watch things, avoid things - all to escape that quiet place where I know I’ll be confronted with the only thing that’s real.

I allow the world to put its arm around my shoulders as I listen to its deceitful whispers. We shuffle together towards the things I’d resolved never to do again.

Hard-won, glorious truths that once brightly flickered around me begin to fade and ebb until I’m left, alone, in the dark. The reassuring arm and promising whispers melt into nothingness.
Smugly silent.

This is not the way I was designed to live.
This is not the person I was made to be.

Why do I wander in search of a different flavour of ultimate meaning, peace, purpose and satisfaction?

How could I do anything other than sprint towards His open arms?

What keeps me from telling everyone I know, all that I know about Him? My King. My Jesus. My life.

It is only when I abandon my scrambling search through this world of white noise, stop wandering, and surrender to the quietness, that I see Him again.

Sometimes it hurts to get me to that place. Sometimes I need to be dragged kicking and screaming. Sometimes the Holy Spirit confronts me with the terribleness of my sin, the holiness of God and the wonder of grace, and I fall to the floor, broken.

But once I’m there, once I confess my rebellion, once I lift my face to heaven and throw myself at my Father’s mercy, I feel the gentle hands of my King on my face.

My eyes slowly open to behold His.
Looking at me, with only love.

I see that I was never alone.
I had only screwed my eyes shut to the truth.

Even in the depths of my sin, He wouldn’t let me go. He wouldn’t let me be lost. Even when I was all in on sin, He hadn’t abandoned me. He wouldn’t leave me to ruin my life.

He held me.

He held me as I fought to sin the way I wanted to.
He held me as He took the pain and punishment for my selfishness in bloody stripes across His back.
He held me as I fell into a ditch of moral debt I could never climb out of. A debt that demanded payment with my life.

He paid for it with His.
He gave His life to pay for mine.

He was whipped, spat on and disgraced for all the things I’d done. My King. He was nailed onto a piece of wood to hang for hours until He died, because of my foolishness. My King. Through all of it, He never let go of me. My King.

I see Him and it all falls away.
My life swells into rich colour and an avalanche of peace consumes me.
I stand once more in the purpose I was designed for.
I walk once again with my God.

This requires more than resolve and willpower.

I need to be pursued, captured and consumed by irresistible grace.
For it to dictate my actions and shape my life.
To live in the reality of it. Motivated by the presence of it. Transformed by the power of it.

What does that mean?

It means that being a Christian isn’t about having it all together or resolving to get there on my own. It’s the opposite. It’s acknowledging that I have nothing together. That I have nothing good within me without Him. 

It isn’t about me and my goodness. My willpower. My virtue.
It’s about Him and His grace.

You don’t need to suffer under the weight of those lingering lies that you’ve blown it. That there’s no hope for you anymore. That if you’re in for a penny you might as well be in for a pound. They are the empty death throes of a defeated enemy. An old master.

He has silenced them.

You don’t need to replay the mistakes you’ve made to accrue some kind of ‘guilt currency’ to offer up in penance as a down payment on your moral debt.

He has paid it.
It’s finished.
It’s done.

He really, really did it for you. You’re really, really free. He didn’t do it to make you a bit better. To get you started. He did it to give you Himself - spotless perfection. Believe it. Let this identity shape your life and then live it with confidence, not because of you, but because of what it now is, because of Him.

There is nothing you can do to make Him love you more. He already loves you with utter completeness.

Know who you already are - a beloved child of the King.
Respond by glorifying Him with your delight in Him.

Stop wandering. Start walking.


Father.

I don’t want to wander anymore.
I don’t want to be lost anymore.
I don’t want to fear anymore.
I don’t want to live for me anymore.
I don’t want to hurt you anymore.

I am so sorry. I surrender to you.
I am so undeserving. All that I am is yours.
Pursue, capture and consume me with your grace.

I want to know you.
I want to be right with you.
I want to honour you.
I want to glorify you.
I want to walk with you.

You are the most precious thing in my life.


Oh, what joy for those
    whose disobedience is forgiven,
    whose sin is put out of sight!

Yes, what joy for those
    whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,
    whose lives are lived in complete honesty!

When I refused to confess my sin,
    my body wasted away,
    and I groaned all day long.

Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
    My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
    and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
    And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.

Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,
    that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.

For you are my hiding place;
    you protect me from trouble.
    You surround me with songs of victory.

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
    I will advise you and watch over you.

Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
    that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

Many sorrows come to the wicked,
    but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.

So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!
    Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!
— Psalm 32
 
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