Thursday, June 28, 2007

My Coming to Christ (Part 1 - It Sure Ain't My Doing)

About a week and a half ago, while in sort of an introspective and thankful mood, I made a tentative list of four things that I wanted to write about that had to do with things in my life that "I know are by grace, and not by my own determination and strength, nor by my own faithfulness nor self-determined commitment." I've not necessarily stayed in line with that list. I've added other things and I've written posts that are derived in one way or another from that list.

But this time, I'm definitely writing about something that I intended to write about when I made the list. Number 2 - My coming to Christ. As I said at the time, I have no idea why I am so drawn to the things of Christ, except that it's completely by His grace. God has drawn me unto Himself. You see, I know this much - I'm selfish, lazy, boring, uncommitted, uninspired, undriven, unfruitful, lacking in direction... sinful... and so on and so on, when it comes to my fleshly tendencies. I mean, if it were up to me and my passions and my abilities, my daily activities would consist of "the chasing of my pillow and my plate," as a song from The Waiting goes. Again, I'm talking about my tendencies apart from having come into a relationship with the Living God.

And if it weren't for the ongoing, daily, moment by moment grace of God at work in me, my life would pretty much be the disaster that would have culminated from all of those fleshly tendencies! What I'm saying is that I'm nothing without Christ. Any and all desires within me that are even slightly directed towards Him or love for Him, are the result of His grace and His love at work in me. When it comes down to it, I just know it. I know what goes on in my head and in my heart, and if not for the daily renewing of the mind into the things of Christ, I would be a walking disaster. And the beautiful thing, which I once thought was the scary thing, is that even the renewing of my mind is dependent upon God's grace. If it were up to me to "try" to keep myself renewed in the things of God, you might as well ask a Kazoo to keep trying to sound like a beautiful harp. It just ain't happenin'. But GOD keeps this life alive. FULLY alive!

His life in me is now the true source of my passions and anything and everything I do that has "God" stamped on it. It "just is" that way. Do I ever "walk after the flesh?" Of course! But is it my commitment to God or my striving to keep pleasing Him or to be a "promise keeper" or a "purpose driven" person that steers me back to walking after the Spirit? Well, one thing I can promise you for sure - one thing that I am no longer afraid to admit, as I write this vulnerably and with honesty - is that my love for Christ, and my desire to preach and teach the good news, and my desire to be a godly husband and father and worker and coworker, and citizen and neighbor, and whatever other godly desires are in me and whatever godly desires are fulfilled in me, are not because I've committed myself to being a good Christian or to being a godly leader.

I can tell you truthfully - I haven't committed myself to any of these things! But yet I am committed to these things! The reason is because it's God who drew me to Himself in the first place and it's God who continuously keeps me exactly where He wants me. The pressure is not on me. The maintenance of all this is not my responsibility. I know this offends and shocks the Christian who lives with the mindset that "God expects great things of you" and "God is counting on you to fulfill His will in your life." But once you grab onto the understanding that Christ is your life and that you are His workmanship (not your own workmanship) and that in Him you live and move and have your being, then being committed to Him becomes a natural product of knowing Him, rather than something you strive to produce or maintain.

Hey, I "tried" to live the Christian life for a while. I found it much easier and fruitful when I let Christ-in-me take over, as He was always meant to do. My life is now very active, inspired, fruitful, etc. But I just know - I KNOW - that I am what I am by the grace of God, and the grace of God alone. It sure ain't MY doing!


  1. Wow, I could have sworn I wrote this about myself. If more Christians would open up and be honest about their own short comings, so many others would be relieved of their burdens that they carry. I'm convinced there are many genuine Christians who secretly think they're just evil, insincere and completely selfish.

    Brennan Manning in his book Ragamuffin Gospel, had someone enlighten him to this truth. I think it was something like "Do everyone a favor and quit being so holy."

    I think I just understood what James meant by confessing sins to one another while typing this. Haha.

  2. This is an awesome and honest read, thanks for sharing...

    I think that the posts that hit closest to home get the fewest comments, thanks again friend.

  3. Wow, two comments exactly two years apart! Well, minus 8 days short of four months. LOL :) Thanks buds, for being my buds.