In the beginning, God began a story. He created a beautiful place, a garden, and He created two people in His own image to live there. The people were in charge of the garden, in charge of all God’s creation. They were free to express their creativity, to build and explore and name. And every day, God would come to walk and talk with His people. Face to face. Can you imagine?
And God said it was very good.
Except for that one tree. Maybe you’ve heard about that tree. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. What was that about anyway?
You see, without that tree, people were prisoners. They had to accept God’s definition of what was right and wrong. But our Maker wasn’t satisfied to have a perfect world filled with slaves. He wanted real love, and love isn’t real unless it is freely given. So He left the door open. People could choose to keep things as they were, choose to live life His way. Or they could eat the fruit and judge things for themselves.
We know how that went.
Take a look around and see the consequences of that choice. Each of us is free to say what is right and wrong and to act accordingly. The greedy can justify stealing from the poor, the proud can trample the weak, sexual predators feel no remorse in victimizing children… We each do what is right in our own eyes, no matter the affect on others. Whatever our intentions might be, under our own power, we tend to make a mess of things.
Have you experienced this in your life?
There is someone reading this who knows all about the mess. Circumstances have been cruel, and every effort to make life better has failed. You know what it means to be broken, to be empty, to hurt without remedy, to be desperate. You’re weary of finding glimpses of hope only to have them disappear. Even more, you’re tired of wearing a mask, of acting like everything is fine when inside you’re ready to scream. There is an answer.
You see, God is desperate, too. He’s desperate to save you from your brokenness, to bring you back to the place He’s created for you, a place where you can walk and talk together, a place of peace and abundance. He’s so desperate, in fact, He wrapped Himself in flesh and came to the rescue (John 1:1, 14), a rescue that required His death. All for the love of you.
Jesus’ death opened the door for you, but He won’t force you through it. As much as He loves you, He wants you to choose.
Admit You Need Help
We are all guilty of trying to run life our own way. That is the heart of sin, doing what we want instead of what is right. Romans 3:23 says “we all have sinned.” Me. You. No one is excluded. Your first step to healing comes when you recognize this to be true. Your sin is what separates you from God, the only One who can help. Sin is the core of your problem, and there’s no way you can fix it alone.
Accept Jesus’ Gift
Sin means death (Romans 6:23), but Jesus willingly stood in your place and paid the price. Now He’s offering you hope. He’s not asking you to join a church or get your act together or to take on a list of dos and don’ts. These things have their place but have no power to save. He is asking you to believe.
If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. – Romans 10:9 NLT
Accepting Jesus’ gift starts with prayer. Don’t worry – this is nothing complicated or fancy. Prayer simply means talking to God, just as you would talk to a friend. Admit your sin, and ask His forgiveness. Tell Him you believe He died for you and that you want Him in your life. This is the prayer that changes everything.
Surrender Your Life
Asking Jesus into your life is the start of some big changes, but it all depends on letting Him lead. If you try to go back to doing things your own way, you’ll be back at square one, back where the mess is. Instead, give God control. He’s the only One who really understands what’s best for you. This can seem difficult at times, especially when He takes us a different direction than what we would have chosen, but I guarantee His outcomes are always better than we could ever imagine. I love how C.S. Lewis explains this in Mere Christianity:
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
Remember the story God began way back in the garden? It’s not finished. In fact, you have a part in that story. When you admit your sin and ask God’s forgiveness, when you confess your belief in Him and give Him control, He begins an incredible work. That work starts in you, but by the time He’s finished, it will affect the lives of all those around you. He has big dreams for you, bigger than you could ever dream for yourself (1 Corinthians 2:9).
I’m praying for you!