For some reason, this scripture stood out to me more than usual this morning.
“I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.” Philippians 3:7-9
It’s a good reminder that religion is not what God is wanting from us, nor strict adherence to a set of commands and laws. He wants us to rely on Christ and the power of His Holy Spirit within us to make us righteous. He wants us to surrender fully to Him and allow Him to transform us into a new creation, that looks more and more like Christ everyday.
We are incapable of being pure and blameless apart from Christ. What a relief to know that God already knows we are wretched sinners and don’t have enough self discipline to obey Him as much as we should. He has provided a way to purify us and give us a way into heaven.
We can stop striving to be perfect Christians, following a list of rules, and instead, we need only to spend time with Him in prayer and in His Word! It’s the time spent with Him that produces the fruits of the Spirit:
We can either struggle all day long and keep healing guilt and shame on ourselves, as we continue to fail to be all of the above or we can spend time with God, in full surrender, allowing Him, through His very Spirit living inside of you, to bring about these attributes.
Forget all of the man made laws and religion, and seek to know Christ more and more. Pray for Him to help you to know Him more intimately.
By doing this we automatically obey the only commands Christ requires us to obey:
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
So find peace in your relationship with God and throw off any shame or guilt that has constructed a wall between you and Him.
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”