Yesterday, my friends and I were sitting in our Young Adults group. All of us have had a relationship with Jesus for a while. It would be true to say that we have a great understanding of the pillars of the Gospel of Christ. We would willingly and passionately proclaim that God sees us as spotless and blameless. We can and do quote scripture verse after scripture verse giving evidence to our sins being paid for in full. We know and teach that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1-2 ) and yet here’s a picture of what happened last night.
“When you’ve failed and given into temptation and you’re in the midst of the sin (pornography, sex, drugs, gossip, slander, dishonesty, vulgarity ect) what does God see when He looks at you?”
Our answer, even though we memorized the truth, collectively was silence. Not a single one of us, when caught in the middle of sin, actually believe that God sees us a precious, spotless, perfect and holy. NOT ONE. Why?
Simple answer–shame. We feel shame and assume that we are judged. We believe, in fear, that God somehow sees us as unlovable now.
This week God gave me a word. It’s too good to keep to myself. You see, I’ve painted him with a brush that still has old paint in it. I’ve stained my relationship with God by measuring His love for me through the way I’ve been loved (or not loved) by others. Here’s what God said to me , and says to you:
“Child, I am not them. I will not let you down. I will not hurt you or be malicious to you. I will love you in the deep places of your heart if you will just let me in.” –The Father.
In that moment, God spoke to all of my underlying insecurities. When others let me down, I blamed God. When other people hurt me, I blamed God. When people were malicious, I assumed that some how God didn’t love me enough to stop them from their assaults. I built walls and rules to keep the would be assailants out, and in doing so kept God’s love far from my heart.
And you know what? I am exhausted. I am lonely. I am ready for change.
Recently, a passage of scripture in particular is in the forefront of my mind.
Mark 9:20-24New International Version (NIV)
20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-24559A" data-link="(A)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-24562B" data-link="(B)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
That’s me right there! “I do believe” but at the same time “I sort of don’t“. What’s the response??? “Lord, help me in my unbelief!” This man, and myself, WANT to believe God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do. All we need is to believe. It really is that simple. I believe that God is helping my in my unbelief by giving me chances to practice trusting Him regardless of the outcome. I am noticing a shift in the way I perceive unwelcome events in my life. Before, I felt picked on, I felt like a victim that no one really cared about. Now, I can see God polishing off the rough edges and looking out for my best interests.
Everyday I admit to Jesus “I believe, help my unbelief” and He takes me by the hand and helps me forward.
** I’d like to add, if you would like to join my support network and help me in this journey of radical obedience http://www.gofundme.com/cherylfolland
follow this link to donate and share. Every little bit helps. **