Sometimes I am very human and make silly mistakes. Be the errors big or small, the enemy of my soul likes to fashion my sins into a mallet to bludgeon my soul so I can’t escape the shame. For years I lived under strong condemnation, but God is helping me fight my way to the light.
Earlier this year, God gave me a phrase to help me embrace the freedom I have in Christ. It was my first writer’s conference, and I had no idea what to expect. My friends let me stay with them to break up my drive. The next morning as I left town the song “Reckless Love” by Corey Asbury came on the radio. The song breathed life into my worn out spirit. I had needed the reminder that although the previous year had been abysmal, God hadn’t left me there. Instead, God was actively pursuing me with His love.
I got so excited about the song that I turned the wrong direction on the highway and drove for over 20 miles on autopilot, basking in the love of the Father. Eventually, I noticed the numbers on the signs were increasing instead of decreasing. I did a U-turn at the next exit and finally headed in the right direction.
Satan worked hard to rob of the joy I’d just had. My grandma driver tendencies wouldn’t let me speed enough to make up the time. Now I would be late. Not having been to a conference before, I imagined myself walking in late, all eyes swiveling to me as I entered in shame. Perhaps no one would read any of my writings if they knew I was late. My thoughts began to spin out of control.
Then God told me to live under grace. He said “Just LUG!” My heart was in the right place, and God did not judge me. Instead, He rejoiced that I had embraced His love for me. Now He wanted me to make His love for me greater than my mistake. I could live in the freedom to be human and err, yet still be loved by the Lord. Even though condemnation felt normal, I chose to LUG. The freedom that accompanied that decision was delightful. This was how I was supposed to live – forgiven with my sins covered by Christ, not condemned, still a slave to sin.
Romans 6:14 (NKJV) says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” When we know Christ, we are not ruled by the law which requires us to be perfect. The law was designed to reveal that we are sinners (Romans 3:20) but will never be perfect. Praise Jesus that He was the sinless sacrifice for us. He fulfilled the requirements of the law that we never could. He also took the complete punishment for our sins on the cross, thereby making it possible for us to LUG.
James 2:12-13 (NKJV) says, “So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” God’s grace is bigger than the law. Under the new covenant, we live under the law of liberty, the law of freedom and forgiveness in Christ. We are not to live under the fear of the old law where our works won’t measure up. Instead, we live in assurance that we will be judged by the work of Christ on the cross that paid for our liberty. We get mercy because Jesus took the judgment.
Now, does this mean that because we can receive God’s forgiveness that we should abuse His grace? Paul addresses this clearly in Romans 6:15, “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!” (NKJV) When we live out of our identity as being free in Christ, we actually want to obey God. Our motivation is not to prove ourselves as good enough. We do right because we are already made worthy by the blood of Jesus.
Now, what do we do when we have genuinely messed up and sinned, not just gotten lost driving somewhere? 1 John 1:9 (NKJV) says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” When we confess our sins, we agree with God that what we did with wrong. In response, God forgives our sins and restores our relationship with Him.
We’re not supposed to agree with Satan that our sins are bigger than God’s grace. We’re to accept God’s forgiveness and continue to LUG. As we live under that grace, we focuses on how big God is and put our sins in proper perspective. God’s grace defeated the law though the blood of Jesus. I pray we choose to LUG with joy!
Have you ever struggling with making your sins bigger than God?
What has helped you cling to God’s grace?
Joanna Eccles has led Bible studies for over ten years and completed the year-long C. S. Lewis Fellows Program. She is passionate about discipleship and helping people know God better. Joanna enjoys coffee, traveling, and reading, and currently lives in Virginia.