The fields are full bloom now.
Seeds planted in the spring have taken over, transforming dead, weedy places into this wildfire of color.
Back in the spring, the man had asked me to write an article on how to overcome habitual sin.
I wondered if he really meant to know how to scrub a soul clean again, how to open up the inner places with fresh, how to rid a cringing heart from shame, how to breathe clean again.
Because sure, it’s enough to rob a middle aged woman of life, enough to wring the youth right out of a face.
It’s enough to leave scars. It pot-marks the soul and for all our potions and lotions and beautifying masks, we can’t make it go away.
We can shrivel up on the inside while loved ones watch the havoc play out on the body, the emotions, the soul. They can plead and beg and threaten and withdraw but what really is the answer to addiction? To our habitual sin problem?
And no Sunday School answers, please.
I wonder if this is what the man wants me to write about and I sit up late because I’ve just committed that sin again.
Don’t know if that makes me an expert or not. Don’t know a quicker way to ugly than that… Task-mastered by that sin again and pestered by the law.
Here’s the thing about sin: it makes you believe you are something you aren’t. It inflicts you with memory loss and makes you believe you and sin are the same thing. It steals your identity and convinces you he is now you and you him.
The ol’ switch-er-roo. Of course shame is lurking there to validate the message, and over time, you just accept it. You accept that’s who you are.
But there’s this thing, you see, and it’s called grace, and it’s greater than sin.
No doubt some of us are late bloomers, but seeds of grace planted in the heart ARE stronger.
Grace seeds can sprout and can push sin and shame right out by the roots.
And there, sitting wretched in sin’s aftermath, crying out to God once again, something happens.
A grace seed pushes it’s way to the surface.
“The just shall live by faith.”
The simple seed sprouts and opens and the gospel paves the way for me once again, leading me out of sin, away from shame, beyond the grips of slavery.
The road of righteousness gleams before me: TRUST.
He’s got this covered. Had it covered thousands of years ago and even though I am weighed down by my sin in this moment, God is not.
The power of God is no longer directed at me in wrath and condemnation for my sin; instead, His power is poured out on my behalf to overcome sin and live godly in Christ Jesus.
Grace seeds not only bear fruit of forgiveness, but also power to change.
It’s how the righteous live…not constantly trying harder but constantly trusting. Constantly throwing themselves in faith upon the grace of God.
Now no person can be justified based on works. It’s a fact we all know.
We don’t have to be. God has made another way.
“Knowing that no one is justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, we have believed in Christ Jesus so that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no human being will be justified.”
The righteousness of faith.
The just are the ones who keep believing that. They keep applying God’s forgiveness to their hearts, keep counseling their soul with grace, keep massaging the message into a heart that’s been made new but sometimes forgets.
The just aren’t the ones who never sin. The problem with that is, that person doesn’t exist.
The just are those wretched sinners who trust God to justify them… because He does.
It’s amazing, really. The just shall live by faith.
And tonight, after a day of mess ups and nagging sin, I go to bed justified.
Yes, the fields are in full bloom. Seeds of grace transforming the soul … into these wildfires of color.