Sometimes I hear that tired old lie from the enemy: "God wouldn't bless or help you because you are so sinful, sinful, sinful...just look at your faults, the wrong things you've done and are STILL doing! You've got so many hang-ups, only when you get them all in line or at least show some effort to improve, only then is God ever going to listen to your prayers or help you! Doesn't the Bible say your sins have kept God from hearing and answering your prayers??"
Guilt, guilt, guilt. I feel it, I see my mistakes, my irritable outbursts toward my kids, my self-centered actions (I'd rather read this book and be lazy than clean up this house), all the ways I could improve myself and yet I haven't (I could have read the Bible instead of surfing the net for an hour), etc. etc. If I look at myself and my behavior, I get sin-conscious and feel so low.
Yet God is so loving and kind. He has already taken care of my sin problem at the cross, and He reminds me of that! I think of how He reminded me of that just recently..
I was hearing those tired lies of the enemy, feeling guilty and sin-conscious, examining myself and my motives and seeing more faults than ever..and then last night I had a dream. In this dream, I was talking to someone and they were saying, "Oh, when we sin we go out of fellowship with God and He's not going to bless us" - something along those lines. And in the dream, I was thinking of the verse in 2 Co. 5:21 and wanting to share that with this person: "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." Or as the Phillips translation says it: "For God caused Christ, who himself knew nothing of sin, actually to be sin for our sakes, so that in Christ we might be made good with the goodness of God." Our sins were put on Christ and He became sin for us, and His righteousness was put on us and we became His righteousness. Wow!
Anyway, this morning I was going to read a couple of the devotionals in my Destined to Reign Devotional book (by Joseph Prince) and so I just opened it up to read about 4 of them. And there was a whole devotion on the verse above, 2 Co. 5:21! It was wonderful and uplifting and just what I needed to hear! Mr. Prince talked about how we are meant to be focused on how we are the righteousness of God in Christ and not focused on our sins, which are gone! God said He would remember our sins NO MORE - that's an awfully long time! And if He isn't thinking about them, then I don't need to either. I can just rejoice that I am the righteousness of God in Christ and thus qualified to the inheritance in every way. Through Christ we have received blessing upon blessing - He has blessed us already with "every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." That is wonderful to me!
Thank You, Lord, for reminding us that You are thinking of us as righteous in Christ, not as sinful or guilty! Thank You, dear Lord Jesus, for the finished work You performed to make that so! I can truly say I am a righteous person today, all because of You! Not because of my perfect performance, but because of my Perfect Redeemer!