Recently I’ve been reminded that there is no formula for approaching God. I used to think I had to have it all together before I dared to draw near the Almighty. As if.
I used to think I had to prepare my heart before entering His presence, weeding out all the garbage so I would be clean enough to enter the foyer of the Kingdom. I used to look at my heart and hope that it would somehow fly beneath the radar of holiness allowing me to slip near God undetected.
Much like the woman in Luke 8 who reached out to touch the hem of Jesus’ robe, I thought I could somehow steal near enough to grasp a bit of God-life without being noticed. Without having others stare. Without having God look at me and know I was there, in all of my bleeding, gaping brokenness. Because if He saw me attempting to hone in on His power – me, with all my sins and failures – I feared I would be rejected.
The fact is, I can never reach the point of being “good enough” for God. I can never be holy, or righteous, or blameless to the extent that I would ever deserve to approach Him.
And yet, I can.
Because the Gospel message is a shattering of all the formulas. It flies in the face of all man-made expectations. Our feeble attempts to somehow work our way into God’s favor. There are not enough keys to spiritual discipline that will guarantee us the right to be called His children. There’s no number of prayers or acts of contrition that will pay the price of our penance. There are no 12-step programs in the Kingdom of God – and there’s definitely no way any of us can stay “anonymous.”
There’s only GRACE.
The grace of a God majestic enough to enclose all of heaven and earth in His eternal hand, yet merciful enough to reach into that same hand and carve my name upon it. For keeps.
The Gospel is a message of love large enough to cover the empty broken of this whole, wide world, yet personal enough to notice one trembling reach of desperation straining for a touch of the Master’s hem. And respond with healing for our chasms of aching need.
The message of grace is one that ripples across time and eternity, preparing the way before us so we can simply follow the trail and wind up in His mercy. With every step and breath of this life, we can move closer to His own. All it really takes from us is accepting the gift He extends and repositioning ourselves closer to the One who extends it.
In short, the message of the Cross is a story of a Savior who died to make us enough.
Who defeated death to give us Life.
Even when we weren’t good.
If you’re struggling to believe you deserve all the grace God has to offer, you can stop struggling. It’s fact. You can’t.
You can NEVER be good enough to deserve the life that Jesus came to give… but you can have it anyway.
Because it was never yours to earn; it’s only yours to receive. No matter how broken, weary, or hopeless you may be. No matter that the world has told you there’s no way you can ever be made whole.
Truth is, His grace is enough. And if you reach out and take it from the nail-scarred hand that is offering it, you may just find your name inscribed there. There, beneath the blood stains of a life poured out to set you free.
Free to walk in the grace that is yours because God says you are enough.