Returning to Form
Coming to Christ is a beautiful and awe-inspiring moment in a person’s life, and easily the most important decision you can make. There is a bit of a honeymoon period where you are full of idealistic optimism. After all, you are a new creation and the human tendencies you indulged before coming to know Jesus will surely just roll off the way water cascades from a duck’s feathers.
- You will effortlessly make the right choices.
- You will offer grace without abandon.
- You will love like Jesus each day. Right?
Oh, if only that were the truth.
The reality — living out your faith is difficult on the best of days. Often you find you’re not who you thought you would be, post-Jesus. You may learn quickly that you’re still flawed, walking through a fallen world, floundering even as you pursue Jesus. You come to realize the person staring back at you from the mirror is a sinner saved by grace, who needs a do-over (or twenty) in every given day.
Darren Mulligan, lead singer of We Are Messengers, talked to Family Life Radio about his crushed expectations for life to be puppies and rainbows after giving his heart to Jesus, complaining in his vulnerable, raw prayers, “13 years of walking with You, and the progression has been very subtle and very slow at times.”
Jesus’ response came to him soft, but clear: “My mercies are new every morning.”
Even after you enter a relationship with the very Savior of the world, you will take missteps.
- You may scream terrible words at your spouse in moments of anger.
- You might think horrible things about that co-worker who gets under your skin.
- You could choose the material things of this world over the eternal gifts God offers to you.
- You may break others down to lift yourself up.
But you will not be judged by the measures of this world because all those mistakes and more were paid for by Christ when He went to the cross for you. God knew you would mess up. A lot.
Like a horse that instinctively returns to its innate wildness with the urge to run, we all live under human nature that pulls us back into what the world tries to tell us is true freedom and bliss.
Darren said, “I’m not the same horse, but I still have a tendency to return to the same form I had when I was without Jesus.”
That tendency is not without consequence.
- Mismanaged time may cost you a job.
- Mistreatment of others may cost you a relationship.
- Misdirected money may find you waking up in a home with no water or power.
- And mishandled Scripture may paint an inaccurate picture of the heart of salvation in Christ to the rest of the world.
Jesus forgave you for those mistakes before you ever made them. He promised His mercies to be new every morning. Those second, third and fourth chances are limitless because His love knows no bounds. His plan for your life cannot be disrupted, despite your best efforts.
When you give Him the reigns, it doesn’t mean you won’t neigh angrily and pull at the bit as He gently guides you back on course.
It means deep inside, even when you feel defeated by your own flesh and blood, you’re offered grace; you’re forgiven and loved.
You aren’t just a new horse. In the eyes of Jesus, you are a first-place thoroughbred.
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