Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:1-3)
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, (Romans 7:15, 21-25, 8:1)
I am sure we are all aware of times when we fall short of our own standards, let alone God’s standards; times when we do what we don’t want to do, or don’t do what we want to do, times when we wish we had responded in a better way or made a wiser choice. And then, when we know we’ve messed up we hear that little voice whispering in our ear ‘You’ve gone and done it again! Call yourself a Christian!’
If you recognise yourself in any of that, be encouraged, you are in good company; St Paul also had those times. What is more, recognising those times in our lives is a route to God’s blessing.
The blessing comes, not from our failures, but from the recognition of our failures, for that is the heart of what it means to be spiritually poor. Spiritual poverty, in this sense, is the realisation that, spiritually, we cannot make it on our own, and the recognition that we therefore need help.
The help we need comes from Jesus who, by his death and resurrection, delivers us from the consequences of our sin. Because of this, Paul, fully aware of his own wretchedness, can exclaim ‘Thanks be to God who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord.’
But that is not the end. Having now recognised the full extent of his deliverance in Christ Jesus, Paul can say that there is now no condemnation. The whisperer has no basis for his whispers. You are forgiven, you are delivered from the effects of your failings. You are blessed!
Thanks you God that you have delivered me from the consequences of my own sin and that I can come into your presence without fear of condemnation.
Rescuer (Rend Collective)