You Can't Clean Yourself
So let’s say you have a body, two legs, and no arms. Now tell me, are you able to clean yourself? I think not, but if so please immediately email us, so we can talk about the miracle that is you. Otherwise, this article is for you.
I have seen many people say things like “I want to wait until a certain point to bring myself to God” or “I am just not ready yet.” I just want to take this opportunity to let you know that God loves you the way you are and wants you to come to Him the way you are. It’s funny, there is no where in the bible where Jesus exactly says “come as you are,” so I can understand why we sometimes may feel the need to get “prepared” for Jesus. The thing is we need to realize there is nothing we can do to get “prepared” to accept Jesus. The bible shares a powerful verse in Romans chapter 5 verse 8, it says "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Signifying that He knew, He knew what He was getting into when He loved us. God does not want you to wait until you are ready to stop being in your mess, before you come to Him. He wants to take your mess and help you make it beautiful.
THIS IS WHY WE HAVE REPENTANCE
"Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away."
The bible is intentional when it places words where it places them. God does not just say anything, anywhere or anyhow, His words have purpose for their placement. Take a look at the verse again, it says “repent of your sins AND TURN to God…” Repentance is the Turning away from your mess also known as your sin, and redirecting your eyes and focus back onto Jesus. Recognize that when we make our messes, our eyes are not on Jesus. This is obvious because if they were, we would not have gone in the way we did but it’s alright. Repentance is your way of telling the Lord that you are sorry and that you want to get back on the track of His will and not your own. It is known that we make messes and wrong decisions.
"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious hand"
We know our circumstances and everything we have been through. We are consistently aware of what we go through and what we desire and it is not always in line with what we see as who God is. We see God as wanting perfect people who are not dealing with any kind of struggles. Because of this, we stand clear and stay away until we don’t desire these things any more. Thoughts we have, things we say, and even things we find ourselves doing, sometimes, don’t seem to be what we believe God wants. We forget though, when Jesus roamed the Earth as a man, He spent most of his time around people with messed up situations. Those were the people who showed their real selves to Jesus, those were the individuals who were real with Him. So you think, while being around them, what did He do? He made their lives and situations better.
The Pharisees always tried to act as if they were perfect, not only around Jesus, but before others too. All Jesus did was make them question themselves, but out of bitterness, they did all they could to have Him persecuted and murdered. I don’t think we want to head down that route or even be remotely related to them, trying to look perfect before Jesus, when He knew them better than they knew themselves.
In John 4, there’s a woman at a well that Jesus encounters and speaks with. She found it surprising that He spoke to her, because she was a Samaritan woman and He was a Jew. Samaritans and Jews did not like each other and had long term tension. I believe this shows us that Jesus can relate to us, no matter how different from Him we believe we are. In some cases we feel like Jesus wouldn’t even come near us if He knew us.
"But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
As Jesus spoke to her, He began telling her about herself and her history and difficulty with men. A history that could easily be seen as promiscuous. (I’ll use that word because its about the nicest one I can think to use at the moment.) It’s funny though, she did not exactly have the best track record, but Jesus still saw it necessary to encounter her. He didn’t have to. He could have kept to Himself or did other things. He chose to impact her life that day and He wants to impact yours. Just like He knew her dirty laundry well before conversing with her, He knows yours. Jesus brought up her sin and gave her the salvation that she needed. Pay attention to the fact that she did not run away from Him. She did question Him, but never ran away from the Lord. So why do we run when we feel dirty? The Lord pretty much took her dirt in His hands, showed it to her and washed it away. Realize He didn’t have her sort through it, He didn’t even ask her to explain herself. What Jesus did was offer her the Light she sought and needed. This is a small reminder that Jesus is offering you, Himself, even in knowing what you have to offer…….which is not much.
There's a verse that I love, it’s Isaiah 61:3:
"To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory."
God wants to trade your mess for His light, His love, and all that He has. There’s really no way to clean yourself before Him, He made you and He knows all your flaws, yet He loves you more than you can ever imagine. What’s even better is that His arms are always open and He is always forgiving. Don’t believe me. Believe the actions of Christ, who took the beating and died just for us. So why would He now have you get yourself together before coming to Him? We can’t clean ourselves, so we have to always remember Jesus is here to help.