I'd like to change my life and get rid of some of my bad habits, but I can't seem to make much progress. Maybe I need God to help me. Or does He expect us to clean up our lives on our own before He'll have anything to do with us? — J.S.
No, God doesn't turn His back on us or refuse to have anything to do with us until after we've cleaned up our lives. He knows how weak we are and welcomes us and receives us just as we are -- because He loves us and wants to help us.
Think of it this way. When you are sick, does the doctor tell you he won't see you until you're healed? No, of course not. Your doctor is there to help you, and accepts you just as you are in order to diagnose your problem and find the right treatment. As Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick" (Luke 5:31).
The same is true with God. We are sick spiritually -- and that sickness is what the Bible calls sin. Like a crippling disease, sin has invaded our souls and separated us from God -- and our greatest need is to have our sins forgiven and cleansed. We can't do that on our own, no matter how hard we try. Only God can take away our sins and help us become what we should be, by the power of His Spirit working within us.
How does this happen? It happens only as we turn to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness we need, and ask Him to come into our lives as our Lord and Savior. Let God begin to change you, by turning your life over to Christ today.