Asking Jesus into my Heart…. Again

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I once heard a story about a little girl who claimed to hear from God. All the people in her village eagerly lined up to hear what God had to say to them through her. But there was a priest in the village who was anything but pleased by the little girl’s claim. Surely, if someone as holy as he was didn’t hear from God, neither could this small child. He set out to prove she was a fraud. He told her that he would be going to confession and that the next day, he wanted her to as God what the sins he had confessed. The priest spent that night on his knees, swept up in a spirit of repentance and earnestly pouring his heart out to God. He confessed anger, doubt, jealousy, bitterness, pride, and a host of other sins. The next day, the priest went back to the girl and asked her if she had asked God what sins he’d confessed. She said that she had and that God’s response was, “I don’t remember.”

The two most over-used words in my vocabulary are ‘I’m sorry.’ Ask my husband. In fact, ask anyone who’s known me since I was a kid.

I’m not sure when it happened, but sometime during my childhood I stopped feeling forgiven. I guess I must have figured I’d messed things up so badly or so frequently that that was it, no more grace.

Another reason is that I was raised in a Christian home and was always a ‘good girl.’ So when I asked Jesus into my heart as a child, there wasn’t a noticeable difference in my behavior or circumstances. I figured the conversion must not have stuck. So I repented of my sins again and asked Jesus to come back. And again. And again.

Am I the only one out there who figured Jesus didn’t come to stay when I asked the first time?

Even now, when I lose my temper or tell a lie or doubt His goodness, I don’t apologize just once; God gets several ‘I’m sorry’s and so does everyone else involved.

I’m coming to realize, however, that this is a very wrong mindset. This understanding began when I apologized to my husband (then boyfriend) one too many times. I could see in his face and read in his tone that he was growing hurt and frustrated by my repetitive apologies. I understood that from his perspective, I was essentially saying that I didn’t believe him when he said he forgave me. I wasn’t taking him at his word and I was doubting his love for me.

The same holds true for God. When I walk around feeling guilt ridden for past sins and doubting my salvation in Him, I am essentially saying God is a liar. All those verses in the Bible about His goodness, grace, forgiveness, and love were all a load of hooey in my mind. Surely God is not as forgiving as He claims to be, my subconscious insisted.

Here’s the beautiful thing though: God is who He says He is. He does forgive as easily and readily as He says He does. If He didn’t, then Jesus died for naught.

Isaiah 43:25 says

“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake;
And I will not remember your sins.”

For God not to forgive me would mean breaking a promise and going back on His word, or in other words, denying His character as well as negating His Son’s sacrifice. And 2 Timothy 2:13 says “He cannot deny Himself.”

If it’s true that God lies and/or that Jesus is insufficient, then the entire Bible is forfeit. That’s one of the many things I love about the Word of God; it’s a package deal. We can’t pick and choose the parts we like and ignore the rest of the script. Everything in the Word is connected to everything else and it’s all or nothing.

Either Jesus’ sacrifice was enough for all my sins, or it wasn’t enough for any of them. Either God is everything He says He is, or He is nothing that He says He is. It’s all too closely linked to be able to separate.

The good excellent news then is that God’s love is unconditional and Jesus’ sacrifice is enough to cover all my sin. I no longer need to walk around under the burden of guilt. All I have to do is repent, then enjoy forgiveness. This is, of course, not a free pass to do whatever I want (See Gal. 5: 13) but rather permission to believe in forgiveness and give myself a break.

It’s also a chance to spread this grace around and extend forgiveness to others. Because another aspect of the Gospel is that Jesus’ sacrifice was enough for all of us, or it was enough for none of us.

I must confess that this is one of those messages that is having a hard time working its way from my head to my heart. But God isn’t finished with me yet and I’m looking forward to the day when I can forgive myself and others easily as well as accept forgiveness easily. Because it wasn’t easy for Christ to secure it for me. I was bought with a price (1Cor.6:20) and it is for freedom’s sake that I was set free (Gal.5:1).

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About Leah Ness

I am a self-professed story addict. Ever since I was little, I've had an overactive imagination and a passion for a well-spun yarn. When I grew up, I was blessed with a passion for God as well. It was then that I noticed a relative shortage of unique Christian fiction, the kind that can both captivate you and glorify God. So, despite the hurdles of things like commas and homonyms, I am endeavoring to write some of my own. Check out my Books page for updates on current and future books. View all posts by Leah Ness

8 responses to “Asking Jesus into my Heart…. Again

  • christosa1

    Beautiful words! I thought I was the only one who had the “over-apologizing” problem 😉 Thank you for this great reminder that I don’t need to be perfect in His eyes…I (we) are forgiven!

  • Judy

    Awesome post. And along those lines, I’ve heard people say, “I know God forgives me, but I can’t forgive myself.” When you stop and think about it, if God–GOD—can forgive us, surely we can forgive ourselves!

  • Leah Ness

    Exactly! Thanks so much for reading and commenting =) I’m glad you liked it!

  • tenacious follower

    Wonderful post, Leah Ness! I have personally felt like I need to ask Jesus back into my heart almost on a regular basis, when I well know that He is already there….that I am His and He is mine. I also believe that everything in scripture has to all be taken together. Each part has significance and is the inspired word of God or else it wouldn’t be in there. It’s all so interconnected! I loved the way you said it. Nice work!

  • Leah Ness

    Thank you so much for reading and for your encouraging words! I’m really glad you enjoyed it =)

  • setyourpathsstraight

    Well said. You reminded me that yes, I sometimes feel the same way. Years ago during a very broken time in my life – I was at that point when I wasn’t sure He had forgiven me…I “heard” Him say in my heart – “I have forgiven you – but I can do nothing with you, until you forgive yourself.” Let us not get trapped in the cycle of self-loathing over past mistakes, as then we are making another – not believing He died for all to pay for our sins – once and forever. Own it. Confess it. Allow God to forgive it. Forget it. Amen….

    • Leah Ness

      This is still a struggle for me. In fact, just yesterday I read something that told me loud and clear that God still wants to work on my heart in this area:
      ‘When people say, “I know God forgives me, but I can’t forgive myself,” they mean that they have failed an idol, whose approval is more important to them than God’s.’
      -Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods
      Boy did that one hit me like a ton of bricks.
      Thank you for reading! I pray God helps us both to forgive and forget =)

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