Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Who Shall Separate Us from the Love of Christ? (Romans 8:35)

My capturing of Romans 8:35, written May 15, 2011:

In other words: Who shall I allow to separate me from the love I have from and for the Lord Jesus Christ?

In other words: Whose opinion of me, interpretation of me, definition, estimation, analysis of me will I allow to separate me from His opinion, interpretation, definition, estimation of me?

And in the spirit of humility and inventory, I see that THAT is exactly what I've been doing, and I am filled with the desire to cry out to Him, with tears (just as the father did in Mark 9) and beg Him to forgive me and accept my imperfect trust/faith/believe in His words to me, of His testimony of me.

I pray for His forgiveness and it is given before I can finish asking, and I marvel at that. I say to Him, "Dearest Lord God--beloved Savior, holy Jesus--I am humbled and pierced through to my heart and with tears I cry out to Thee and pray for Thy mercy and forgiveness. And before I can even finish the thought, much less the words, I find the reason already gone. I come to the end of the sentence and already find no reason--as if it wasn't necessary. Please, Lord, I am certainly not trying to assume or pretend that I am in no need of forgiveness. I know that I am in need of Thy mercy and Thy patience and thus, Thy forgiveness, always."

And I perceived (heard with my spiritual ears--D&C 136:32) Him answer me, "Colleen, and just as often--always--you live in a state of forgiveness, of mercy, of grace. All it takes to bring it to your consciousness is your faith in My word, in My love for you."

And I replied, "Then it is true what some teach, that we are already in a state of redemption because of Your goodness and mercy toward us?"

And I perceived Him answer me, "Yes, it is true. It is true that everything that any of you do that is done in childish ignorance, due to spiritual immaturity is already forgiven. That is what is testified of in these words: Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me. (Mosiah 26:30)

And in the eyes of my understanding, I seemed to see this truth: That the difference between the exact same act being considered a "sin" or considered a "transgression" is the degree of spiritual maturity of the person doing the act. How foolishly (childishly) are they making the choice or how maturely (knowing God and doing the act anyway, not out of foolish weakness, but out of deliberate choice)? This isn't a matter of me "knowing better" (having been told by someone not to choose as I did). This difference between my choice being a sin or being a transgression is how much do I desire in my heart to be one of those Christ can refer to as "my people." If I desire to be one of His--as Mosiah 5 puts it, "a son or daughter" of Christ--and I do the act compulsively, (i.e. foolishly, childishly), then it is a transgression, not a sin. It is the act of a weak and still stumbling child, and in His longsuffering and patience toward me He forgives it, even I would forgive a toddler's stumbles and falls.

Thus, I have come to know Him (His character) and to know by His own testimony to me that no one else's opinion of me (faith in me) matters more than His faith in me--which He has an infinite degree of. So, whose opinion of me, whose faith or lack of faith in me, will I choose to mean more to me than His?

I pray to continue to progress towards being able to answer that question firmly: No one shall separate me from the love Christ has expressed toward me nor from the love I have awakened to for Him. In His love for and faith in me, I am held firm, and in my love for and faith in Him, I am secure, sufficient, safe, and sane.

And I pray that my periods of forgetting to cleave unto Him as He desires to cleave unto me (Jacob 6:5) will grow shorter and fewer as I practice having this degree, His degree, of forgiveness (instantaneous) and faith in me.

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