Some may have written you off because of your past, but Jesus is not finished with your story. He’s still writing it in a way that you will see that Jesus is enough.
Some of the most sublime takeaways from many preachers’ sermons are those which are unplanned. While this wasn’t one of them strictly speaking, it was a matter that God showed me on Saturday night. Here were two principles that had been playing in my mind coming together.
- People writing others off because they cannot get past their past.
- Jesus is not finished with your story.
Stories, by and large, are written. In the case of our spiritual lives, our stories and narratives aren’t written on pages, but on our hearts, our souls, our minds. We see from Scripture that God writes His law on our hearts. In Romans 2:14-16, we read:
For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when according to my gospel, God judges by Christ Jesus.
God writes His law on every heart of every one ever born, as is evident by the basic understanding of right and wrong that permeates every civilization (even the mere notion of right or wrong) comes from (like it or not) God’s law written on our hearts.
So let’s add this principle first of all: God has written His principles, His heart on our hearts.
When we as believers consider our past prior to Christ entering those very hearts, even those laws written on hearts–but there is a problem. Prior to Christ, we have hearts of stone. The Word has no effect, not landing, not planting that seed. Even if you have a high respect for God, you do not nor cannot apply. If you have a low respect for Him, then you look at the lack of effect the Word has, you risk believing anything regarding the things of God and the Bible as foolishness, being uneducated, antiquated, and unenlightened.
To me, it explains why so many take such pains to disprove him. It’s hard work to overcome His law and His Word. Painting Bible-believing, Christ-honoring, God-loving people as rubes, bigots, and hicks is an ad hominem that speaks a great deal to those who believe like them and to those on the fence.
The reality is, every worldview operates on some sort of faith. None of us has all of the information available at any point, so we take what information we have and, based on our worldview, fill in the blanks of what makes sense to us. But everyone still operates on faith, either that there’s no God, there is a God, or what God is like–and thus violate the second commandment in making God in our own image. No, not with carvings, but with ideas.
When we surrender to Christ, who is the key of understanding Scripture and the spiritual world, we realize that our past is just that–passed! The profoundness of how Christ rescues from the depth of our sin (a depth we can never recognize before Christ) speaks against those who deem Christianity foolish, uneducated, antiquated, and unenlightened.
Once we’re past the God dilemma, we now come across the people dilemma. Even if God hasn’t written us off, many people (even inside churches) do just that. In fact, this is why so many who are Christians and who are struggling, struggle most with coming to church. “What will people say or think?” “I need to fix myself before I come back.” “I can’t bear to disappoint people I love.” While I cannot guarantee that people won’t do this (they will), I can guarantee you that those who are the ‘real deal’ will recognize the depth of their sinfulness, and the depth of Christ’s rescue. And they will find comfort, support, encouragement, and (most of all) the cross (Galatians 2:20).
God has not written you off. And God’s people (those who are truly God’s people) will not write you off either because they recognize that God did not write them off when He had every reason to.