Well, here I am. Finally sitting down to write even though I’ve been itching to for weeks. Getting started is the hardest part. I need to sit down and set a timer and just write nonsense everyday. That might get me into a groove of writing regularly. It’s good for my soul, and even more than that, I feel called to do it.
Hearing people say things like “I feel called to write” usually makes me judgey. It sounds arrogant to me. I think, “Why do you think anyone cares about what you have to say?”
I also think that of myself when I feel the urge to write. Who cares what I have to say?
If that doesn’t sound like the voice of the enemy, I don’t know what does. He’s called our accuser. He accuses us of being not enough and entirely too much.
When the whispers come that say, “Who do you think you are?” or “If only you were more _____” or “You need to try harder” or “You are too much for others to handle” or “You need to tone down who you are because it makes people uncomfortable” we should automatically realize that is the voice of our enemy. The one HELL BENT on our misery and destruction.
The voice of The One who loves us is always speaking grace and mercy and love.
There is therefore NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
My yoke is easy and my burden is light.
The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take GREAT DELIGHT in you; He will quiet you with his love, He will REJOICE OVER YOU with singing.
Those are words of life and rest.
Those are words I must still be struggling to truly believe.
My ear is too often tuned to the voice of my accuser rather than the voice of my Good Shepherd.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
Since I was a young girl, I’ve heard these verses. I can recite them from memory. They are familiar and comforting.
But are they changing my life? Are they renewing my mind?
Am I truly believing them?
Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.
I believe this progression to be true.
Our beliefs determine our destiny. Or in plainer words, they determine our lives.
If we say we believe something but it isn’t radically affecting the way we think and live our lives, then do we really, truly believe it?
I argue no.
If I believe in a holy God who is good and sovereign and promises to make all things right for all eternity and who sent part of Himself to earth to pay the ultimate price for my wickedness so that He could wash me clean with mercy, then shouldn’t that affect the way I LIVE?
It should, and honestly it does.
But I still find myself going through seasons of grasping.
Of tuning out the voice of my Good Shepherd who speaks Truth and Life to me and tuning instead to the voice of my flesh or my enemy.
This causes me to grasp for comfort and satisfaction and mind-numbing entertainment.
It causes me to want, no, need that family party to be fun and special and warm and fuzzy.
It causes me to drink another glass of beer and eat one more helping of dinner and a rich dessert, looking to satiate an ache, not in my belly, but in my spirit.
It causes me to camp out on the couch and lose myself in a TV show to vicariously experience the family and friend and neighbor experiences that I long for, but don’t have.
It causes me to make craft after craft after craft, scratching not my itch for creativity, but for wholeness. An itch that was set into my heart by my Creator, the One I should seek first.
It causes me to become irrationally angry that my camera was on the wrong setting and the christmas tree picking family pictures didn’t turn out. It causes me to be deeply upset that I don’t have the perfect shot of my perfect-looking family smiling happily doing the perfectly Chirstmassy thing of choosing the perfect tree.
I know better and yet I still grasp. I go to all of those other things instead of to my Heavenly Father.
Then, I beat myself up for knowing better and not doing the right thing in spite of my ambivalence.
Again, the enemy pushes us down and kicks us when we get there.
Not once is God giving me the side eye while I grasp and grasp to have my needs met. Not once is He whispering that I better straighten up and fly right.
As my beloved Marijo says, “God is not standing at the corner of punishment and control. God is at the corner of mercy and restoration.”
He longs to soak us in a warm bath of mercy and to restore us. To transform us with His love!
Talk about good news.
The good news isn’t “Believe in Jesus or go to hell.”
There’s so much more. God is inviting us to wake up to His truth and to soak in His Mercy and to be transformed.
He’s inviting us to His grand feast.
Inside the love of God, the party is happening. It’s all around, but we find ourselves dwelling on stupid crap. The party is not in us.
We need to remember that we are loved, forgiven, and restored. We don’t earn the presence of God by our good behavior; self-righteousness cannot live in the presence of God.
Lord, please continue to humble me. Help me to KNOW that I cannot earn your good gifts. Help me to understand that I’m already completely known and perfectly loved.
I believe Lord, help my unbelief.