The following quote convicted me yesterday at church. I can’t say it any better than this:
There is nothing standing between the sinner and his God. He has immediate and unimpeded access to the Savior. There is nothing to hinder. No sin can hold him back, because God offers justification to the ungodly. Nothing now stands between the sinner and God but the sinner’s “good works.” Nothing can keep him from Christ but his delusion that he does not need Him — that he has good works of his own that can satisfy God. If men will only be convinced that they have no righteousness that is not as filthy rags; if men will see that there is none that doeth good, no, not one; if men will see that all are shut up under sin — then there will be nothing to prevent their everlasting salvation. All they need is need. All they must have is nothing. All that is required is acknowledged guilt. Only confess your sins. But, alas, sinners cannot part with their “virtues.” They have none that are not imaginary, but they are real to them. So grace becomes unreal. The real grace of God they spurn in order to hold on to the illusory virtues of their own. Their eyes fixed on a mirage, they will not drink real water. They die of thirst with water all about them.
-John Gertsner (emphasis mine)
How often have I languished, wondering why God seemed to so distant? How often have I found it difficult to accept God’s grace? How often has it been impossible for me to show grace to others, all because I simply don’t understand it? All because I can’t get past my own imaginary righteousness. And all the while I am dying of thirst.