For years I thought I was a Christian. This involved bedtime prayers, Sunday school, striving to be a good person, and pleasing my parents. Christianity, to me, was the same as being a good moral American citizen. All my friends and family went to church, attended the bean suppers, and baked cookies for the church fair. If anyone asked me what religion I was, I honestly would say, "I am a Christian. " It never occurred to me that I wasn't. Talk about deception, But still this wasn't my greatest deception.
The irony of all this didn't occur to me until after I was convicted of sin, repented and asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. By faith, I was now a real Christian and growing to have a personal relationship with Jesus, through the person of the Holy Spirit.
For the first ten years, I struggled confessing my sin over and over again, trying to change myself. It was exhausting. My new Christianity wasn't much fun. I was more concerned about changing my behavior to be more like Jesus than a desire to know Him personally.
Then one morning in prayer, I heard this voice-thought,"My daughter why are you still trying to change your old nature? It is on My cross." What a revelation.
My greatest deception was, I had been striving in my flesh, to put a patch of Jesus on my old nature, forgetting that I had died in Christ. I was now a new creation in Christ Jesus. The old was gone and the new has come.
God's ways are totally opposite to this world's system. It feels so good not to have to patch up my old self and to know that Jesus is more concerned with my new nature. By faith I now live in His resurrected life and my life is hidden in Christ in God. (Col.3:3).
It is true freedom. I am no longer bound to the law of sin and death, but have been set free by the law of life in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:2). To be free from guilt and condemnation is the greatest blessing in my life. The Lord has given me a new heart of righteousness and the Holy Spirit to enable me to obey Him.
I thank the Lord for His grace and His mercy renewed every morning. Life doesn't get any better than to know you are loved and accepted by the most gracious person in the whole universe--the Lord Jesus Christ and that His Father is also excited about you.
There are times when I still make bad choices. I hate my sin. It cost Jesus His life., but I don't feel condemned, but convicted. I am so grateful for the gift of repentance and forgiveness. It is God's sustaining grace that will bring me home one day to Him. Until then, I will praise my Lord and worship Him ONLY.