I’m not a very good deer hunter. Oh, I’ve harvested several animals over the years, and I have had my share of good days, but I’m really not very good. I scout. I plant fields. I put out cameras. I read, plan, and practice with all my weapons. I have done these things for years. In fact, I have done these things for so long, I have a good test sample. The data says this. I’m not a very good hunter. Sometimes I miss the shot or make a bad one. Sometimes I clank my bow against my stand which sends the buck into the next county. I have also been known to be holding a honeybun instead of my bow when that deer shows up. It’s true. The evidence is not in my favor. I’m not sure however, if I am able to change or if this is exactly who I am. I wonder if I might experience a lot more enjoyment, if I would just quit trying so hard to do and be something, I am unable to do or be. I wonder if I just need to confess I am a hunter, but not add another demand with it. I’m already feeling freer.
I’m being reminded right now of a conclusion I came to several years ago that transformed my life. My conclusion was this. I was not a very good Christian. Oh, I had my moments. I had some successes and some good days, but I was really not very good. I tried to continually read, pray, give, attended church, and practice other disciplines. I tried for years. But my life was one Christian miss after another – one broken promise after another – one attempt to get it right after another. And It seemed the more I tried, the worse my misses were magnified until that day I reached my end, looked up to the heavens, and yelled these words to God. “I can’t do it!” And he yelled back, “You big dummy! You were never supposed to be able to do it!” Well not exactly those words and not exactly audibly, but the results were the same. And I was stunned. What?!! It was true. And soon thereafter, I was reading where the Apostle Paul came to the same conclusion. Here’s how he put it. “For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God.” (Gal 2:19 NLT) He basically said. “I can’t do it, so I’m gonna quit trying to do everything I can’t do, so I can just live my life as a person who has been transformed by the grace of God.” Right after that statement, he confessed he was crucified with Christ. Dead, yet he lives because Christ is now living in him. And he quit trying to do in his flesh, what could only be done by the Spirit. The greatest day in your life will be when you make the same confession Paul did- and may I say that I did as well. Give up. Realize you are unable to keep all the rules you thought you had to keep. And just live, as one who has received grace that paid the price for your sins so you would not have to. Die to trying. Die to the law. And simply invite Christ to live his life through you. Simply be a follower of Christ, without adding another demand with it. I hope you are already feeling freer.