m i c a h 6 : 8

"Papa, what are your plans for me?"

Even before I had finished scribbling the sentence on the blank page in my journal, I heard His words echo deep within my soul.  The question I asked had been about my future, but God's answer focused instead on my present...

Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with your God.

"I want to please you, Lord, but how?  No matter how hard I try, I continue to get pulled deeper and deeper into sin."

As a follower of Christ, my heart's desire is to live a life pleasing to Him.  It is my prayer that every word I utter, every thought I entertain, every move I make might bring honor and glory to God.  In reality, I am far from perfect.   

I swear.  I lust.  I  become jealous.  I hate my enemies.  I hurt my loved ones.  I think only of myself.  

Despite my best intentions, I speak and think and act in ways that break God's heart every single day.    Though I'd like to believe that I'm a good person, that I am kind to others and generous with all I have, it simply isn't true.  Yes, there are times when I speak words of encouragement to disheartened friends.  There are weeks when I joyfully give 10% of my income back to God.  There are even moments when I bite my tongue in an effort to keep hateful words from spewing from my lips.  

But if I were to add up all the good inside of me and weigh it against all of the evil,  I know the scale would tip towards darkness.  

Quite simply, I am not good enough.   If not for God's gifts of grace and mercy, I would have no hope.  I am deeply grateful for His unconditional love, for His sacrifice, and for His forgiveness.  Because of Jesus, I am confident that I will enjoy abundant life on Earth and spend eternity with Him in Heaven.  

Sometimes, though, I forget that God's forgiveness is a gift.  The harder I strive for perfection, the faster the lies of the enemy swirl around in my mind, and the more difficult it becomes to accept His gift of grace.  

God won't forgive you this time.  

How can you call yourself a Christian?  

You'll never be good enough to deserve God's love.

These thoughts lead me deep into a pit of self-pity.  It's there that I deliberately turn my back on God, justifying my evil actions by believing that He has already given up on me.  There have been so many times when I've found myself camped out in this pit, believing that since all of my efforts at living a holy life are in vain, I might as well give up my soul to sin.

It was with these thoughts, rubbing raw and ragged against the edges of my heart, that I opened up my Bible tonight.   And like a soothing balm, the words of Micah 6:8 poured in to heal my aching soul.  

God isn't asking that I save the world; He's already done that.  All God asks of me is that I act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him.  He knows I'm going to stumble.  He knows that there will be days when blackness fills my heart.  He isn't gazing down at me with a look of disappointment, demanding that I try harder.  He knows that I can't be good enough.  It's why He sent Jesus in the first place!  Acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God...it all starts with recognizing that alone we can't, but with Him we can.

Papa, I'm letting go.  Have your way in me.