the gospel of grace & the sustaining love of God

I have been in an incredibly sweet season with the Lord.  2015 brought with it a new season and in it, my heart is being affirmed by Christ’s love in a way I haven’t experienced in a long time, if ever. His love is steadfast. I know this.  But you know, sometimes we just don’t feel it.  Y’all I am feeling it this season.  I am surrounded by chaos and humanity and just overall craziness, but man… His love is steadfast.

One of my favorite things about this season is my new morning routine with Jesus.  Granted, I’m about to share something pretty sacred with y’all… so please remove your sandals and join me.  It’s sacred to me and to put something as sacred out for the world to see is a pretty scary thing. Nonetheless, He will hold whether you think I’m a silly child or not.

At the very end of 2014, I posed a very very important question before God.  It’s extremely elementary and you’ll probably giggle a little when you see what the question is.  But, it was a question I’d never settled in my heart.  I knew the right answer based on years of Church-going and Bible Study hosting.  But if I were to be honest, it never settled because the soil of my heart had roots growing in it that didn’t allow for the seed of His identity to really take root.  Does that make sense, y’all? I knew the right answer to the question but I couldn’t believe the truth because my heart was filled with lies that told me otherwise.  Nonetheless, I asked God…

Who do You say that I am?

It was an identity crisis.  I belonged to God but I consistently felt like I had to earn my way into His arms.  I wasn’t confident in His specific love for me, so I wavered between religious activity and paralyzing fear.  Speaking of which, quick rabbit trail… Did you know religion is based in a spirit of fear?  Let that simmer for a bit and if you want, we’ll talk about it later.  Anyway, back to my identity crisis.  So, after some time in praying of uprooting those lies, throwing them far far away, I was ready to receive God’s truth, of who He said I was… Even if that meant He’d call me a Pharisee (hey, the thought was there, so I might as well be honest).  What He showed me was probably life changing.

He showed up, in His glorious, beautiful, majestic Self (excuse me while I gush over this God that literally has me captivated).  And He was holding a scroll.  And in the scroll were all the names and all the aspects of my identity He’d been longing to share with me.  But here’s the thing.  He wasn’t somber or poised, if you will.  He was shouting and dancing and rejoicing and all He kept saying was just how proud He was of me.  He wasn’t saying it, He was shouting it.  It was a glorious exchange in which I received, probably for the first time in a long time, truth about who He says I am. I brought absolutely nothing to the table other than an overflowing heart that gushed with love at His declaration.

Fast forward to today.  January 14th.  Every day my Father has shared with me who He says I am.  And every day, who He says I am through His Son has sustained me through every obstacle I have faced.  Joy has been tangible even though the year has kicked off to a bucket of trials and a whole lot of humanity.  But y’all, He is legit when He declares His love over me and over you.  Like, legit.

His love for me sustains me because I know He is trustworthy. What I’ve learned is that He has already fulfilled every promise He’s ever made me, and that makes Him trustworthy. So, when He says He loves me, I can take it to the bank, cash it, spend it and know I am well cared for.  Every day, my Father in Heaven has told me He’s proud of me.  I’m not talking about a still small voice y’all, I’m talking a thunderous declaration that He is proud of me. I have done nothing to earn that kind of affection.  If anything, my heart has seen some of its darkest places just recently.  But He is proud of me.  Even in the middle of my humanity and muckiness.

This is what I came to tell y’all… This is the message that resonated in my heart tonight.

Jesus isn’t intimated by your humanity.  He isn’t afraid of it or disappointed with it.  Frankly, He could care less about it.  His sacrifice and victory on Calvary already kicked your humanity’s butt and He knows He’s already won you.  So don’t hesitate to run into Him and receive His grace and mercy. Your success in Christ isn’t measured by your exterior actions.  It is rooted deeply in your heart and only He can overcome your humanity.  So don’t be afraid to chuck it at Him and allow Him to do with it what He will. When you do… the glorious and beautiful picture He paints is beyond our wildest imaginations! 

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