January 29, 2015
I’ve had something heavy on my heart this past week. I am writing this today because I realize that there are a lot of people out there reading my bible study blog that do not know me personally. They may also only read one or two blogs here and there which may only portray a small facet of who I am and what I believe.
I am writing this today after much contemplation and prayer. I have taken this to God not just daily but almost hourly and have refrained from writing anything about this in an effort to hear from Him, be comforted and corrected by Him if necessary. And if you know me and you know my heart you know just how important these are to me.
I may share this particular writing several times in an effort to reach as many people as possible who follow my writings. It is of the upmost importance that everyone who knows me or is just beginning to know me reads what I am going to write. So I apologize ahead of time if you feel I am cluttering your FB feed.
Perfection is not an adjective I could ever use in describing who I am. I know this acutely. But there were many years in my life that I strived for that very thing, never reaching it and only feeling even further away than when I began.
That pursuit followed every area of my life including my spiritual life. I had a yearning desire for the Father and to follow Him – perfectly. I studied to show myself approved. I went to church. I prayed. I even fasted just to the letter of how it instructs us to in the bible. I lived like that for almost 40 years.
If one little thing went wrong in my life I was seeking where I might have erred. It had to be my fault that this, whatever it was, was happening. I had failed in some way or this would not be happening. I lived in constant concern of messing up because I did not want to disappoint my precious Father and therefore causing Him to remove His protection, care, provision, and possibly even love from me.
For years upon years I DID all the right things. I checked all the boxes and kept what I felt were the rules of modern day Christianity. I did this because I loved Father God dearly!
Then several years ago even though I was very content to live in this very modern legalistic way, or so I thought, there was something missing. I began to seek God in a new and earnest way like never before. Almost immediately He began to reveal things to me in and through His word, preachers and teachers that began to set me free like I had never felt before.
In an effort to keep this at a reasonable length I am going to try and simplify and summarize what I can easily fill a thousand pages with. In my effort to condense, please don’t think I am over-simplifying a topic that deserves extensive discussion.
Father God began to reveal to me His lavish love. Yes I always knew He loved me, but once He began to give me a deep revelation about how deep and powerful His love for me was it changed my life. I no longer had to make sure I was loving Him. I then loved Him with a passion I had never known before. I didn’t just love the things of God; I love Him dearly and completely.
Fear of doing the wrong thing and the pursuit of perfection left almost immediately. It was quite scary. They had been my constant companions and I wasn’t sure I knew how to live without them. What if I ‘broke the rules’?
I’ve known for decades that Jesus died so that we could be covenant partners with Him. It is a give and take system that says all I have is yours and all you have is mine. But a give and take system requires movement on both sides. Giving and taking are verbs. So there are things in this partnership that are required of us as well as of God.
Before, I had sought to follow all the rules that I felt were part of my end of the bargain, my end of keeping covenant. Now as I became more and more free in Him I began to realize that the deeper into His love you go, into that perfect love that cannot fail, willingness and obedience are not something I had to make sure I was doing. They were just there, front and center.
Immersed in that kind of love, your heart is so willing that you would follow Him to the end of the universe and back again. Your desire for obedience is just present and you are always willing.
Do I ever falter and make mistakes? You bet I do. But rather than beat myself up over it and get in fear that I’ve derailed my end of the covenant, I remember that in the depths of His love He knows my heart.
He knows I had no desire to mess up. He knows I had no desire to falter. So I talk to Him about it and together we move forward. Some may call that repentance and forgiveness. With the Father I call that relationship.
And that is truly what this is all about. This is true covenant relationship. There is a place of deep abiding relationship where there is no fear other than reverence and awe that this divine majesty would stoop down to pick you and I up and love us.
He loved us with a lavish love so deep and desired so intensely to enter into a covenant relationship with us, even if it meant that we would never love Him in return. He was willing to do all that He could do to redeem us and redeem a chance at having relationship with us again, even if we never loved Him back.
And He waits patiently for us, not to love Him, but for us to acknowledge, accept and come to the full revelation of the depths of His love for us. Because He knows once we come to that place we might, just might love Him back in a deep and relational way.
When you are totally in love with someone you seek to please them without even giving it thought. Your heart yearns for them. It yearns to please them, and the things of the world just fade away.
My heart understands a little more each and every day the depths of His love for me, for us. And each day the things of this world fade further and further away for my heart is only for Him. Once we get that, really get that, we will trust Him; we will be willing and obedient. We will choose the narrow gate that He asks us to enter to follow Him. Once we get it, really get it, sin will have absolutely no power over us. And even though we may and probably will sin from time to time, it will have no hold on us.
When I was praying what to write about in regards to all of this, and even whether to write about all of this, an old hymn rose up within me, and it says so much. When we turn our eyes, hearts, minds, and all that we are to perceive the lavish love of the Father, the things of earth WILL grow strangely dim and we will know freedom, true freedom. And once free we will go forth powerfully to gather in those that have not yet known the depths of His love and sacrifice for them.
Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus | Helen H. Lemmel
Based on Hebrew 12:2
- O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
- Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conqu’rors we are!
- His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
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