Looking in

Can I ask you a question? says my lunch companion, a half eaten appetizer of breaded calamari between us. Do you believe you are forgiven?

I squirm in the restaurant chair, resisting the urge to sit on my hands.  I feel the ‘right’ words forming in my mind but my heart hesitates. I look away from him, my eyes darting to the right, searching, asking, ‘Do I believe I am forgiven?’

As a writer, I take my words quite seriously, and I often find myself uttering qualifying phrases such as “I see it this way now, but tomorrow or the next day may be different as I get more information,” or “I can say these words but the truth will be in my actions. I guess we will just have to see how I respond.”

In other words, I tend to look for a way ‘out’ from future judgement if I fail to live up to my word. And fall out of my own integrity, or even become a walking contradiction, so to speak.

Stairs (35 of 1)

In that moment, the question of forgiveness lingering like grease, I slide my coffee cup back and forth between my hands on the restaurant table,  knowing the right words, what is the truth. Yet, cannot speak them.

I know “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12

I know when Jesus died on the cross I am no longer under the old covenant of Moses, and that “sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14

And I know that “if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Yet, there are still times I see, that I have walked as one not forgiven, allowing my value to be measured on past transgressions and making choices from that place, instead of as one who has been saved through Him.

At those moments of condemnation, I turned my eyes away from the Christ in me who says ” I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20

clouds (35 of 1)

In other words, I have turned away from the truth of me whenever I am in condemnation “for God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the begotten Son of God.” John 13:17-18

And what is the truth of me in Christ?

Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48. As He is, so also are we in this world. 1 John 4:17.

Did you know that the Greek word for ‘be’ is Esomai and is different than the word ‘become?’ Esomai does not ask us to strive to become perfect. It is saying we are already perfect as we are because “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

Perfect

Doesn’t that good news just light you up?

There is no striving to be perfect as you are already perfect and seated in the heavenly places with him.

There’s a speck of grease on my white napkin where I had dropped a calamari. I turn it over so the unsoiled side is all that I can see. And I think, isn’t that what Christ asks of us? To turn away from our transgressions, and look to him, the pure and perfect within us?

Yes, I tell my lunch companion, I do believe I am forgiven, when I look at the Christ in me. It’s where I’m on the journey, and every moment of the day it’s a choice, to live in condemnation or in the Christ in me–to live in the darkness of condemnation or His light.

sky (35 of 1)

And to live from that place that knows that  “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”, (Romans 8:1) and “in Him (I) have been made complete.” Colossians 2:10

Where are you looking today? Are you looking away in the darkness of condemnation or are you looking at the Christ in you who is perfect and seeing yourself seated now in the heavenly realms as the daughter/son of your Father?

My hope is you are knowing and abiding in the declaration of who your Father says you are: The Beloved.

And that maybe you have a friend, too, that sometimes makes you squirm in your restaurant chair.

 

 

 

 

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20 thoughts on “Looking in

  1. How true! This is beautiful, Lynn! Yes, sometimes someone can ask a question of is like that gives us pause. I think it is less about what we think and more about how we feel at that point and how those feelings influence what we believe at that moment. Your photos (as always) are stunning! Have a God-kissed day!

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  2. Beautiful, beautiful piece, Lynn. Thank you for choosing to be honest. The enemy of our souls does a good job at reminding us of past forgiven sins and sinking us into the quicksand of self-condemnation. This is something I still battle with, almost daily, but I’m learning to differentiate between the enemy’s lies and God’s Truth…slowly but surely and getting quicker at speaking back in confidence inside my head, cutting his lies with truth. It helped me so much to have my eyes opened to the spiritual battle at hand…I always assumed it was me talking inside my head, but I’m learning it truly is the enemy, who is also quick to feed past words of rejection spoken over us. It is truly a battle, but one our God has equipped us for with the sword of His Word…which is why I absolutely love these gems you’ve found in the root meaning and other details of the Scriptures you quote. Thank you for sharing them and further encouraging us here.

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  3. So beautiful! When we know we are in Christ we can accept all we are. How often do we function out of that realm where everything can be ambiguous! The fact is we ARE in Christ whether we feel it, know it, believe it or recognize it. Thank you.

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  4. It struck me as I read this how I don’t always live as if I’m forgiven. I too often condemn myself when God never condemns me. And why won’t I forgive myself when God has already forgiven me? Thank you, Lynn, for these thoughts and for encouraging us to search our hearts. It’s so good to “see” you again. 🙂 I missed you! Blessings and hugs to you!

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    1. And it is good to see you here Trudy! Sometimes it’s hard to believe in our flesh that we are forgiven. I so understand this and we are work’s in progress aren’t way? My prayer for you is you are reminded of your identity in Christ, and His absolute grace each moment of your day. Blessings and hugs back to you!

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  5. Oh Lynn, this is absolutely beautiful. THANK YOU for filling me with truth and HOPE tonight. Your words speak to my heart, in such an authentic and compassionate way. What nourishment and inspiration you bring to our hearts! Sharing on my page!

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    1. I’m glad it brought hope Christine. Thank you for sharing! Your words bless and brings God’s light to others too, through your authenticity that connects with others. God really made us for community didn’t he? And I’m glad you are part of mine here. Hugs!

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  6. Wow, this is just so beautiful!! So rich and thorough in answering that tough questions! Such wisdom and truth in your words, how easy it is to turn over our greasy napkin so as to not look at our stains..but we are already forgiven..what an incredible gift that is, one almost so unbelievable! So beautifully written, too! So great to visit again! I will look forward to our continued sharing. Blessings!

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  7. Lynn,
    I didn’t realize you were back! (I missed last week’s post somehow.) I missed reading your words! What a gift it is to have a friend who challenges us to think deeply and offers new angles to look at things. I am so grateful God does truly call us his beloved and that in him, we are truly complete!

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