Arise, my soul, arise; shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice in my behalf appears:
Before the throne my surety stands,
My name is written on His hands. (Charles Wesley)
Why do I often feel held by the bleakness of sin? Pressed down by the realities of life and unable to lift my shoulders from my despondent position to see the light above?
I am not (theologically) charismatic; I don’t believe my response to Christ and commitment to worship and awe of God come from my ability to claim physical blessing, or that our praise of Him has foundation in miraculous signs seen on earth. (Forgive the – perhaps generalized – summarization, my charismatic friends.) And yet, I love their uninhibited joy and celebration of life in Christ. Why is this sometimes missing in my life?
As reformed Christians we should have the strongest conviction to celebrate and rejoice. Our theological persuasion focuses on the full and complete decimation of our sin on the cross. All condemnation is fully GONE through absolutely no resolve of ours.
Constantly reminded of God’s law and our inability to please Him, this certainty should come as a physical weight lifted. Can we comprehend this? As far as the east is from the west… so far has he taken our sin from us. Like David in 2 Samuel 6:14-15, we should be singing and dancing in the streets.
Do we claim the life of freedom from guilt through grace… that Christ purchased and grants willingly? A life of forgiveness and grace, totally free from condemnation?
I am a sinner, programmed to feel the need to earn what I’m given. Unrepressed grace is so foreign to my darkened mind. It almost seems wrong. But it’s the truth of the gospel.
This truth challenges me to question. Do I live saying, ‘Arise my soul, arise – cast off your guilty fear?’ Do I allow my heart and mind to become despondent, looking at the wind and the waves, when I should see Christ and His salvation ever before me?
ARISE – rejoice daily in the reality of Christ’s amazing salvation.
Go in new life with Christ… Go, and be as the butterfly. (Jan Karon)