Monday, July 25, 2016

Sister to Sister: Looking at God, part 1



Dear Sisters,

Over the past year God has been teaching me more than I can write in one letter, which does not mean I’ve fully matured or reached a benchmark in sanctification. It’s more like I’ve been relearning the gospel as I struggle to accept grace and truly agree that what Christ has done is enough. It’s easy for me to get distracted or absorbed by my thoughts, feelings, and actions. God has given me a sensitive spirit; however, because of my sin nature, this also means I can become both self-reliant and self-absorbed. 

While I want to enjoy and glorify God, I often become so preoccupied with trying to fix myself that I approach Scripture and prayer more like a self-help blog or to-do list instead of the living, breathing, and active Word of God, the story in which He is the main character (not me). This often leads to despair. About two year ago, I came across a quote by A.W. Tozer in The Pursuit of God that, although convicting, is another comforting affirmation that my perfectionist ideals do not equal God’s holiness, nor does He expect me to sanctify myself in the midst of some cosmic mind game.

While we are looking at God we do not see ourselves — blessed riddance. The man who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect One. While he looks at Christ, the very thing he has so long been trying to do will be getting done within him.

Yes, I trust God for my salvation, but many times it’s as if I am trying to do all the little but life-long changes in my soul intended to make me more like Christ. Thankfully, whether through friends, books, or prayer, the Holy Spirit keeps reminding me that acceptance of God’s grace and the ensuing submission to His work in my life involves seeing my desperate need for a holy and loving God and submitting to Him, not determining how I’m going to make myself holy for Him. Yes, I have responsibility to be obedient, but it’s God who enables me to be obedient in the first place. What a reminder to rest in Him.

Grace and peace,

Chelsea

About the letter writer...


Chelsea teaches middle school English and Latin at a small Christian school. She graduated with a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Union University in 2012. She enjoys writing, reading, drama, fencing, drinking tea, and convincing her sixth graders she's married to C.S. Lewis. She lives with her parents and five younger siblings, who provide plenty of inspiration for her stories.

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