DEFEATED OR HOPEFUL?
For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending His own Son in the likeness for sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:3-4
Ever feel like you can’t do anything right? If you live with this nagging sense of defeat, most likely you’ve lived in an environment where there were too many unreasonable rules.
I grew up in a home where there were many expectations. Children weren’t really children but were expected to be little adults. While the rules weren’t written and posted, they were communicated clearly even though unspoken. No running in the house. No loud playing – like yelling, laughing. No water spots on shower walls. No leaving a faucet dripping or overusing water when washing the dishes. No bringing in mud or stones on your feet. No rolling suitcases over floor surfaces. No asking to use a restroom while visiting someone’s house. I’m a bit OCD even today; liking perfect order in drawers and cupboards. I’ve had to temper this bent as I raised my children.
As a parent, not only is it confining and unreasonable to impose such rules on children, it’s defeating. A little kid never feels like he measures up. If he keeps nine rules perfectly but slips up on the tenth, he’ll hang his head.
The Law was given by God, not to force me to be perfect, but to show me that I was not perfect; that there was no way I could be holy. The Law showed me my need for a Savior who could forgive my sinfulness.
As a child of God, I never need to look again at the Law, try hard to keep it, fail, and then hang my head in defeat. Jesus came, took my sin upon Himself, died for it, and fulfilled the Law on my behalf. It’s as though I have stamped across my heart, “Perfect!” What a gift! The Law is no longer hanging over my head. My debt to it has been paid in full.
As God’s child, striving is over. Spirit-enabled obedience is mine. Feeling like a failure should never mark the face of God’s child. He took the Law, posted on the walls of heaven, and stamped them PAID IN FULL for every person who trusts Jesus as his Savior.
Oh Father, You are not a cruel Father. There are NO unspoken expectations. You were up front. You gave the Law. I could not keep it. I needed Your Son to be my Savior. He bore my punishment for breaking the rules. Now, You see me as perfect because of Jesus. I can hold my head up high and look into Your eyes with confidence. Amen