Here’s some of the resolutions I make at the beginning of a new week:
‘I’ve just need to get…God’s love
I’ve just need to get…my identity in Jesus
I’ve just need to get…that God is big. Like, really big’
If I ‘get’ these things, I’ll unlock my inner princess. I’ll stop struggling so much and I’ll stop making mistakes. I’ll be able to give God some time off instead of crying out to Him, 24/7.
In any other context, we call ‘I just need to’ legalism. But this is gospel-centered! Right?..
Not quite. I do need to get my identity and God’s love and sovereignty… but I’m terrible at all of this. And faith is not a muscle I flex or a substance I summon or a key that God has hidden in the garden. It might sound really “gospel-centred” to be constantly trying to “get” this stuff, but it also might be one more self-improvement drive. And self-improvement is not the way forward.
For a dedicated improver like myself, this is a hard lesson to learn. But the real gospel offers something much better than my own attempts to grasp at spiritual life.
What I can’t do for myself, Jesus does in my place. He really got God’s love. He found His identity in the Father. He appreciated first-hand the bigness and beauty of His Abba-Creator.
And yet He also died on the cross to take my sin.
Jesus doesn’t die simply to fix my eating disorder or my drug addiction or my lack of self-esteem, (though these things are covered). He dies because I’m totally stuffed and every inch of me needs redeeming. He dies because I don’t get His love and grace – and I can’t apply it to my own life. He dies because when it comes to life, I can’t do any of it;
the school run or the board meeting
the big conversations or the tiny chitchat
the marathons or the baby steps.
I can’t even get my lost-ness.
But He gets it all. And when I don’t get it – He’s got me.