Last week, we shared a piece on offering a prayer of confession to God. You can read that here. This essay is a response to the incredibly freeing forgiveness of God.
We aren’t made to hold our burdens. We aren’t beings created for stress. My burdens keep my neck bent downward, looking inward. But when I crane my neck up, flexing the muscles I confess I do not use nearly often enough, I can look and see. I can see my Master.
He tells me that my sins have been forgiven. They are gone. They are no more. The hardness in my own heart that I have been chipping away at for months is softened into flesh at the mere admission that I simply could not do a thing about it, but He can.
Part of the Christian confession is the remission of sins, that my sins are cancelled. They are revoked. They are removed, taken away, and verifiably gone. They are absent and will no more be. They do not stand between me and my God. Nothing stands between me and my God.
When I admit, He removes the burden. When I fear—fear because my heart is so broken that I worry about maintaining purity—He tells me while looking straight at me and seeing me: It’s finished.
It’s all finished. The debt against me has been resolved. He no longer asks for payment. I might try. I might double back and try to offer something to offset the deep trouble He went to in securing my freedom. But He tells me that’s not needed; that’s not requested. It’s all completed.
The world tells us to embrace ourselves, to see that we are good, that we are worthy. But the burden of the human heart is universal. And when we pause to think about it, it is dreadful—we owe a debt to our God. It’s not like being late on our bills or having a credit card balance that would take thirty years to pay down. No kind of human currency could adequately pay our debt.
And it is the most terrible thing in myself that I have ever looked at. It’s frightening. It’s what we all have, but what is easy to avoid or become hardened to. Oh, but if we would only look to Christ. Crane upward! Let’s look together because He is already looking right at us.
He looks at us with this burden, this stress of not ever being good enough—He looks straight into the depths of our hearts—that place where I don’t want to look myself. He sees all of it, all of me. He says, “Lianna, Lianna—it’s gone.” The truth speaks to me, as if He is saying to my heart: “I’ve seen it. I bore it. I took it. I absorbed it; it is gone. It can never come back. You don’t have it anymore. You cannot get it. You will never find it. You will not uncover it. I will never request that you take it back. No more—it is no more.”
Oh, freedom, I pray: My soul is one with Yours, my Lord. I am Yours; You own me.
Now, if this is wrong, I am crazy—senseless to pledge and give myself to Someone I have never seen, irrational to abandon my will to His and say “lead me as You will—wherever You will, however You will; I belong to You.” Ridiculous. The Bible says something similar: “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Cor. 15:19). Are we to be pitied?
No, for He has taken my sin—He has taken our sin—and what does He give? He gives the victory. He hands it to me. He hands us the victory! So, we grow in doing all of what comes from being united with Him, enjoined with Him—serving and abounding in the work of the Lord while He promises that it will not be in vain:
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
1 Cor. 15:57-58
When we reach heaven, I imagine that all we will have to say at the “door” —to enter forever—will be “His victory.” That’s it. Though in reality, don’t worry if you forget to speak, and I won’t either, because your name and my name are already written in His Book of Life. You’re already in. So, no, you’re not crazy, or senseless, irrational, ridiculous, or pitiable—and neither am I. He’s removed our debts; and He’s given us the victory in Christ.