I would like to speak for myself, but I am pretty sure you have had the same feeling once in your life or multiple times like me. The feeling that makes you feel like you have not done enough to be qualified and hold the title of a christian. Or maybe that feeling that you are too broken for God to even take a second out of his time for you. If this sounds familiar to you, I have some good news for you! God is saying come as you are, flaws and all! There is no use hiding from God, he knows every little detail about you.
I believe society makes it harder for people to come as they are because we have set so many unreasonable standards that leave majority of the people out. Hence we live to perfect our lives on our own not realizing that we can not do this on our own, we need the help of God. The saying that says we are not perfect is true, but what is often left out is that we can be made perfect through Christ who is perfect (Matthew 5:48). Because society makes it hard for people to come as they are, people find it hard to come as they are to God. Truth is, we want to be perfect first before presenting ourselves because we fear judgement. I have heard people say that they can’t do the christian thing yet because their life is a mess, they say they will try it when they have their lives together. I get where they are coming from because I thought that too, that everything had to be perfect with me first, that I shouldn’t be dealing with shame, pain, confusion, bitterness or anger because it is not is christian thing to do, but boy was I wrong! There were so many examples of people in the bible that were not perfect and still went to God with their imperfections. King David is my primary example, as anointed as he was, he messed up, but he still ran to God even in his mess. He said he would rather be punished in the hands of God than man. He chose that option because he knew that God knew him in a way that man would never know him. So before you feel like you have messed up and feel unworthy be reminded that even mighty men and women of God have not always got it right, but they still ran to him.
I think it would be pointless for me to write this without talking about the story of the prodigal son because this will help you understand what I am trying to say to you. The story of the prodigal son is the classic Sunday school story that I really did not give much thought to as a kid because to be honest I was ready to eat some candy after the lesson. Now that I am older and have much greater sense of the word of God, this story is so profound that I could spend the whole day talking about it.
The prodigal son is clearly a “come as you are” example in all forms of context. The prodigal son thought he had his life figured out, like most of us, we think that we have things figured out and want to handle life based of our limited abilities. Also, the prodigal son prematurely received his inheritance and went as far away as he could from his father. We too have asked God for our inheritance prematurely and took matters into our own hands that evenly took us far away from God’s will over our lives. Just like the prodigal son, we made bad choices, we took for granted our inheritance, misused it and allowed the wrong people to influence us. Just like the prodigal son we were left with nothing, and were put in situations that were shameful and painful. We knew for sure that our father had wealth and that life humbled us. It humbled us enough to tell us to go back home, to go back to our father despite of our terrible mess and because we were so ashamed, we were willing to just be servants. So we head home as we are, in our rags, with our shame and our pain, and we are ready to be servants, but to our surprise we are welcomed. It is like our father has been waiting for us this whole time! Oh what joy we feel when we get back into the loving arms of our father. Luke 15:20 is a vivid picture of how God waits on us always!
Luke 15:20 (NIV)
So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
If you are waiting to get it right with God, you will always be waiting and missing out the royal treatment. You can never be ready for something, if you wait to be ready, you will never get it done. Life is too short for you to continue to live with shame, pain, anger, bitterness, worry, depression, you name it when you know God is a King. God would take all that away in an instant if you just come as you are and place it in his capable hands. No party is lit than a heavenly party when the prodigal sons make their way back home! No, you are not a slave to your past, yes you did mess up, but now that you have had enough, please pick up your crown and let us go party!