I’m not one for pretense.  I feel no need to present a strong, faith-filled, invincible version of me to anybody.  I see so many in that are in ministry, always posting deep, spiritually strong statements on facebook and twitter, that it would seem that they have never had a weak day in their lives.  I don’t know, but I am more apt to trust someone if they walk with a limp, and don’t mind letting people see it.  Aren’t most people looking for realness? So they don’t feel alone in this life of ups and downs?  I think so.  And frankly, I find that living in a place of realness, is liberating. And it brings more glory to God.  And that’s the whole point anyway.

The Lord has been so kind to me, and has been broadening my understanding of the sin nature.  He does not rank and file sins, nor does He keep a tally of sins committed.  His eyes cut right through the outer expression of our lives, and see into the innately sinful nature that lies inside every one of us ( Jeremiah 17:9).  And that nature is the same for every man.  Lost without a compass…it rejects God 10 out of 10 times.  Hence our need for our Savior, Jesus.  How often, though, do we rank and file sins, and see one with many outward sins as more sinful than the one with the “cleaner” lifestyle?  At times we applaud those who are self righteous, who think they are good people without the help of God, while throwing a thief and murderer under the bus…all the while God sees the same fallen nature within each of them, as they stand side by side on the playing field of life.  You see, I was the self righteous one, thinking somehow that I was just wired to make better decisions than “those people” with the obvious sins.  Living there was difficult, for if someone wronged me, forgiveness flowed slowly, because “I wouldn’t do that to someone I love”. Now, though, I am beginning to really understand my helplessness without Him, and there is more grace to forgive, knowing that we are all the same in this fight, prone to sin.

Some would say, don’t put yourself down!  Your a saint, not a sinner!  Yes, I am a saint.  But if I don’t understand who I am without Christ and His work in my heart, I can’t truly understand the gift the Gospel is.  Understanding sin causes the Cross to be more glorious.  And if I’m being honest, true worship only began to flow out of me when I began to understand how wretched I was, and that the sin of self righteousness was just as disgusting to God as adultery, murder, or idolatry.  To see that He reached down, chose me, helped me believe,  rescued me from the nature within, and gave me a new nature(2 Peter 1:4) through faith in the work of the Cross, causes me to sing.  For real.  Not just cuz that’s what Christians are supposed to do.

So here I am today, feeling weak, overwhelmed, and scared.  My soul is struggling, my emotions raw.  I remember that song written by Twila Paris many moons ago, The Warrior is a Child.  Because of the public element that our ministry life has had, some may think me a warrior.  Truth is, I’m a child, needing my Father to hold me, comfort me, and tell me its going to be ok.  And I’m glad I don’t have to pretend to be something I’m not.  For me to pretend, is to suggest that I’m somehow more able to handle life than the next guy.  And that would bring glory to me.  God is my only hope,  my salvation, the One who sustains me, even on days like this.  And this blog is not a cry for encouragement, and plea for sympathy or attention…it is this:

“And He has said to me, ” My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor 12:9-10