Here’s the good news of the gospel: You are free. You are finally, fully and completely free from bondage to trying to make yourself better, so you can lay your head down on your pillow and rest at night. He’s come to give you rest and He’s done it by doing all the work that needed to be done. That’s how He could say, in great agony and isolation on the cross, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).
Right now, by faith, you are freed from trying to be good enough, being frustrated when you’ve failed, giving in to self-indulgence and then trying all over again to approve of yourself. You don’t need to do that anymore because you’ve been vindicated by the only Person in creation whose opinion actually matters. He says, “You are righteous now.”
Paul wrote that he counted everything that had once been on his list of righteousness as garbage and that now he was banking his very soul on the righteousness that came only by faith. This is how he talked about his freedom from proving his own goodness: “…not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ…” (Phil 3:9). He wrote to the Romans that God accomplished something that the law (rules) he used to trust in could never do by sending His own Son to live our life for us and then die in our place. Why? “So that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us”
So then, what’s there for you to do? What’s on your list? Believe the gospel. Believe that when He claimed, “It is finished” it really was. Once Jesus was asked what sort of work people needed to be doing to be “doing the works of God”. This is how he answered, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:28-29). Is it really that simple? Yes, it really is. Believe. Believe that all He set out to do to bring you to Himself He has already done. Trust in His resume, His ability to do the work that needs to be done, His empty tomb. Believe.
What else? Ask the Holy Spirit to enable you to live joyously in light of the fact that you are already loved, already righteous, already His. Start each day knowing that nothing will separate you from His love (Rom 8:35f) and let the joy of His love and welcome be the strength that will empower you throughout your day. Live each day, with whatever chaos might come your way, in the truth that your loving Heavenly Husband is holding that day in His nail-scarred hands and nothing can get to you that hasn’t first come through Him. Live the day in His love, knowing that you’ve been immeasurably and irrevocably loved, no matter how well you respond to the chaos
And be a gloriously generous lover of all you meet. Love your neighbor because you’ve been loved. Love all around you because everything around you reminds you of His glorious love for you. Forgive those who sin against you, who get in your way, who mess up your plans, who fail you. You can do this now because you’ve been forgiven and He patiently woos you to Himself day after day after day.
Dear sister, be free. Take all those lists of things you think you have to do to be accepted by Him and burn them up in the glory of the gospel. Take every other list that helps you love your neighbor and hold it loosely, giving it to Him, asking Him to help you accomplish it if it is His will.
You are not a list of things you need to do. You are welcomed. You are forgiven. You are loved. Rest.
Read Part 1: The Sin Cursed World Syndrome
Read Part 2: The Answer to Your Chaos is Not a List It’s A Person
Read Part 3: Here’s What Was On His List