The Office of Offenses

Is life really beauty-full? Is life really beauty-full when I am fighting with one family member, another is having heart problems, and I am speaking with neither? Is life really beauty-full when some friendships are fizzling out and I believe it’s because I’m failing? When I am unemployed, and I have no financial stability? When my past comes calling, haunting me with memories and faces from sins long ago? When I realize the sins I committed, and those committed against me, were heinous, abominable, and grievous in nature? When The Enemy attacks reminding me of my file “Record of Wrongs” and I start to believe I’m unloved, unusable, unforgiven, worthless, nothing? Is my life really beauty-full?

Yes. The answer is Yes. A thousand times, Yes. Yes my life is beauty-full. For one reason and one reason only. Jesus.

Jesus says, “You are loved.” Jesus says, “You are forgiven.” Jesus says, “You are free.” The real question is, do I believe Him? And if I don’t fully believe Him, why not? How do I reach that place where I do? Where I live in the Identity that my sins are forgiven, I am washed in Christ’s blood, and I am free. How do I live in that Identity every day?

Identity: (noun)
-the state or fact of remaining the same one under varying conditions
-the condition of being oneself
-the state or fact of being the same one as described
-the sense of self
-exact likeness in nature or qualities

When I repented of my sins, and accepted Christ’s blood on the cross as ransom for my debt, a transaction was made. I gave Christ my debt, and He gave me His righteousness. God holds Jesus accountable for my sin. He no longer holds me accountable. God sees me as blameless, pure, whole, free, and redeemed. My identity is in Christ. He paid the price that I owed. So why am I still trying to pay off a debt that has been paid? Still putting on the old identity?

The Devil doesn’t want me to realize the enormity of God’s grace. The enormity of what really happened on that cross. If I still believe I owe on this debt, I am in bondage. I am enslaved. If the Devil can keep me making payments on a debt that is already paid, then he can keep stealing from me.

“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” John 10:10 AMP

My friend said to me the other day, “The world needs your healing miracle just as much as you do.”  I realized the full meaning of this last night. I was at the grocery store and completely burdened by the sin of my past. A man and his 4-year-old daughter were behind me in the checkout line. He explained to me he was a single parent and I could tell He wanted to talk, but I had nothing to offer. No hope, joy, or freedom. I was filled with sorrow, sadness, and shame.

If I am burdened about paying my yearly, monthly, daily, or sometimes hourly “sin bill,” I am distracted from telling others about the good news. The great news! You don’t have to keep going to the Bank of Bondage making deposits. The debt is so great you’ll never be able to pay it off. Jesus paid it. He has written the check, my account is “Paid in Full,” my debt “Forgiven.” Yours can be too.

So how do I live this out? How do I believe that my debt is paid in full, that I am forgiven and free, when files from “Record of Wrongs” keep popping up in my mind?

There is an Office of Offenses in my mind. In that office there are three rooms filled with files of offenses (sins); both those I’ve committed, and those committed against me. One room is labeled “Past,” another room “Present,” and another “Future.” Jesus has written the word “Forgiven” on each and every file. He has settled all accounts of Sin for my entire life.

In order to believe I am forgiven in my mind—even though I believe it in my heart—I have to go through some of these files and see “Forgiven” is written in Christ’s blood. On some of them, I myself have to write “Forgiven.”

In thinking about this process I asked Jesus, “Do I have to painstakingly go through my past and see the word ‘Forgiven’ on each and every file, or can I just write ‘Forgiven’ on the whole filing system?” “Why do files from ‘Past Sins’ keep getting mixed in with ‘Present’ and ‘Future’?”

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no Record of Wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

Love keeps no Record of Wrongs. Ultimately, God doesn’t want me living in the Office of Offenses.  He wants me outside. Free. Enjoying my abundant life to the full that He paid the price for. But it isn’t always that simple. If I don’t process through some of these files with Jesus they burden me; always in the back of my mind weighing me down when I am out of the office.

This process is painful and scary. I have been avoiding some of these files my whole life. But Jesus never leads me places that are not for my benefit. It is all for my growth and His glory. He desires to “bestow on me a crown a beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of the spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61:3. In order for me to trade the joy for the mourning, I have to acknowledge that I mourn. Acknowledge that something happened in my life to cause me great sadness. I have to read the file.

“Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

With Jesus, I need to read “Forgiven” “Blameless” “Pure” on the files that I don’t believe “Forgiven” is written on. With Jesus I need to write “Forgiven” on the files I haven’t allowed myself to read. All is written and signed by a pen containing the ink of Love. Love is the only ink that can write on these files. Love is the only ink that can seal them forever.

So, is my life really beauty-full when circumstances seem to say differently? When looking at files like “Drunken Debauchery” “Sexual Trauma” and “Emotional Incest” could make it so easy to believe otherwise? Yes. A thousand times, Yes. Because at the bottom of every single one of those files is written “Forgiven.”  Jesus paid it all. My heart He has won. I AM forgiven and free. I am blameless in His sight. I am a child of God. It is who I am, not what I do. He paid my debt. I am unworthy, but Jesus says I’m worth it. What could be more beauty-full?

Some days it is easier to believe than others. But even on days like today, when I have forgotten His great love for me, He tenderly reminds me. Through His Word, His people, and His Holy Spirit He says, “Tesia Grace. My beloved daughter. I love you and I give you my grace.”

Today I trust Jesus. Today I believe I am Beloved. I put my hand in His, and follow Him wherever He leads.

 

Now blameless, You call me Holy
I’ve been forgiven, You call me righteous and free
Now spotless, You call me worthy
I am Your child, You call me chosen
I’m Yours, I am Yours
-Dara Maclean

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