January 19; Come As You Are

It stood out to me today that God changed Abram’s name to Abraham before he was circumcised. Abram had gotten Hagar pregnant with the mistaken idea God needed a little help fulfilling His promise. Abram did what he thought was right, but it was sin.

Then God changed his name. But Abraham’s name wasn’t the only thing changed.

Hasn’t today’s Church adopted the “come as you are” mantra to a fault? Not just in church attire, but behavior inside and outside the church, too. It’s gone to such an extreme that the word “sin” is left out of some sermons, and in some fellowships sin is ignored or promoted in the name of tolerance and love.

When Abram met God, he fell on his face, a sign of humility and worship. He got up with the name Abraham, and that same day obeyed God and was circumcised. No, of course he didn’t become perfect after the name change. He questioned God seconds later. A work in progress, Abraham progressed.

Friend, if Abram was circumcised before the name change, I’d tell you to clean up your act before going to Jesus. I’d tell you to quit smoking and drinking, to quit being mean to your neighbor, to start telling the truth and be faithful to your wife. I’d say you’d better start going to church, and quit using God’s name as a punctuation mark, then ask God to save you.

But, I’m not going to tell you any of that.

Go to God today, just as you are right now smelling of smoke and hung over, caught in a lie, or in the middle of an affair with your husband’s best friend. Go to God with your doubts and fears and scars and tears. Fall on your face before Him and ask Him to forgive you. He will.

But let me warn you; if you do, it can change your life. It can make you want to obey, even in the difficult things. (I have to believe being circumcised at 99 was a difficult thing. But the new and improved Abraham obeyed.)

Even if you’ve already asked Jesus to be your Savior at some time in your life, but find yourself chained to a sin today, go to him bound. Ask Him to forgive you and break those chains.

If you go to God today, if you confess your sin, if you repent you will receive His forgiveness. That’s His promise to all of us. It’s not make yourself a better person, clean yourself up, then repent. It’s ask, and receive.

Ask, and receive.

Come to God just as you are, but don’t stay that way. Let Him change you into the person you and He both want you to be.

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