While I listened to Maximus by King James today, a cover of the old hymn Just As I Am moved me in an amazing way. As I listened to this metal'd up, bluesy, version of a classic hymn, I could not help but ponder the vast greatness of God vs. my seemingly insignificant place in the universe and God's infinite and personal love for me. I felt incredibly minuscule and overwhelmed by love at the same time. Just as I am - this is how God wants me to come to Him. In all my weakness, in all my fear and in all my inadequacies, God loves me.
I do not need to clean up my act in order to come to God and accept Christ's love and sacrifice, nor do you. The clean up comes after I submit myself to His will through faith in the cross. The clean up is not by my might, nor by my power, but by God's Spirit. Zechariah 4:6 Then he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. This is an amazing promise. This is liberating. This is something I can grasp and understand.
In the song Just As I Am, the call is simply as it sounds, come as you are. This means God wants you and your personality. God wants to change destructive practices and attitudes but He does not want to give you a spiritual lobotomy. Each person experiences life in such a way that life shapes us. Our genetics coupled with our environment serve to make us who we are. Each is unique in style and substance. God wants to use you, not some watered down generic version of you.
One of the biggest traps we fall into is trying to conform to what others think we should be or look like, rather than what God thinks. God will reveal the changes that are necessary, and yes, there will be changes in behavior and attitudes as God draws you toward holiness in the sanctification process. Change is a partnership between you and the Holy Spirit.
Won't you join me as I stand before the living God, just as I am, recognizing I have nothing to offer but what He has given me and allow Him to transform you, from who you are to what He wants you to be?
Check out legendary guitarist Rex Carroll and King James on this moving rendition you probably never heard before: