There are 2 reasons why the phrase “getting right with God” has been mulling around in my head for a couple of days now. Firstly, because as I sold all my stuff last year, I could see my shopping addiction from a new perspective. All the things that I was sure would make me happy at one point were now being sold for a quarter. It promised me everything, and gave me nothing (quite the contrary, it cost quite a bit). For some of these items, I can remember specifically what sorrow I was trying to escape at the time of purchase. Those sorrows are long gone, my life is very different, much more happy and fulfilled. But I am left with a new sorrow, and the need to make things right with God about my shopping addiction. I want to learn to process my pain differently. The second reason is that an old friend passed away recently. I knew it was coming, I’m ok, and have peace. I am just in prayer for the family, who also knew it was coming, but that doesn’t really matter does it? Painful either way. I wonder if he “got right with God” before passing.
It occurred to me this morning that because of Jesus’ work on the cross, getting right with God is so simple. But I have observed that many of us fall into one of two categories when we think about getting right with God.
The first is that it’s a painful, guilt ridden, long, drawn out process. This is where I tend to go. Though, the Lord is changing that. Getting right with God used to be awful. So much guilt. I lacked an accurate understanding of grace. I would feel horrible for weeks about something. Never was this validated by anyone I knew. All my Christians friends have only ever told me that I am too hard on myself. It’s true. And I am deciding to recognize the truth that getting right with God is a simple thing. Jesus suffered so that I would not have to. I don’t know how to do this, but Jesus will help me. I do know that the work to get right with God was done by Jesus on the cross. All I have to do is decide that I want to take him up on his offer. It’s not supposed to be a bunch of work on my part. Looking forward to embracing that truth. If you struggle with the grace and guilt thing, may I recommend Daniel Brown’s “Embracing Grace”? Practical book on grace. Loving it.
The second perspective that many people have is that they do not need to get right with God in order to have a relationship with him, or in order to get into heaven. I obviously don’t fall into this category, and here is why. I do not subscribe to the old saying that “love means never having to say that you are sorry”. That’s called denial, actually! Lol! There is not one intimate relationship that I have where I have not had to apologize, to “make things right”. Some relationships have required many apologies (parents, spouse), and some far less (friendships). But every genuine relationship requires an apology now and then. If you have, on occasion, offended your family, what are the chances that you have never offended God? Intimate relationship allows and even requires a certain amount of honesty. For many years, I thought that certain things would not offend my husband, because, after all, he’s almost 6’ tall, he’s a tough guy, he’s strong, and he can “take it”. But I was wrong. He does not want to be treated with disrespect any more than I do. The same is true of God. Just because he is God does not mean that we never need to square things away with him. This may bring up the question “why does he never need to ‘make things right’ with me?” All I can say is… take time to get to know him. He has much to say to you. He has incredible good for you, and offers much relief from the things that torment your soul. Getting right with him is easy. The following video has a great prayer for doing just that. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tj4hV2lkAjg
I’d love to hear from you if you are interested in getting right with God, no matter which category you fall into. Come to the City Church and learn to be a part of a family of grace.–Katrina