One of the things that I kept hearing early on was “I plead the Blood of Christ over this,” and I adopted it without really understanding what I was saying. Basically, this was shorthand for people who understood through experience the redemptive, cleansing power of the Blood. Unfortunately for me, I had no legitimate access to this power because I was not a true child of God yet. The Blood is not some magic spell to be chanted as we please and on our terms. I could ask God to wash me clean all day long without a single permanent change. I had to be born-again in reality first.
And I did! I was regularly wrestling with the guilt and shame, or rage and blame – and any peace that came after these stormy sessions didn’t last very long. It came and went. The Blood’s power to cleanse and redeem and reconcile the believer to God was beyond my grasp because I had not bowed and was not saved. I knew that deep down, I was the same person I’d always been, struggling to live a new life with no real power to do so. It was frustrating and exhausting.
But that growing frustration was proof of God’s love for me. He made sure that I knew something was wrong, and He sent people willing to confront me as the Holy Spirit lead them. Now, my response to these confrontations was straight-up rage. I was furious because hey! I said the words, I prayed the prayer, I stopped cursing like a pirate (mostly) – what do You want from me?! I was nasty and wicked. And let me save you some time, kind reader. If someone tells you the story of their surrender and it sounds like a sickly sweet poem that you’d find framed and hung in the ladies “powder room” at the local church, then you might be getting a sales pitch. Humanity does not go gentle into that good night, and we’re all human.
I share all of this because the so-called gospel being peddled today presents a God that bows down to His creations. “Just recite the Sinner’s Prayer and you’re saved! Go on living your life as you always did, just change up your language a bit and add an hour of church every week and you’re good to go. There’s no real cost, so why wait? Get your free ride to heaven today!” Gross. And that’s clearly a lie. Flip through the Bible and you’ll find no evidence of a God Who lets men run the show, nor will you meet a Jesus who values compromise. I believed the lie because I wanted to; I’m a big fan of both my rights and the easy way out, and it’s funny how heresy generally seems to support one or the other of those.
So if you find, as I once did, that being a Christian is hard, ask God the question. If you frantically search the Bible for the heart and voice of the God you’re supposed to know and love but don’t, ask God the question. If you find yourself climbing then falling down the same hill over and over, please ask God the question: Am I really Yours?