Saturday, September 1, 2012

when friends smack you in the face

I talk about my friends. A lot. Mainly because I have amazing friends.
One of the attributes that makes my friends so amazing is that they aren't afraid to smack me in the face. Figuratively speaking.

Recently a friend REALLY smacked me in the face. I was dealing with some junk in my life, feeling extremely guilty for mistakes that I have made. In the midst of me saying how crappy I felt, my friend stops, whips out her Bible, and reads from Isaiah.

"And I said: 'Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!' Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: 'Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.' And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me.'"
Isaiah 6:5-8

Pretty much every time I've read that passage (aka: every youth camp/conference I've ever been to...), I read it as Isaiah just being super pumped about being sent by the Lord. I read it as if this man was too legit to quit, so he raised his hand and was like, "Don't voluntell anyone, I'm your man!"

However. HOWEVER. Isaiah was in the same place I was not too long ago. He was sinful. He felt guilty for whatever it was that was going on in his life. Just like me. 
Yet, as soon as the coal touched his mouth, as soon as the angel declared that his sin was taken away, he believed it. And he was consumed by the amazing grace that the Lord had bestowed upon him. And that truth changed him.

I lived in my guilt. I knew that God is big enough to forgive me and to toss my sins as far as the east is from the west. But I wasn't willing to forgive myself. I hung on to that guilt like it was the only thing that mattered.

Two days later, the same friend sent me this text message: "Guilt feelings after confession and repentance have a satanic origin and are designed to hinder our spiritual growth." Boom.

If I (you) have truly confessed and repented of sin in my life, then it's done. Be willing to forgive yourself because the Creator of the universe already has. God's grace and Jesus' sacrifice are sufficient. 

Live in that truth today. 
I know I am.

No comments: