Welcome to 31 Days of Breaking Religious Chains! If you’re here for the very first time, check out my personal testimony to get a better idea of who I am and where I come from. Be sure to say hello! I’d love to “meet” you!
I figured why not just kick this 31 Day Challenge off with a swift kick in my own rear-end?
I am the Queen of over-achievement and perfection.
I am self-diagnosed Obsessive Compulsive (my husband just calls me anal) about almost everything. There are some things that just don’t jive well with me if they aren’t “just so.” I can’t sleep if my kitchen is dirty and there are dishes in the sink. I don’t walk around without shoes or socks because I don’t like crumbs or dirt on my feet. Nothing in the world makes me cringe more than messiness on a piece of paper that has any value or true purpose (letters, assignments, etc.). I’m that person who ripped out barely used notebook paper in high school when my writing wasn’t neat enough or I was using a pen and couldn’t erase.
Call it whatever you want, but I strive for
and fail at achieving perfection day in and day out.
[pullquote]If I die in a car wreck, will I really make it into heaven? If Christ comes back, will I be carried to the heavens with Him? If I were to just slip into eternity in my sleep, what eternity would I be facing? [/pullquote]
I had a Facebook conversation the other day with someone I’ve never even met (and I don’t even remember her name now as I write this) about perfection.
Giving and giving and giving…
And still feeling like you come up empty.
Our conversation eventually turned to salvation and how often she questions whether she is really saved. We were talking current events and the rapture and she made the statement that she feared that the rapture would come and she would be left behind while her husband and very young children were swept up in the grace of the Lord’s return.
I had to stop and take a beat because there have been so many more times than I can count that I’ve wondered the same thing.
If I die in a car wreck, will I really make it into heaven?
If Christ comes back, will I be carried to the heavens with Him?
If I were to just slip into eternity in my sleep, what eternity would I be facing?
Those are real questions with real answers that we all have to ask ourselves and face; whether we do it today or tomorrow…those questions have answers.
And it’s time we break that chain.
While James clearly says in James 2,
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?
that doesn’t mean that our works save us.
It doesn’t mean that in order to receive salvation we have to do all the works for all the people with all of the things. This couldn’t be further from the truth. And James tells us that just a few verses down,
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
I’m telling you none of the above.
True faith, real honest-to-goodness believe and acceptance of Jesus Christ leads us to want to do the works. But, the works themselves aren’t what saves us.
One of my life verses is Luke 7:47…
Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.
I stumbled upon that verse at the very bottom of a pit one day (not literally obviously), wondering if I was ever going to be good enough for God. And He finally just told me, “No. You’re never going to be good enough…because if you were? What was the point of Calvary?”
Nothing we do, sweet friends, is ever going to be enough for our God. No matter how much money we make, what kind of cars we drive, how many square feet our house is or how many stamps we have on our passport…
So let’s break that chain.
That stronghold that has you thinking that either
No. And no again.
Faith without Works is dead….because real, true, life changing salvation results in works. The “works” being referenced here isn’t “works” like getting up and going about our day trying to check 28 things off of a to-do list (which is why Emily Ley planners only have space for 10 to-do list items…because you were never created to do it all at once). The works are the changes that happen inside of us when true transformation has happened.
For some, those works include giving up drugs, affairs, pornography, alcohol…whatever your poison may be. For others, it may be nothing more than letting go of secular music.
Either way, true faith results in a changed heart. Jesus says, “you will know them by their fruit…” so what fruit are people seeing you harvest?
This chain of thinking we have to do enough, be enough, have enough…is hindering us from doing, being and having all that he intended. Simply because we are trying too hard to do what we were never meant to do.
Break that chain today, loves.
You are awesome and you are amazing and your faith and your worth is found in Jesus Christ alone…not in your to do list.
Lord, I recognize that there is no true faith without works, but that those works were never meant to be works of this world. I realize that no amount of money, material possessions, or items marked off on my checklist will gain me access to the realms of your greatness. Forgive me, for striving to achieve the things I was never meant to achieve on my own. May you grant me peace and security in my salvation because I know that you are the only way and the only truth and that no one comes to the father except through you. Break this chain of bondage, Lord. In Christ Jesus Name I pray, Amen.