When a newly married couple wakes up together for the very first time (assuming it is the very first time) there is a certain fear of exposure. Everybody was on their best behavior yesterday. He was thoughtful… considerate. She was admiring… respectful. Everybody was looking good. His teeth were brushed… nails clean. She looked stunning… perfect hair… perfect makeup.
But the next morning… well… drool… bad breath… puffy eyes. And that's just the start. Maybe somebody's grumpy first thing in the morning. Maybe somebody's quiet for a while. Maybe somebody's a little too perky. Maybe somebody doesn't put the lid down.
“Do I still look good to him?” “Will she still be as respectful to me as when we were dating?” “Will he continue to be considerate, and always put me first?” Lots of fears… as a husband and wife begin to expose themselves to each other in daily living.
Contrary to the popular culture's opinion that marriage grows stale and eventually falls apart, God designed marriage to grow in both passion and strength. Marriage, done well, is the healthiest environment on earth to empower people for success.
Sadly, it is difficult for most people to imagine such an intimate relationship with another human being, let alone an even more intimate relationship with God.
Sherrel and I encounter, on a regular basis, people who have no concept of what it means to be able to trust someone. As children, they couldn't count on the adults in their lives to even feed them, let alone nurture them. And if you grew up in this kind of an environment, trusting a God you can't even see seems like an insanely risky move.
But we all have to start somewhere. And the starting point is being able to understand the power of forgiveness.
Let's go back to the marriage illustration. Apart from God, nobody knows me as well as Sherrel. Early in our marriage, I tried to hide away my ugly parts, my weak parts. I wanted to look good to her. I didn't want to disappoint her. But as anyone who is married understands, sooner or later our entire human nature becomes exposed.
No more powerful words can be spoken to a man who has just exposed his ugliness… his weakness… no more empowering words can a man hear coming from his wife than the words: “I find no fault in you.” Oh, she can express these words in other ways, but however she says it… still comes out sounding like freedom. It is the sound of being forgiven—maybe, just maybe, the most powerful and empowering force on the planet.
The power of forgiveness increases with intimacy. Being forgiven by the person who barely knows you, doesn't have the same power as being forgiven by someone who knows you well. But being forgiven by the God who knows you completely is even more powerful.
When man says you are forgiven… well… man doesn't know everything about you. But when God says you are forgiven… amazing… knowing everything there is to know about you and He still calls you forgiven.
How is this even possible? We are so used to being rejected by other people for even exposing the smallest amount of weakness. How is it possible to expose everything to God and hear Him say: “I find no fault in you.”
Jesus made it possible. He made this all possible on the Cross.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV)
I encourage you to stop right now, or as soon as you can, and let God personally explain how it is possible for Him to find no fault in you. If you know it, sing the chorus of the old hymn, “Jesus Paid It All.” If you don't know it, listen to it on YouTube.
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
Just worship the Lord, and I believe He will show you exactly how it is possible for Him to find no fault in you.
Can you muster up the courage to trust God with “everything”? If so, it is necessary to bring out all the ugliness and weakness we try so desperately to hide, and deal with it.
Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah. (Acts 3:19–20 NLT)
Change your mind about all your ugliness and weakness. Don't try to hide it away from God. But rather, expose yourself entirely to God so He can wipe it all away. He is not interested in developing an intimate relationship with your behavior. He is interested in walking intimately with you.
This is called the love of Christ. Let His love control you. Let His love control you completely.
Either way, Christ's love controls us. Since we believe
Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old
died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer
for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was
So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.
The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people's sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:14–19 NLT)
When we carry around our guilt and shame, our self‐awareness becomes just like a closed door between us and God. Open the door and begin to unashamedly hand off every bit of guilt and shame you carry.
And as you unashamedly give it all to Him, you will hear Him say, “I find no fault in you.”
Have a good day,