"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." -Hebrews 12:1
Those of you who have read some of my previous blog entries will know I'm always amazed at how the Biblical authors can make these statements of belief, faith, fact or action with such certainty and ease. The Hebrews passage above just says to "throw off" everything that's keeping you down, like you can just do a metaphysical wet-dog shake and clear your life of everything. It boggles the mind.
See, more these days I feel like Paul as he's speaking in Romans 7">Romans 7 where he says he's doing the very things he doesn't want to do. You know, this may come as a shock to all you good, strong readers out there, but nobody's perfect. Even the Christians. Sometimes especially the Christians. I focus so much on the things I'm not doing, the ways I'm not right, or the times I fall short. I don't see my Walk as a race, but more of a stumbling crawl through the dust at times. That's not to say that I don't also have my moments, but that my overall perception is much more negative.
And that's where I think I've got it wrong.
See, when I'm thinking about anything other than the present; when I'm reminding myself of past failures or lapses or crash-and-burns;
when I'm at those moments I'm letting the evil win the game. Despair, self-defeat, looking back, pity-parties, deep sighs of regret - whatever you call them, they're all a part of the ways we push God out of our lives. This isn't what a "spirit of power" does. Repentance means recognizing you were wrong and turning away completely - from the sin AND the guilt. Because if God's grace doesn't work until you've beaten yourself up enough, until you've moped about enough, then our salvation is locked off in some limbo, and we've got no certainty.
Take a look at your failures. Remember them, learn from them, and then walk on. Lay it ALL aside.
"But I'm holding on underneath this shroud...Rain."