I am a heretic. I embody the definition of a heretic. I am a nonconformist, a freethinker. I am a person holding an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted (on many fronts in life) and, I believe you are perfect.
Once, while at a conference with John Crowder, he said to look at your neighbor and say something “scandalous”. I turned to my gorgeous neighbor and without thinking, I gave her the biggest smile I could, and blurted out, “You are perfect!” She smiled and we moved on. On one hand, I don’t tend to take myself too seriously. There are times though, when I blurt things out without thinking, I know it’s not just me talking, it’s a God breathed Word. Those moments of foreshadowing are put on a shelf for later review and that “reviewing” is always amazing and transformative.
As usual, the Lord soon highlighted His Word to me in Colossians 1:21-22. In the Mirror Translation it says in verse 21, “Your indifferent mindset alienated you from God into a lifestyle of annoyances, hardships, and labors. Yet he has now fully reconciled and restored you to your original design. 22 He accomplished this in dying our death in a human body; he fully represented us in order to fully present us again in blameless innocence, face-to-face with God; with no sense of guilt, suspicion, regret, or accusation; all charges against us are officially canceled.”
Let’s look at these same verses in The Passion Translation, 21, “Even though you were once distant from him, living in the shadows of your evil thoughts and actions, he reconnected you back to himself. He released his supernatural peace to you through the sacrifice of his own body as the sin-payment on your behalf so that you would dwell in his presence. And now there is nothing between you and Father God, for he sees you as holy, flawless, and restored.”
There is a prevailing thought process (that I don’t understand) within the Body, that is in conflict with itself. You are imperfect, struggling daily with a sin nature whether that sin is yours or some ancestors, but somehow, you are to not only run into His courts with thanksgiving and praise, but you are to also do greater works than Jesus himself did. How does this work when we see ourselves far beneath how our Heavenly Father sees us? Why do we make this all so difficult?
I looked up that “problem word” ‘perfect’. It means having all the required, or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be. It means absolute, complete, faultless, flawless, etc. Sounds like you to me. It also sounds a whole lot like Colossians 1:22 . What part of you was left out of the equation when Jesus sacrificed his life and declared, “It is finished!”? In Revelation 13:8, The Complete Jewish translation speaks about the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was founded. If Jesus came to take away the sin of the world as John the Baptist stated, and he did so before the world was even founded, in that sense, did you even come here with a sin nature to begin with or is there a greater Truth (Jesus)? Where were you before the world was founded? Now, I am not saying that I am a Universalist who believes all are automatically saved. I just know I was taught that until I invited Jesus into my heart, I indeed had a sin nature that needed to be taken care of, and I could take care of it myself, by accepting Jesus. All I had to do was invite him in because Jesus was far, far away from me and my sin. I was taught that until one invited Jesus in, they had no semblance of God in them at all.
I now understand that Jesus was already in my heart, he is all, in all. I can’t even take a breath without his input. He was already in my heart, wooing me to wake up to the realization of all he already accomplished for me. He was and still is awakening me to all that I am, have and can do, because of what he did. I couldn’t “invite” someone in that I didn’t know was even there. He had to help me with that too. It’s all a gift that I accept. He didn’t suddenly take up residence in my heart and life when I walked down an aisle or filled out a slip of paper or said a prayer. He was always there. I just didn’t know it. He did it all.
In considering what the problem could be, I can only point to “the flesh” and our free will as what trips many up. The flesh is often seen as problematic in Christian circles when, not only is the flesh itself not bad, but just to drive the point home, Jesus came in the flesh and died in the flesh to make sure we knew our flesh is in good standing with him too. He is so genius that he used our free will in his ultimate plan to die for us, showing us just how far he was willing to go to show us that we are included, loved, wanted and accepted. He knew we’d use our free will to literally kill him and he walked into that willingly, and powerfully.
Our free will wasn’t a problem for Abba. He isn’t afraid of our ability to choose. It’s only a problem for us. He wasn’t kidding when He said He’d work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. You are amazing. You are magnificent. You are loved. You are perfect. It’s time to start to see yourself as He does, beloved. Be free.