As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. -1 Peter 1:14 (HCSB)
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. -Psalm 103:12 (KJV)
I was driving home one evening, minding my own business, when I saw a BMW exiting a drugstore parking lot–at street speeds–right into my lane! I saw him coming, so I swerved and gave a warning honk of my horn. What happened next was predictable here in my town: the driver followed me for a while, uncomfortably close.
As I was nearing my home, I knew I shouldn’t go directly home, so I pulled onto a side street to see what the driver would do. I had a toolbox in my car, and with my pulse racing, I already knew I would grab a tool from it if I needed to defend myself.
Thankfully, the driver tore around me and sped away. What God mercifully did there was spare us from far worse circumstances that could have transpired.
I used to be like a lot like that driver, thinking that everyone was just in my way to where I needed to go. And if someone inconvenienced me, I’d make sure they knew it. I dangerously raced others like me on crowded streets, and the escalation of adrenaline and testosterone was addictive. It was also very, very poisonous to the should.
I thank God for extinguishing that in me when I came to Jesus, and I can see now that Satan was trying to tempt me back to a darker, more selfish time in my life. God mercifully gave me the grace to not escalate or contribute to the beginnings of a decades-old street confrontation.
When you give way to the old embers and vestiges of you and let them rise up, you’ll know it. You may even have serious consequences resulting from your stumble. And if you do, there will be ones who are just waiting for that will tell you, “Aha! You haven’t changed at all!” But don’t believe it. Sanctification is a lifelong process, where we’re purified every moment of every day.
Thank you, Jesus!
Casting Crown’s “East to West” reminds us of the bottomless love and grace of God, far beyond any missteps we take.