“I’ve been struggling, my faith is gone, I’m at an all time low, I have done things I’m not proud of, I’ve been stressed out and have just so much on my plate. I just want to run away. I cry because all I want to do is get closer to God and to be a better person and wife. I just don’t know where to start. I can feel him tugging at my heart, but I feel like the worst person…I want to get better with my faith…be a better person. I am lost, and I want a do over at everything in my life….I feel like I need to turn to self help books to give me answers on what I should do with everything in my life.”
These are excerpts from an e-mail Tracey received the other day. I’ll tell you when I read this I thought to myself this is someone who is ripe for God to do something amazing in their life! This sounds like a breakdown waiting to happen, and if you’ve been there you know Revelation and enlightenment is on the way.
So many struggle with faith and living the Christian life. You see most people spend a considerable amount of their lives trying to live the Christian life because trying is just built into us humans. We just don’t really realize how far we have fallen. We think we just need a little help every now and then from God but otherwise we can live our lives pretty well on our own. That is of course until the crack-up! Once we’ve tried and failed with the self-help books, the promises and New Year’s resolutions we find ourselves crying out “Who will deliver me?”
The Bible has absolutely nothing to say about self-improvement. In fact the Bible message may seem a bit harsh to some because it tells us we must die! The old man has to die in order for Christ himself to live within. This is exactly what the Bible tells us has happened for those that place their faith in Jesus Christ and his once for all work on the cross.
In Romans 5 we read where Adam’s sin was in fact all of our sin; therefore we are all in a perilous situation apart from Christ. In Romans 6 though we discover God placed us into Christ on the cross and we were joined to him in his death, burial and resurrection so we can now walk in newness of life. Our old man couldn’t be improved so God co-crucified us with his son Jesus. Not only did we die to sin in Romans 6 we find out in Romans 7 we have died to the Law also. All this is to say there is no offer of self-improvement only a new creature.
When Tracey spoke with the writer of this e-mail she told them “Oh, the answer to this is so simple.” Of course the response was a bit of a nervous laugh, but Tracey’s point is obvious to those who have been there. God is into doing the impossible and it is only after we admit becoming a better person or self-improvement is an impossibility that things begin to change. We start to discover the Christian life isn’t difficult to live it’s impossible to live. If the truth be told there has only ever been one person to live the Christian life and that’s Christ himself. And he’s still living it today through all who have come to the end of their own trying and have learned to look to him to live the life.
“Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25)