Area 51 – September 21, 2022 (285-286/365)

Father… I thank You, for You have had mercy on me. To know that I was nowhere near worthy of mercy just makes it so much sweeter to thank You.

It is in Your mercy that we behold Your love for us. You have given us mercy according to the perfect love that You have had and still have for each and every one of us… and if it’s according to Your love to have mercy, it’s according to Your mercy that you not only take away our transgression, iniquity, and sin – No, we have seen how, by the blood shed by Your Son, Jesus Christ, all our sin has been completely blotted out – removed and eliminated. It is by the blood of Christ that we have been washed of iniquity, and it is by the blood of Christ that we have been fully cleansed of our sin! Oh, and there it is – You cleansed us by way of taking OUR sin and making it YOUR sin – You BECAME sin and took the wrath that sin deserved, and as a result, we who did not deserve mercy, oh, Jesus, we were the ones who were made clean!

Father, for us to understand the details of how great an ordeal Your Son endured and took, if only for us to be reconciled – Oh, apart from other glorious things, it does remind us and sober us of the Truth of just how grave and how heavy a burden we had. But it also personally humbles me to see – more than the absolute evil that sin entails, it brings me to my place to see  just how incapable I am of hitting the mark of holiness and righteousness on my own. For it is by Your standard that righteousness and sin are discerned, and as far as we were concerned, because we have been made sinners by Adam’s disobedience, well, we fell short as a whole, and as a result, all we did fell short; the ‘goodness’ we tried doing was nowhere near the standard, and the ‘evil’ we did was out of frustration of falling short.

And that’s the thing – sure, when we sin, we sin against Your standard, and we sin according to Your standard; but, deeper than what we do, because of Adam’s disobedience, we were an offense to you. Our entire beings fell short, and we as a whole were against Your standard, according to Your standard. And speaking of standards – well, Your standard is all that there is! What finite standards can ever stand up to the perfect, thrice holy standards of the Creator? By what right do we claim that we never lie, when You not only tell the Truth, but ARE the Truth?

So we were brought into the world with our entire being missing the mark – Just as my father and mother were in this same state when I was conceived, and as their parents were before them, so it is just natural that I was born in sin, with sin, and through sin – hopeless before I even realized what hope was. Even if there were some sort of ‘goodness’, or some trace of truth, it would all just face before the sad Truth of our state in sin – knowledge, much less wisdom could be heard, but not fully grasped, hindered by sin.

And though this is already too heavy of a realization to endure, You knew more than we ever could, of exactly how hopeless we were… and You could have left it at that, for us to be consumed, or thrown into oblivion; You were not at fault, we were wholly to blame and deserved death – even worse than death, endless torment – and even worse than endless torment; we were wholly to blame and deserved to cease to exist.

And I’m sure to be off with these, my assumptions of the deepest consequences of sin, but even if You knew much more than we would ever know… You loved us, much so that You did not stop at merely taking the punishment – no, the work that You did, the work that only You could pull off was complete and absolute. You did not leave anything to chance – You BECAME sin and THEN took our punishment. And through this, we not only have been purged with hyssop, we have been made clean, and we have been made whiter than snow.

It is for this that we rejoice! We have been made truly glad from our hearts, to know that You loved us so much to take on the sin we were, to take all the death we deserved. Indeed, we have been made whole, down to our very souls. Your work was no cover-up; instead of denying the problem, You demonstrated Your glory AND Your love by facing the sin, and by Your blood You washed the dirt (sin) away, to make us clean (righteous).

The implications of what You have done were not limited to our being justified and made righteous… No, for as we continue to delve into the salvation that You won and earned for us, we find out that not only have we been made new creations – No, Lord, we thank You, because before we were to know of our being born again, that which we were had to die – Something that You accomplished when You died on the cross. Our old sinful self died with You, and therefore we have been set free of any obligation we’ve had to our old master, sin. This is not mere justification, but a full-on erasure of any sort of obligation and penalty; and the fact that we’re still made aware of who we were makes this freedom seem so much sweeter, Lord!

And, we give thanks, and much more – for we see, this was just one side of the coin; We died with You, so when You rose again, so we rose, and because You walked out of that grave renewed, so we have also been recreated – We have been made new creations! All of our being has been razed down and we have been fully raised up – more than restored, we were renewed! Oh, thank You, Lord, for by Your death and resurrection, we are new – we have a clean heart, and we have been filled by Your Spirit, who is with us – in us as we are in Him, never leaving us, never forsaking us, always with us, always reminding us and convicting us of the righteousness You bought for us!

What a wonderful Truth to behold, what a great Truth to bask in and enjoy, even as we walk in this finite and fallen reality! Indeed, Your salvation is the source of all of our joy, and we have been made bold and willing for You have upheld us with Your righteous right hand!

This is why we still continue to enjoy this finite reality, and this is why we dare to walk where You lead us, knowing that wherever we go, You never leave us; We are fearless because we know that whoever we’re with, You’re always with us, and whatever we do, we do it all in Your presence – Just as You live, and just as You move in our presence as well! This is the salvation we have and enjoy, the living peace and living hope we have in Christ, who is also in us – This salvation would have us overflowing just as Christ is infinite in peace and power, so much so that we could not hold back but to exude His nature of being the Way, Truth, and Life – for anyone and everyone to behold.

So whether we are victorious, or whether we fall, those within our circles of influence would see Your goodness, as seen through Your absolute faithfulness and loyalty to us – what a powerful testimony for one and all in the body of Christ! The entire world would see the goodness of God through the body of Christ, and they would be led to repentance – Halleluyah, thank You so much for this revelation!

Indeed, Father, You ARE the God of my salvation, who delivered me from the guilt of my past, the guilt that my sin-cursed blood bore… and my heart knows this, and clings to this, much so that all of my being would just burst in praise, giving thanks to Christ, who is my righteousness – through Him we have been torn down, and we have been built from the ground up… so now, in all that’s going on, and in all we do, and in all that is being done to us, we are sure to be at peace, knowing that You delight in us. Through Christ, we have been made Your beloved, in whom You are well pleased.

What else can I say, but thank You, Lord? Thank You!

I’ve been in the church I’ve been serving for more than 10 years now. It hasn’t been as… free as this, considering that we still held on to a lot of legalism and its consequent rejection and condemnation back in the day. So we were worshipping, and we were serving each other and the people in church with all that in the back of our minds.

We used to do this thing where someone from the congregation would open the service by way of reading Scripture (mostly from the Psalms), and then proceeding to pray. Obviously the Psalms that were picked were Psalm 23, Psalm 91, Psalm 150, Psalm 139 – and the rest of the feel-good Psalms… but one particular afternoon when I was assigned, I chose to read Psalm 51, which in my mind was a way for me to ‘atone’ for some recent sin binging I was doing that same Sunday. I remember reading it in all drama and sadness; I know I did feel guilty, and the prayer I followed it up with sure sounded that way.

I guess I chose to write whatever I wrote today, as a sort of vindication, a message for me to give to my younger self – to remind him that you can stay with the sin for as long as you want, but know for a fact, know the TRUTH that sets you free – that is, that Christ and His finished work are far greater that you and anything you think you can do that would separate you from the everlasting love of God.

It’s not to say that we shouldn’t say the words as David wrote them – I’m not about to tell people to go from one brand of legalism to another. No, I think the point here is that we can come to God as we are; I did back then, and I’m doing the same thing now – the only difference is that between that time and today, the Lord has surely been faithful to me, tutoring me and teaching me, and as such, I am transformed in my way of seeing things, in my way of thinking, in my way of moving and approaching things – I am transformed by the renewing of my mind, made possible by no less than Christ.

So with all this said, I suppose what I can close with is to say that even in these moments when we think that God isn’t moving, or when we think that God is not around, let us be steadfast; let us, at the very least, come to God as we are, in the filth we may think we bear in our minds and bodies, knowing that Christ paid such a great price for us to come freely and boldly to the throne of grace.

And when even that is a chore, or a task we could not bear to do… well, it doesn’t change the Truth that Christ works in us to do His pleasure. He is always thinking of us, and He will never let us go.

Simplifying further… Let us give thanks to God. There will always be a reason to thank Him.

Thank You, Lord.

Until next post, have a blessed and wonderful day.

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