God, the LORD, speaks:
I want love, not sacrifice,
Knowledge of God instead of burnt offerings.
Hosea 6, 6
One of the most common problems with us Christians is this: We do not know for sure whether we are really saved, and we do not know for sure whether God has really forgiven our sins.
This is because we approach God from the wrong side. We are religious and therefore we think we have to be perfect for Him to love us and forgive our sins. A second time the same sin, many Christians condemn themselves; this no longer fits in with their understanding of being a Christian. Failure!
The one who is religiously marked must perform, also in the religious sphere, in relation to God. Hence all the pious rituals and regulations. That is why so many make enormous efforts not to sin and to be a good man. But the source is precisely self-righteousness with which one wants to impress God.
And when you have put a lot of effort into it, then a little bad thought comes up, and all our efforts come crashing down again. The old man is still active in us …. What a disappointment.
Do you understand? A religious person will never be happy, will never believe that God loves him dearly. Because he unfortunately always makes small mistakes and condemns himself because of them. This is how Satan plays with us; some people call this: religious spirits that must be driven out.
If you want to know whether you also want to approach God from the wrong, lawful-religious side, and so please Him, then pay attention to how you react when you make a little mistake. And whether you must always make trouble and effort so that God is satisfied.
God wants another way. HE wants us to love Him and to let ourselves be loved by Him. Both belong together; one does not go without the other. Religious-legal people can hardly let themselves be loved by God.
So, if God does not want sacrifices, not even for forgiveness, then I may come as I am. And He loves me. And I love Him. Without this burden of sin and this feeling of failure. Then joy comes up. And then comes the certainty in our hearts: HE really loves me without conditions and accepted me as a child and forgave my sin and failure and defeated my death and the darkness around and in me. Hallelujah! – This is the work of the Holy Spirit in us: HE causes joy and certainty. We are good!
Thank You Jesus, You have opened the way to God. I don’t need to exert myself anymore and do everything right. Yes, thank You for forgiveness! Help me to live now as you like it and thank You for the Holy Spirit, who helps me!