So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 (ESV)
On the one hand, I know that you set me free on the day I came to believe in you. You broke the power of sin over my life. You eliminated the gulf between us. You set me free to love, follow and serve you. You gave me a completely new life to live. You adopted me into your family. You made me to be your child. You made it possible for me to live and walk in an intimate relationship with you. Yes, I did. For that I am and will be eternally grateful and thankful. That’s very good.
What is on the other hand? Before I get to that, I have more to say. Go ahead. You have changed everything about me. My thoughts and words and deeds have been radically changed. I do not resemble the person I once was. No, you do not. But I’m not completely changed. I make mistakes. I take missteps. I still do sin against you by doing what I should not do. I still sin against you by not doing what I should do. You are telling me you are not perfect? You are telling me that you still need and want my forgiveness? You are telling me that you want to become more like me? You want to please me in all that you think, say and do, is that correct? Yes, you are correct.
Guess what? What? You will never be perfect in this life. Does that surprise you? It doesn’t surprise me. It does disappoint me. I don’t like falling short. I don’t like missing the mark. Why is that? I don’t want to disappoint you. I don’t want to displease you. It would disappoint and displease me if you thought you could become perfect. It would disappoint and displease me if you thought you didn’t need me. Well, I want and need you with all my heart and mind and soul and strength. Yes, you do and that is very good.
There is something that I want you to stop doing. What’s that? I want you to stop thinking that you can and should be perfect. I want you to place all your faith in me. I want you to believe that I am molding and shaping your life. I want you to trust that I am making you into the work of my hands. I know what I am doing. I will not fail. You are and will become my masterpiece. Do you believe me? Do you trust me? Yes, I do. Will you patiently allow my work in you to continue? Will you place your faith in me? Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, sometimes I am very impatient, and I would like to ask you to speed up the process of you using your word to completely set me free right now. I will continue to hold on to your word. I will think and speak and act as one of your disciples as you change me. Amen
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