Nakedly Ourselves

What most of us do in our spiritual walk with Jesus is that we enter into salvation, enjoying the forgiveness and assurance of eternal life, and then immediately proceed to try harder to do better at managing our compulsion and sin. We work harder at scheduling spiritual disciplines, we develop coping strategies to stay more busy with good things so that we're distracted enough not to think about bad things, and we come up with management tricks that tamp down our temptations. This only works for so long until we inevitably face the reality we cannot master the management of anything. The only thing we can do is present ourselves, in all of our good, bad and ugliness to the God who died to make it safe for us to be nakedly our real selves in His presence and by so doing, be changed. Dallas Willard describes it this way. "He (Jesus) calls us to him to impart himself to us. He does not call us to do what he did, but to be as he was, permeated with love. Then the doing of what he did and said becomes the natural expression of who we are in him." Here's the note I wrote in the margin of my copy of Willard's book - "Christ did not die to merely manage sin, He died to create a place for us to regain intimacy with God." Our intimacy and connection to God is what transform us, not our capacity to try harder to do better to manage our sin!