“For his unfailing love toward those who fear Him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west”— Psalm103:11-12 (NLT).
If you’ve ever omitted an important ingredient in a recipe, the resulting taste is different. Or, if you’ve accidentally added too much of one ingredient, you can tell the difference in the flavor and texture of the end product. If you’ve done much cooking, then I bet you know what I’m talking about.
It’s true, when we become new creatures in Christ, our sins are forgiven and removed “as far from us as the east is from the west.” However, if we want to remain free of our sins, our past failures; and if we want to grow in our spiritual walk with God, we have to follow the recipe He has outlined in His Word. This recipe includes reading and studying the Bible, meditating on scripture, spending time alone with Him in prayer and listening for that still, small voice for guidance and reassurance. We also need to be part of a church family that encourages us and stands beside us during tough times.
Like flour is the basic ingredient in most baked goods, there is a primary ingredient that has been secured by our Heavenly Father. It was and is His unfailing love for the world. He sacrificed His only Son so that we might be reconciled to Him and have eternal life. Leave out, or dismiss the importance of this ingredient, and you will not embrace the fullness of a life free of sin. Just like a cake without flour (which comes out of the oven a flat mess), a new life without the continual presence of the redemptive sacrifice of God’s Son will always fall short.
In a devotional titled “The Process of Healing” by author Christine Caine, she talks about her painful past of abuse, rejection, betrayal, shame, guilt and fear. Says Caine, “Obviously, I had accumulated baggage over the years, but when I became a Christian, I had no idea I needed to deal with it. I embraced my new life with passion and enthusiasm, choosing to forget those things that were behind me, and pressing forward to those things that were ahead” (see Phil. 3:13).
While our cabinets may not be filled with the same wrong ingredients as Caine’s, I believe most of us can relate to her situation. Learning to live a life without condemnation, reproach and pain starts with replacing the wrong ingredients with the right ones. God promised He would forget and remove the guilt and shame of past pain and rejection. As Christians, we have to accept His forgiveness.
If we want to experience the fullness of freedom in Christ, we have to quit baking life’s cake with the wrong ingredients. Instead of listening to the voices of despair, we must embrace the voice that says we’ve been forgiven. We’ve been set free. We belong to a loving Father.
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