Does God ask the impossible of us?
Dear Chaplain: I have a heart for the Lord and I’ve tried to live my life as a Christian because I really do want to do what’s right, but I keep finding myself falling back into my old ways and habits. I’ve done this see-saw so many times that now I’m beginning to wonder if it’s even possible to live a real Christian life. It makes me want to throw in the towel and give up. What’s the point in doing the right thing if the right thing is impossible to do? — Signed, Asking the Impossible
Dear Asking the Impossible: Thanks so much for your question and I do understand your desire to do what’s right, and your frustration when you fail.
Please understand that God isn’t looking for you to be perfect... that’s what he sent his son Jesus to earth to do, to be sinless, to do what you and I could not do in keeping all of his laws. Jesus was the only one who could keep them...and he is now on the other side in heaven, praying for us, advocating for us, and waiting for us to finish our course in life to lead us safely to our heavenly home, with him.
God is not looking for us to be perfect on our own accord. We could never accomplish that in the flesh, on earth. The only way we can accomplish perfection is if we are in Christ Jesus, who is the only one who is and was perfect. However, what God does desire from us is to have a relationship with him. He’s looking for us to open up our hearts to him. He’s looking for us to be totally honest with him, with how we feel, with what we desire, and all that we’re going through. And he wants us to have faith in him and to depend on him, when we’re doing what’s right and when we fail. (Proverbs 3:6 In ALL thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths).
If we’ve accepted Jesus in our hearts and we are the children of the most high God, he isn’t going to throw us away because we’re struggling to overcome some kind of sin. In fact, the closer we get to him the more we will learn his character, his voice, and his wisdom, so we can follow him and learn from him the root of our problems and be taught (sometimes through our many failures) and guided, and given strength to overcome our many struggles.
God isn’t a big man in the sky waiting to judge us according to how many sins we’ve committed, but rather he is a kind and loving father who wants us to believe on him like little children (Matthew. 18:24). Sin doesn’t prevent us from our ultimate destination, which is heaven. What prevents us going to heaven is the lack of faith in Jesus Christ who forgives us of all our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
If you believe in Jesus, but have not come into a personal relationship with him, try praying on a regular basis, read a little of the Bible daily, talk to the Lord as you would your best friend, and hang around people you know have the Holy Spirit (but may not be picture perfect), this will help you develop your personal relationship with the Lord.
I encourage you not to focus on the impossible, trying to do the right thing all the time. But rather look at each day as an adventure, an opportunity to learn all of the wonderful things God desires to show and teach you. Your days will not always be easy, but when you go to God just as you are, you’ll find him to be full of mercy and compassion, and willing to travel with you through an exciting Christian life that is well worth living!