Today I had some Jesus time on the quad, with shade keeping me cool enough to quiet my mind and heart and focus on listening. Yet my voice interrupted with destructive, entangling roots of self-centered lies.
But God. Those timeless words ring true for me today. This is what He did, the opposite of what I was doing.
The breeze picked up, playing with the strands of hair around my face. A subtle reminder of His presence. With it came the Spirit’s challenge to lay down my concerns and convictions at the feet of Jesus.
Oh Jesus, thank you for being right here, right now, for challenging me to reject all the lies and deception that seek to chain me up in self-destructive thoughts, when you long & delight to build me up by your great love that says that I do not have to be good-enough, smart-enough, pretty-enough, loved-enough by mere humans, filled by others and a good-filler of others. All of that is loss, not gain. All of that is rubbish, not treasure. Daddy, help me to rest there. You are good enough to even extend goodness to me. You are the very radiance of our Father’s beauty and are loved so much by him that you pour those two attributes freely over us. In doing so, you fill us, such that we need nothing else. You heal & restore our temporary leaky-love cups by instead making our hearts your home forever. I believe this–oh help my unbelief which keeps me from entering and remaining in that precious rest. Thank you for demonstrating this rest for us all across you word, from creation to creation, this beautiful story of redemption, response, and rest.
See 2 Corinthians 5.
We are new! It seems unreal. The old has passed away, and you no longer consider, regard, remember, or count it against us. Wow. There is such sweet rest to be had here.
Why, then, am I still trying to earn it?
Why, then, am I still shrinking back into the wilderness?
My groanings long for something more, and because of Sin’s familiarity and my flesh’s fragility, my 1st inclination is to look back. 2nd? To look inward. 3rd? To look outward, to others. “Fill Me!” My flesh screams, forgetting the abundance found in Christ, the ever-filling, life-giving sustenance.
I cannot implore anyone to be reconciled to God until I myself am resting in that reconciliation that I have responded to by faith, the only response fitting to such a faithful display of redemption, drawn out of the depths of the worst of circumstances: a bloody Roman cross. How do my present, repressing circumstances stack up in comparison? Do I believe that he is able to work redemption out of its trenches as well?
And just as this reconciliation is to be worked outward horizontally, so the bulwark between my faith and the object of my faith affects all the spheres that I move in. In seeking my problem, I avoid God. In seeking myself, I avoid others. The breakdown of this ministry of reconciliation is found in my response to it each moment.
I fix my eyes on redemption,
A response to walk in the light of the truth, not in the darkness of my deception,
To rest in the land of promise even before the giants are vanquished.
Cease striving through the wilderness that I have freed you from.
Do not turn back to the chains and worthless labors.
Look ahead to the full redemption, and there find hope to live again,
Abundant and free,
Ambassadors of reconciliation,
Prototypes of resurrection–
Whose archetype will come for you.
I will not leave you alone.