The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom. —Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
I know it sounds too easy: Tell Jesus you sinned and know you’re forgiven.
I can tell you confidently that it wasn’t easy for Jesus.
And I know it sounds so simple to just reply to the condemnation of your conscience, and say, “Yes, I know what I did was wrong—I even know I was wrong. But Jesus has dealt with it. I’m resting in Him.”
It sounds so easy, but I assure you it wasn’t easy for Him.
This simplicity—this depending upon what Jesus has already done—is the Gospel, friends. We long for the power of the Gospel, but we struggle with its simplicity.
But what if you fulfilled your longing for freedom by asking Jesus to cleanse your conscience? Imagine a life free from guilt and shame!
Why? Why is this freedom so important in the life of a believer?
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! (Hebrews 9:14)
The two words so that tell us there is one huge purpose to having our consciences cleansed by Jesus. It is so we may serve the living God. The word serve comes from the Greek word latreuo, and it means to worship and enjoy the presence of the living God.
Jesus wants you free from sin and shame so you can enjoy God’s presence. Let me ask you: What in your history keeps you from experiencing intimacy with God? Whatever the answer, Jesus wants to set you free. Just ask Him.
Jesus, thank You for making this simple. I bask in Your unconditional acceptance and praise You for it! Allow this new life to affect all areas of living and loving. Amen.