There is a song that has been on my heart for over a year, and my passion for it has not wavered. There are intense and personal reasons why this song speaks so strongly to me, but I have realized this is a message that many believers should hear and declare over their lives to appropriately see themselves through the lens of God, and to live in the FREEDOM that God’s grace has afforded us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I’d like to share the lyrics and God-given insights that I have received.
Mercy (written by Amanda Cook and Stephany Gretzinger CCLI# 7051635)
My past embraced/my sins forgiven/I’m blameless in your sight/my history rewritten
You delight in showing mercy/mercy triumphs over judgement
Oh love, great love/fear cannot be found in you/and there will never be a day/
You’re uncertain of the ones you choose
So I will awake and spend my days loving the One who has raised me up
From death to life/from wrong to right/You’re making all things beautiful
My past embraced–Many of us have mistakes, flaws and failures in our past that have rocked us to the very core of who we thought we were. They are things we want to forget happened, and want to erase. I love, however, that they did not choose the word erase, but embrace. It’s the realization that whatever “that” thing is, it’s a part of your story, but that it’s been dealt with. At the moment you can accept and embrace your blemishes without shame is when God can begin using them for His Glory.
My sin forgiven–We need to be reminded that God forgives sin, but sometimes we are arrogant and refuse to accept it or to allow ourselves to be forgiven. In a desperate attempt to be penitent we refuse to release what Jesus bore on the cross once and for all so that we wouldn’t have to carry it. It is prideful to believe that MY particular sin is so heinous that even Jesus’s sacrifice wasn’t enough. It was enough. HE is enough. Let it go.
I’m blameless in Your sight–See yourself through God’s filter: In HIS sight you are blameless, even if your own vision of yourself is cloudy. The more you see yourself as God sees you, you’ll realize you are hidden in Christ Jesus and HIS identity becomes YOUR identity. Blameless.
My history rewritten–I think of the woman from John 8 who was caught in the act of adultery and was about to be stoned before Jesus intervened. We don’t actually know the end of her story, as we are simply left with Jesus saying to her, (paraphrased) “I don’t condemn you; go and sin no more.” We don’t know where she went from that moment, but Jesus radically rewrote her history, saving her from literal death. We won’t always escape the natural consequences from our actions but there are miraculous instances where God bestows great favor; completely unmerited and at his behest. This inspires gratitude of the highest degree.
You delight in showing mercy and mercy triumphs over judgement–This is straight up scripture. Micah 7:18 and James 2:13. It is truth and you can declare it over your life today.
Love, great love/fear cannot be found in you–1 John 4:18 (CEB) says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear expects punishment. The person who is afraid has not been made perfect in love.” If you are experiencing fear then you have not fully understood the potential of God’s perfect love. And it is perfect. And good. Jesus took your punishment…quit expecting it and focus your attention on the good plans He DOES have for you.
And there will never be a day when You’re uncertain of the ones You choose–From the foundations of time He knew you, He formed you in your mother’s womb, and has numbered the hairs on your head. There is nowhere you can run that the Lord doesn’t see you. You may think you’ve messed up royally, but God knows your heart and knows His plans for you. Again, it’s that pride thing that leads us to believe that one mistake too many negates your identity in Christ and that he might just decide you’re not up to His work. Newsflash: While you were still a sinner Christ died for you. He’s already seen your entire life played out, foolish choices and all and He STILL chose you for His purposes. He won’t leave you or forsake you, so don’t take yourself out of the game if the coach has every confidence of your position.
So I will awake and spend my days loving the one who has raised me up from death to life, from wrong to right, You’re making all things beautiful–I can think of no better response than to give our God an outpouring of genuine love, praise and thanksgiving in light of all the aforementioned lyrics. I also love that God’s action of “making” is present tense…I wasn’t made beautiful, I’m am presently being made beautiful. We can celebrate what God is doing in our lives right now, constantly purifying and refining us to make us look more like Him. His mercy is not just for our yesterday, but our today, and forever.
Last Thoughts: Your character is not defined or determined by your mistakes; rather it is your response to those mistakes by pressing into God and allowing him to handle your imperfections that sets your identity as a child of God. The enemy would have you believe you are the sum of your failures; stop focusing on what YOU did and focus on who HE is: A good and perfect God who delights in showing mercy.
Thank you, God, for sending your son Jesus to bear the burden of our transgressions so we could release them and live in the freedom of Your grace. Jesus, thank you for being obedient to your Father and laying down your life on the cross for the sins of the world. Holy Spirit, allow these truths to penetrate our hearts so that we don’t attempt to abort the work that God has for us out of shame, fear and regret. Repentance is what you seek from us, not reparation. We praise You for your mercy.