So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” (Galatians 3:11)
Read: Isaiah 25:1 – 28:13, Galatians 3:10-22, Psalm 61:1-8, Proverbs 23:17-18
Relate: Maybe it is because I am almost never on twitter and do my best to ignore hashtags that appear on other forms of social media. Perhaps it is because I’m living in a foreign country and am rarely on the internet except when I’m writing. Perhaps it is just because I am clueless. If you’ve known about this for a while, please don’t laugh at me. If you haven’t, feel free to pretend you’ve known for a while so that you can be just as cool as your teenage kids are.
What I am talking about is the hashtag “goals”. Apparently it has been a popular hashtag for a while and I am only now noticing the bitter irony with which it is used. For example, someone might post a photo of a scantily clad model of the opposite sex and include “#relationshipgoals”. Or they might post an image of an incredibly muscular (or ridiculously thin) model of someone of the same sex along with “#bodygoals”. Maybe they might picture someone sipping wine on the patio of their mansion with their luxury car and an incredible skyline in the background with “#lifegoals”. The word goals is being used with bitter irony. It is being used as thinly veiled jealousy of things the poster never truly hopes to attain.
Well, I might be late in getting into the act, but here you go:
React: If you want to change it to #religiousgoals or #spiritualgoals or even #obediencegoals feel free. The fact remains, the list is a pipe dream. It is an unattainable achievement. Each and every one of these, each and every one of us have broken over and over again. The standard God requires is perfection on all ten points, for every moment of each day of our lives. Anything less is sin. Any sin separates us from His presence and that, more than any metaphysical place in some potential future, is what hell is. In our own attempt, through our own effort, attaining and maintaining God’s standard of holiness is far more impossible than me having that incredibly trim and muscular body with washboard abs, while sipping Cabernet Sauvignon, with my supermodel wife, on the back patio of my billion dollar mansion, built on the island I own in the Caribbean.
Fortunately, I don’t even need to try. All I need to do is surrender because, as Paul continues:
Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:13-14)
Jesus is the only one, among the tens of billions living current and past, who has been able to keep God’s perfect standard of holiness. Now He offers us to take His righteousness on ourselves as He has already taken the punishment of our failure.
God, I am so grateful for Your mercy. I deserve separation from You. I deserve hell. I have rebelled against You over and over again through my sin. But Your mercy keeps me from receiving the punishment I deserve. Thank You. Thank You also for Your grace. You are holy and I am so… not. But You have voluntarily offered to cover me with Your holiness. I am so undeserving. Thank You, God, for this beautiful exchange.