When I was around 8 years old, I was sitting in a Sunday morning service just like all the Sundays before. As a young kid, I was typically bored. I’m not sure what led to my train of thought at that time as I honestly wasn’t paying any attention to the sermon. However, God asked me a question that has stuck with me. This question has gnawed at me from the back of my mind for over 25 years now.
“Do you think it’s possible to be so lost is Jesus’ love that you don’t sin anymore?”
I had a thought of being literally lost with no way out, surrounded by Jesus and his love.
As I think about it now, this was quite a deep bit of theology to lay on an 8 year old.
At that time, I really had no reference to know yea or nae, however, it did make me pay a little more attention during services from that point on. According to the pastors and teachers, the answer was a resounding “no!” In some way this depressed me as I felt God was teasing me with an impossibility. I felt as though a lifelong devotion of rule following was the path that would lead me to conquer my sin and just maybe catch a glimpse of that type of relationship.
This, however, did not work.
As I grew older, I figured it was possible, just not in this life. To that God seemed to reply “really?”
This sent me on another path of deep spiritual questioning. In a way, it’s almost funny now how God could turn my entire world upside down with a simple question or even with a one word reply.
What if Jesus really did what the Bible says? What if he really removed sin by paying the price in full for it? What if we’re the ones who insist that we have to overcome our sin on our terms. What if it really is that simple (yet oh so hard) to just stand with Jesus, to be lost in Jesus, forever away from sin? What if the Kingdom he brought is already here, in this life, (John 4:23-24, Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:15) and we are free to enter and live in it—not free to sin, but free from sin. Could we, would we, dare to…..hope……that grace is really that powerful? Are there some who would try to stand in the way of those trying to enter (Matthew 23:14)?
As I strive to know Jesus more, as I hear his voice more clearly, as I learn about the words he spoke that religion often ignores, circumvents, or manipulates, and as I start to hope to believe he really did pay the price, I look to that 8 year old kid and begin to humbly, hesitantly consider that…..maybe…..just maybe…..the answer could be…..