rebelling against low expectations

Come As You Are


Do you ever find yourself retreating into yourself around your friends, watching everything you say, and only putting out what you feel will be accepted by them?

Are you depressingly aware of your shortcomings and afraid to let go of your public persona?

Are you afraid to let yourself be known fully?

With Christ, we can be completely ourselves.

In fact, He commands us to.

The God Who tells us, “Come to Me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28) is the same God who comforts us with the promise, “Whoever comes to Me I will never cast out” (John 6:37).

God doesn’t want us to play games with Him, to act more holy than we are, or to put on a stiff upper lip when we are drowning under the weight of our sin, our disappointments, or our heartaches.

He is the Author of Truth, and He wants us to come to Him as we are in genuine vulnerability about our sins and our weaknesses. To allow Him to convict, grow, redeem, and sanctify every area of our hearts, souls, and minds.

Come to Him with Your Sin

We are incapable of living perfect, holy lives.

Paul reminds us that our sinfulness is not unique to us: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24).

Every one of us is a sinner who has rebelled against God’s just and righteous rule in our lives.

We deserve nothing short of an eternity in Hell for our rebellion and hatred towards our perfect, good, and holy Creator.

No one knows this more deeply than Christ Himself, for it was His blood and agony that was required to pay the propitiation for our unholiness.

Yet, He still chose to save and redeem us.

Do you still fear that the One who gave His own life as a ransom for yours, who exchanged His blood and suffered broken communion with the Father in your stead, will break off His love for you when you show Him the darkest places of your soul?

Christ was the propitiation for every single sin of yours: the sins you are aware of and the sins you will never truly understand until you see Him face to face; the sins of your past, present, and yet future; the sins committed in an unregenerate state and those committed after your salvation.

He who paid for each sin knows them all, and there is no weakness, no sin, and no failure that will still cause Him to turn away from you.

If you are His, you are His wholly, and nothing can tear you away.

We are truly “justified by His grace as a gift” (Romans 3:24) and rather than being hesitant to share our greatest sins and deepest failures with Him, we should rejoice in the fact that our justification and salvation is a gift from Him.

Come to Him with Your Weakness

However, we still fail so often.

As Paul Washer poignantly summarized this life-long struggle, “When people truly love the Lord…always inside there’s this conflict because they know their failure, they know their apathy, they know their two-steps-forward and three-steps-back, they know their struggles, they know their disloyalty.”

This knowledge of our moral weakness can sometimes be overwhelming, but this is why we must come to Him.

Christ didn’t come to save people capable of pursuing Him and living a holy life: rather He came for the weak, the helpless, and the depraved.

As Paul reminds us, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly,” (Romans 5:6).

While we were weak and incapable of pursuing Christ, while we were still in dogmatic rebellion towards Him, and while we were intent on our subversion of His rule and reign, He died for us: “But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

If we are truly Christ’s, our sins have been paid for in full.

We are new creations in Him, and no past sin, or present guilt, or future failure can undo His atoning work on the cross.

When we are “heavy laden” with our guilt, we can come to Him for He promises to “give [us] rest” (Matthew 11:28-30).

He is “gentle and lowly in heart” and He knows our struggles better than we do.

He calls us to come to Him, to “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me.”

It is when we come to Him that we learn of our sinfulness, His forgiveness, and how to live a life of obedience to Him; and in Him we find the strength to bear His yoke of obedience and fight against the grip of sin in our lives.

Who better is there for us to learn how to be holy than from the Holy One Himself?

Who better is there for us to learn how to be holy than from the Holy One Himself? Share on X

Our sin grieves Him, and it should grieve us too, but rather than pointing our focus inward to our own lack of strength and insufficiency, our weaknesses and failures should point us to the cross and Christ’s death and resurrection on our behalf.

Come to Him to be Changed

The knowledge of Christ’s infinite grace and eternal forgiveness is by no means a free pass on sin: in contrast, understanding His undeserving grace shown towards us should increasingly prompt us to live our lives wholeheartedly in the pursuit of a life that is pleasing and honoring to Him.

We should struggle with the sins and temptations that try to entrap us, fight them with every fiber of our being, and if need be, remove whatever hinders our sanctification.

We cannot play with sin and expect it to not detrimentally affect our walk with Christ.

As Charles Spurgeon poignantly put it, “If Christ has died for me, I cannot trifle with the evil that killed my best Friend.”

Christ is our best Friend and the one who will never leave us.

We should never permit ourselves to enjoy and flirt with the sins that necessitated His agonizing death on our behalf.

Our lives should be characterized by gratitude to Him and a joyful appreciation of all the beautiful, good gifts He has given to us.

A heart that is close to Christ will be less drawn to the temptations offered by the world and our sinful flesh.

The more we see Christ’s holiness and beauty, the more we see the ugliness and transientness of all that grieves His heart and breaks our precious communion with Him.

Christ welcomes us to come as we are, but He never promised we could stay as we are.

Once redeemed by Christ, our lives will never look the same: when we truly are touched by His forgiveness, when we get a glimpse of His character, and when we understand personally our depravity and His incomprehensible gift of salvation extended to us, we will never remain unchanged.

A true Christian is a growing Christian.

There will be many backsteps, many failures, and many blind spots in our lives as children of God, but a true Christian cannot remain addicted to and delighting in the rebellion that necessitated the shedding of his best Friend’s blood.

Christ welcomes us to come as we are, but He never promised we could stay as we are. Share on X

Come as You Are

Jesus does not wait until we are perfect before He calls us to salvation: He calls us to come as we are.

We will never attain the holiness needed to have a right standing before God, and there is ironically immense comfort in this fact.

Since we did nothing to earn our salvation, the reality is that once we are truly saved there is nothing we can do to undo that salvation.

A true Christian will flee from sin.

However, it is inevitable that we will all fail sometimes; when we fall into sin, as genuine believers, we will quickly repent, seek Christ’s forgiveness, and rely on the strength of the Holy Spirit to increase our desire for holiness.

A ‘confession’ of Christianity means nothing when not proven by a lifestyle that glorifies Christ and seeks to live worthy of the call to salvation.

However, perfection is not the standard by which we are admitted into Christ’s presence: His grace is for us during the failures, the weakness, the doubts, and the temptations.

It is in Him that we are made righteous, by His blood that we are cleansed, and by His strength that we are sanctified and made more Christ-like.

So, live in the knowledge that once you are Christ’s, nothing can separate you from Him.

As Romans 5:1-4 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

We are justified by faith, not by works.

We have peace with God through Jesus Christ, not through our deserving of it.

We stand by the power of God’s grace, not by our own strength of will.

We are welcomed into God’s presence and adopted by Him, not because anything we do can make us worthy, but because Christ has chosen and redeemed us.

Rest in the knowledge that salvation is by faith in Christ alone, and by His mercy and grace alone.

He calls you to come as you are, to trust in His power to sanctify you, and to surrender your doubts into His merciful hands.

Charles Spurgeon clearly explained that “The nearer a man lives to God, the more intensely has he to mourn over his own evil heart.”

It is right that we grow more sensitive to our sinful nature, but this sensitivity, rather than increasing our fear, should increase our joy and awe at being forgiven and loved by such a perfect and holy God.

Allow your grief over your evil heart to push you closer to Christ and make more real and beautiful the reality of His undeserved grace shown in salvation.

Come to Him unreservedly; come in the failures and the victories; come humbly and willing to be changed; but most importantly, come as you are.

Come to Him.

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About the author

Holly Baines

is a writer/blogger from New Zealand. As an aspiring journalist and born-again Christian, she seeks to challenge people's ideas, actions, preconceptions, and beliefs with the truth. Holly loves composing music, reading great books, writing articles, editing (yep weirdo), studying doctrine, and hanging out with friends and family. She is the second oldest of 9 kids, British (and therefore totally doesn't understand sarcasm), and a proud P. K. (pastor's kid). Subscribe to her blog


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rebelling against low expectations

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