Monday, August 30, 2010

Light Bulbs

I love when a spiritual light bulb turns on in my brain.

This has probably been staring me in the face for decades. But I just recently went, “Ohhhh! I see!”

Cooler still, the revelation came as a direct answer to a prayer.

I’ve always grappled with faith verses deeds. I know I need to do right, but if I don’t there’s grace. I’m supposed to obey, but striving to do anything outside of grace is the opposite of faith. God loves me no matter what, but what I do will be brought before Him at the Judgment Seat. Sin is sin. But Jesus offers grace. We can’t ignore sin, but we’re not supposed to judge. Yikes! I get so mixed up, and then end up with wrong impressions.

All I’ve known for sure is that Jesus’ blood atones for my sin.

It’s not a bad bottom line.

But even though Jesus’ blood washes away my sin, what do I do with that tendency left over in me to sin again? The sin is gone, but I’m a sinner.

I’ve coped with tactics such as guilt, avoidance, apathy, striving, do-overs, being too hard on myself, being too easy on myself… Salvation I grasp, sanctification is more of a mystery.

The light bulb went on while reading a spiritual growth devotional called “The Green Papers” by Miles J. Stanford. I’ve been learning a lot from his gathering of the philosophies and theologies of many giants of the Faith, most of it so far confirming to me that I must lean heavily… no, solely… on God’s grace.

But today, I read the chapter on “Identification,” which is where my answer came from in the form of a quote from Watchman Nee. Here’s the quote:

Our sins were dealt with by the blood, we ourselves are dealt with by the cross. The blood procures our pardon, the cross procures deliverance from what we are in Adam. The blood can wash away my sins, but it cannot wash away my old man: I need the cross to crucify me – the sinner.

The problem with the fall of humanity, the depravity of man, is not only that we sin (verb, action), but also that we are sinners (noun, object).

Embracing grace to atone for our sins is one thing, a very, very important thing.

Embracing the cross to kill our flesh, the part of us that is desirous of sinning, is another very, very important thing.

Thank You, Jesus, for carrying my sin away, as far as the east is from the west.

And thank You, too, for making possible the death of the old flesh that enslaved me to the sinful life.

I love that discovering God’s truths is a life-long journey. I’ll never “arrive” at full knowledge of Him because I’m so small and He’s so big. Even in Heaven, I think, I’ll have an eternity to explore the depths and heights of my Creator. But it sure is fun to see those light bulbs illuminate my path.

Hope your week is full of such inspiring and encouraging Light!

(photos by


Sarah(the)Baker said...

Really like this. Excellent understanding of the Cross and the Blood.

It's important that we understand that Christ is the Lamb slain "before the foundations of the world."

He was slain from the very beginning. And everything else in history serves to point toward Him and His Glory.

Susanne Dietze said...

Lori, I love your devotionals. Thank you so much for your encouragement. I hope you're well!

KM Wilsher said...

Great one. Think I'm going to have to read it over again later.

Made me think of song lyrics: I've been crucified with Christ nevertheless I live. . .

Crucify the flesh. I am having a hard time with that recently. So this is an inspiring, convicting post, Lori, thanks!

lynnrush said...

Great post. Great. Great. Great. Love the lightbulb thing. I only wish mine would ignite sooner. I'm always thinking, "Sorry God. Missed that one. . . again" after my lightbulb goes off. Cuz I look back and it had been trying to flicker on for a while usually!

I'm so stubborn!