Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. . . . The Holy Spirit confirms this:
This new plan I’m making with Israel isn’t going to be written on paper, isn’t going to be chiseled in stone; This time “I’m writing out the plan in them, carving it on the living tissue of their hearts.”
He concludes, I’ll forever wipe the slate clean of their sins.
Once sins are taken care of for good, there’s no longer any need to offer sacrifices for them.
—Hebrews 10:12, 15–18 (MSG)
There are days when all I can think about is my state of imperfection. I can’t get away from what I’ve done wrong, thought wrong, or how I’ve just been wrong. And usually I take others, generally those who live with me, down that dark path with me. On those days, I get reminders of the constant scriptural theme of life in Christ: but God.
This verse points me to the reality that the Trinity has worked too hard to let us wallow in our own failing. We aren’t meant to think primarily of ourselves, but to love Him first. It is this awareness that it isn’t about me that He is constantly bringing to the forefront of my mind. He speaks in a variety of ways. He confirms His presence. He demonstrates, again and again, how He doesn’t miss a thing. His point is never to condemn, only to bring me back to the reality that His perfection has forever trumped my imperfection.
We need those refreshers and reminders, which He provides gently but effectively. He has no desire to break us violently. He doesn’t need to do that because He isn’t about control. He wants to make Christ and the Father’s heart known to us. That’s how He changes desires and feelings. He wants the truth of His loving, faithful, merciful, and all-powerful nature to be a part of each heartbeat. The mystery of our faith is the Holy Spirit coming in so close as to bond with our very cells, in order that the external and eternal reality of God’s sovereign, caring rule would become a part of our internal reality.
We still sin. That’s also part of our reality. Until Jesus comes back, we will live in that tension. Still, there will be a day when the taint of our ancestral disobedience is removed forever. It is promised, and in the supernatural realm, it is finished. We just have to catch up to it. For those still living in the tension, though, we can take heart because sin no longer defines us—imperfection does, but who my perfect God is and what He has done has become my defining identity trait.
Through the power of the cross and resurrection, living in us through the Spirit, you get a do-over right this very second. You get to change your allegiance to anything not connected to His life-giving presence. Let the truth of His presence work itself out and pay attention. It is as if He is saying, “I’m teaching you to be aware, not of your sin, but of my grace. Tune into my perfection, not your imperfection.”
Just as Jesus modeled, we have to pay more attention to the work of the Holy Spirit than to ourselves. Our part is to remember He is perfection in us. This is doing life with the Triune God. It is letting the Third Person advocate for us on earth, just as it is in heaven. It is total surrender that leads to total transformation, as long as we are open to the adventure of change. It will come and we will be all the better for it.
Come, Holy Spirit, and make me aware of You and what You have already done in my spirit, soul, and body. As we continue this journey, let me feel and experience the grace by which You saved me, and make me open to each new adventure we will have together. Thank You for forever wiping my slate clean; I pray for the courage to continually be open to the truth You want to write on my heart instead. In Jesus’ name, amen.
What adventure do you see the Lord setting up for the two of you to take together?
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