Wretched - Blog Series
Wretched - And Unlovable
Over the next 3 weeks I am going to be sharing on this topic of Wretched. This is a journey that I have been walking and I am amazed and totally overwhelmed.The term wretched as defined by Miriam Webster is as follows:
“Deeply afflicted, dejected, or distressed in body or mind 2 : extremely or deplorably bad or distressing 3 a: being or appearing mean, miserable, or contemptible b: very poor in quality or ability : inferior or wretched workmanship.”
The text in scripture that I am drawing from Romans 7:24:
Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?
Don’t worry I am not just leaving you with these words I am about to dive in deeper. This week I want to talk about being wretched and completely unlovable.
“Now hold on;” you may say. “I don’t like being told that I am bad or that I am unlovable.” But if any of you have kids you will understand what I am about to say. Each and every one of us is born with a sinful nature. One that is just waiting to rear its ugly head. The fact is that you are not good. You are sinful and therefore unlovable. It is your sin that makes you so.
We live in a day and age where society tells us that we are good. That we need to love ourselves and reject anything that tells us that we are not good. Then in the very next breath they tell us to be better and to do more… with society we cannot win. The good news is that we are not supposed to win with them. Our win, is our salvation and eternal life with the Father. That revelation is what I am wanting to point us toward.
What has the point of God’s Enough - Women’s Ministry always been? To glorify God and point to the fact that you are not enough. God never intended for you to be enough, He is enough for you.
Over the last few months I have been on a journey in my walk with the Lord, pointing to my wretchedness. I have been lead to see my sinful nature and in that fact, I have been pointed to God and his perfection and grace. There in the awareness of my wretchedness I have found myself more overwhelmed by that grace.
Let’s take a deeper look at Romans 7.
“For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”
- Romans 7:15-25 NASB
“But I am doing the very thing I hate.” This statement rolls around in my head. I know what is right and yet I still sin. I know what I should or should not say and yet I say the wrong thing. I plan to not yell at my kids and I still find myself yelling. My sinful nature is a very real thing. I am wretched. I am unable to control myself. I deserve hell! Yes hell. That is the reality, sin separates us from God, and condemns us to hell.
So many times I have shared my story of bondage and the things that have bound me. I have shared how I have sought God and confessed. Yet sin still binds me. Now I am free of my past, yet, I still do things that I hate. I know the God who has saved me. I know that it is by His grace that I am saved, and yet I am bound by my sinful nature.
Confronting sin is hard. Confronting the fact that I am not good is painful. Confronting the very real fact that I am unlovable, in my own fleshly sinful nature, is sickening. On my own I am very unlovable. However, there is good news coming. See the bible doesn’t end at the end of chapter 7 of Romans… it continues on to chapter 8… and of course much more. I want you to cheat. I want you to read ahead… especially since next week we will be talking about trying to be lovable on our own and the fact that that does not work.
This chapter is challenging, it needs to be challenging, because I need to understand that I am not good. No one is, except the Father..
“A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.” - Luke 18:18-19 NASB
Now I do not want you to walk away discouraged… So here is the reminder.
God is enough! You are not… He Is
Now Go in God, Knowing that He is Enough For You
Wretched - And Lovable
Okay, now I am just being confusing. Last week I said that I am not lovable. That is true. I am not actually contradicting myself, despite how it sounds. Today I am talking about trying to make myself lovable. How so? By doing...
Have you ever said this mantra to yourself? If I just did this one thing, or that other thing, maybe that person would like me. We women often find ourselves doing, in order to find love. We are working as hard as we can to make ourselves lovable. The truth is most of the time it isn’t something we did or didn’t do that makes a person not like us it is either theirs our own personality that clashes with them and no amount of “work” will change that.
I do not say this to make you feel helpless instead I say this to give you hope. Let me again mention kids. There is absolutely nothing my kids can do to make me not love them. However, there is also nothing my kids can do to make me love them. Now they show their love for me by obeying me and doing things for me, but that is not how they earn my love. God is the same way with us.
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” - Ephesians 2:1-10
“It is by grace that you have been saved.” Remember last week how I said we are unlovable because of our sinful nature. The truth is that there is absolutely nothing that we can do to save ourselves. No amount of works will get us into heaven. Jesus said to the rich young ruler: “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.” Luke 18:18. It is not, our good-ness that will get us into heaven. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 It is His grace, not your works.
Yet we run ourselves into the ground trying to do enough. Trying to pray enough. Trying to fast enough. Trying to help enough people. Trying to sin as little as possible. To be honest, each of the things on this list is important. As a matter of fact, they are all things that scripture tells us to do. However, not one of those things will save us. “By grace, through faith, you are saved.”
Each of those actions: Praying, Fasting, Helping others, Not sinning, those are all works that show our salvation, and show our love for Jesus. They do not make us loveable to Him, instead, they show our love for Him.
Now, remember how I told you last week that I wanted you to cheat and read ahead. I hope you did, and if you did not please read Romans 8. I also encourage you to read Ephesians as well. Reading the Bible will help you know the Author and Finisher of your faith. I can’t wait to share more good news with you next week.
Now Go in God Knowing that He is Enough For You!
Wretched - and Loved
Here we are. Week 3. Did you read Romans 8? If not I will be sharing a portion of it here
and I encourage you to take time to read more. God’s word is so full of life. It is life
giving and it changes our perspective. It realigns us with our Father. It grounds us even
when the world around us falls to pieces.
The last two Blog Posts I have talked about our wretchedness and the fact that we are
unlovable and that there is nothing we can do to make us lovable to God. In fact our
sinful nature pushes us further from God. However, in week one I made a strange
statement: “Over the last few months I have been on a journey in my walk with the Lord,
pointing to my wretchedness. I have been lead to see my sinful nature and in that fact, I
have been pointed to God and his perfection and grace. There in the awareness of my
wretchedness I have found myself more overwhelmed by that grace.”
You might ask how recognizing my wretchedness has drawn me closer to grace. This is
because it has made me see my need more clearly and has pushed me to confront the
fact that in no way can I or have I ever earned my salvation and yet somehow God has
still saved me. I think Romans 8 paints this picture very well.
“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For
the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and
of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God
did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin,
He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be
fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the
flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the
mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject
itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the
flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:1-8
I want to pause there. Let’s momentarily dwell on verse 1: “Therefore there is now no
condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Last week I said that it was by grace
through faith that you have been saved. This is confirmed in this verse. Christ did the
saving work. Vs. 3 “sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an
offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,”. We could not and cannot carry the
burden of our own sin. The law was there for the Israelites to be able to stay under
covenant with God, but none of them could keep it. So Jesus came and kept the law
perfectly and then took all of our sins upon himself. A sacrifice was required in order to
bring us into fellowship with God. Jesus was that sacrifice.
Romans 8 is a long chapter and it is important to read it in its entirety to fully understand
and appreciate God’s crace to us. So please do so now. You can read in your own Bible
or click on this link Romans 8:1-39.
Now let’s look at verses 28 - 39
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who
love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so
that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He
predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and
these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these
things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son,
but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all
things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who
justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather
who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who
will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or
persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For
Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep
to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through
Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor
principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor
depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of
God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” - Romans 8:28-39
What strikes me in these verses is that God, our perfect Father did not spare His son.
He gave Jesus up, as the perfect sacrifice, so that we, His chosen can be saved. For
those of us he has chosen “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor
things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other
created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus
our Lord.” Therefore, nothing we can do will draw us closer or separate us from the
love of God. We are loved, and not because we are good, but instead because He is
and he chose to love us in spite of our wretchedness.
I hope this fact draws you closer to God and His grace as it has drawn me closer to
Now Go In God Knowing that He is Enough For You!