Recently a friend saw how happy I am.
She suggested that my new husband, Bryan, saved me. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I was saved way before I met Bryan. My salvation came during very dark, lonely, agonizing days in my first marriage. Looking back, I know God allowed this dark time to be the means to an end. God wanted me to reach out to Him for His saving grace. Even after my salvation, I prayed hard and fervently for God to fix my marriage. But, God did not change my circumstances. Instead, He revealed to me that He’s with me in every storm I face.
To me, being saved means that when I die, I will go straight to Heaven.
I have no doubt that by receiving Jesus Christ as my savior, that my past sins (you don’t want to know) my present sins (just ask my kids) and future sins are fully forgiven.
Let me illustrate what I mean. In my younger years, I was one wild and crazy gal. My parents divorced when I was 5, setting the stage for a boundary-less wild-woman to get away with things that my very existence today proves that there is a God who saves!
I’ve shared some of it, but if you knew the details, you’d see I am in no way qualified for an entrance ticket to Heaven. However, somewhere along the way, I got the message that even though I am not a perfect person, and while I have done some rather horrifying things, that God created me, loves me, and desires to be with me. He desires a close relationship with me now and after I leave earth. He’s Holy. My experiences have made me unholy, to say the least.
Here’s what I believe God says to me in my own language, as I work out my salvation.
“Charlotte, I can see you try to be a good person but try as you might, you still miss the mark. True righteousness comes from within, not through actions. You can do all kinds of good acts, but they don’t hold up without Me as the source. I am definitely not the source if you haven’t asked Me to be.
With all the good you do, there is still sin in your heart and your actions. I desperately desire to be with you, but I cannot have sin in My presence. I know you will never get it perfect, I fashioned you as a human and only God is perfect. I have created a way to be close to you and it looks like this:
I am a triune God. I am a Father. I am also the Holy Spirit. I am equally the Son. You go to church and see Jesus on the cross, and you say all kinds of prayers, but you don’t understand how you are called to worship Me through Jesus.
I offered Myself, my Son, as compensation for your sin, and the sin of the world. Unless you believe and acknowledge My love for you in that way, you are still carrying the weight of your own sin and you are separate from Me. Furthermore, when you die, you will remain separated from Me.
However, if in your heart, you acknowledge that Jesus died on a cross in a brutal death for your sin and that Jesus is the human form of God, you are cleaned entirely, forever from your sin. No matter whether the sin occurred in the past, present, or future, you will receive salvation. I need you to believe how huge that sacrifice was for you. If you don’t acknowledge that, it is not your gift, nor are all the blessings that go along with it.
You can’t earn it, so don’t even try. It is a gift that is received only through your belief. Once you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit will dwell within you. The Spirit knows how to make the necessary adjustments to your life. Remember, you will never get it perfect. You will always need to rely on me. Most importantly, I will never let you down.
You’ve seen other people do atrocious things in the name of Christ. They judge and condemn others in my name. That’s not right. Please don’t shy away from Me because of them. Don’t count on your church to get it right as the church often judges wrong as well. I still love the church and you should too. I’m giving you grace. I’m equipping you to give grace to others, but you must first receive it.”
The people in our lives are a gift from God but, God is the only one who gives the gift of salvation.
Do you know God? You can ask God to save you through His Son, Jesus Christ. If you truly want salvation, pray this simple prayer.
“God, I recognize that I have not lived my life for You up until now. I have been living for myself, and that is wrong. I need You in my life; I want You in my life. I acknowledge the completed work of Your Son Jesus Christ in giving His life for me on the cross at Calvary, and I long to receive the forgiveness you have made freely available to me through this sacrifice. Come into my life now, Lord. Take up residence in my heart and be my king, my Lord, and my Savior. From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow You all the days of my life. Those days are in Your hands. I ask this in Jesus’ precious and holy name. Amen.”
“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
If you need someone to answer your questions, it would be a pleasure to do this deepest form of soul work with you. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be my honor.