I have to say, God always amazes me. And this statement might seem kind of cliche when coming from someone who's trying to convey a message regarding God's love and mercy. It may almost seem like the right thing to say so that others can see how good of a person you are, just because you have this "love".
I can honestly tell you that my intention is not to be seen as a "good christian who's trying to show the world how put together I am". All the opposite is true in my case. I have always struggled with self-worth and specially if thinking about myself as a "born-again-christian".
You see, people - not God - label us by the way we act or react, the way we dress or speak, the way we do or don't do.
We forget that we can't and shouldn't be defined by others like us - imperfect people- because just like the bible says: None of us are good.
This includes any person alive or dead whom we have regarded as a role model to follow. There is no such thing.
We can't follow a human example that is full of failings and problems of their own, because they, themselves need to look up to a higher authority.
Why talk about this now? Well, I'll say it again: God is amazing at finding ways to meet us where we are, to make a way where there isn't a way. For me it's through movies. Yes, I know, shocking. Bear with me for just a little while.
God's sole desire is for us to be where He is and his only quest is to make that happen no matter what.
And He has the power and authority to make it happen. Now the question is: Do we want it? Do we listen to his whispers? Do we surrender our will and pride to him who can give us undescribable grace and love?
I do. I do surrender myself but my flesh (my earthly desires, my own expectations or other's) makes this really hard to do. But even with all that, all the baggage and all the failings, God pursue us unrelentingly. And this reminds me of the parable of the lost sheep.
I'm that one lost sheep he is trying to bring back to his flock. I have tried my own ways and I got lost, but my Shepherd, my Father, my Savior is looking for me. How can I turn away from his love?
This brings me back to my point about the movie. I can't explain how this happens but the only thing I can say is that it's so powerful, it makes me want to praise Him, and to write what I'm writing to you right now. It brings about this conviction of just how much God loves and cares for me.
The movie I just watched was based on Luke 10:30-37, The good Samaritan. In fact the movie is called: The unlikely good Samaritan. Even the title is given us a hint that appearances don't work with God.
As you can imagine in the movie, there was this little "perfect church" ( whatever that looks like) and everyone was good at pretending to be good "Christians". No problems, no addictions, nothing hidden.
And then, there was the contrasting character who was less than desirable: out of jail, new in town with different skin color.
See where this is going? Well, as you can imagine, the outsider got kicked out of church because "it wasn't the right fit for him". At this point I was even more convicted in my heart about all the times I have felt better than others, and this hurt a lot. This reminded me that God isn't like that with me, otherwise I would have been dismissed long ago.
It reminded me that we are really quick to judge when we can't even account for ourselves as an example of perfection. It reminded me that just like the Samaritan parable, the people who are supposed to be there to help you, are just there, ready to make an assumption and judge you based in whatever standard they have set for you (that can't -a lot of times- be even met by those who are the so-called judges) and the unlikely person, the one that you never regarded as just or deserving, was just the one that helped the forgotten and needy person on the side of the road.
It's a sad truth, that the people that we regard as good and just, are just like any of us, broken and in need, but just deceived about who they really are.
None of us is good. None. Read Romans 3:10-11 and if you want to really dig deep into what that unrighteousness really looks like, I dare you to continue reading until verse 18 here.
God is good all the time and his mercy is forever.
I just ask God for forgiveness, for ever judging anyone whom to my eyes wasn't good. I just want to be really awaken to the reality that every one of us is in need, and every one of us is in need of God's grace through his love and mercy, so that we, in return, can show it to others.
If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He May lift you up in due time.
Doesn’t the word humble automatically evokes a feeling of being less than anyone else? What do you really think this word means in the verse I have above?
Because I can tell you what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean to feel less than anyone else; that’s what the world and the dictionary would tell you, but it isn’t so.
We are so afraid to give even the slightest hint of weakness, because you know, everyone will come and trampled over you. That’s dangerous thinking. This verse is not talking about us humbling ourselves to others, but to do so before God, who is mighty and perfect. It means that we recognize his power and perfection against our inability to hold power ourselves.
And by acknowledging this truth we can understand our imperfect, sinful nature, incapable of saving ourselves. But by God’s Grace, we don’t have to even try. That’s an impossible task.
Let me repeat it: Saving ourselves is an impossible task.
How then, can we be saved? How can we be made whole?
Only by knowing and accepting that we don’t have the power that God has. By knowing that no matter how much we try, there’s no way that we can know what our future holds. The only one with the knowledge and power to know these and many unknown things to us, is God almighty.
The book of Job is one of those poignant and very real examples of God confronting men’s nature of entitlement and unfounded power. The portion below is a small example of the things we don’t know:
Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone -
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?
And if you want to continue reading Job chapter 38 through 40, you’re in for a ride that will surely humble you, in a very good way. You get a rare glimpse of God talking about himself and the things He has done, and the power that He holds; for in the end, Job can’t answer any of the questions God is asking and all he could say is this:
“I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?
Job realizes that he doesn’t know anything, nor he holds any power over anything and he realizes that there’s no comparison to God. He understood that the one who holds the power, also holds mercy; unending, beautiful mercy towards those of us who can recognize our nature, and our inability to save ourselves.
But here’s the good news: With this newfound knowledge we can accept the gift of grace that God offers us through his Son, Jesus Christ. We no longer have to feel alone, or to fight for ourselves, because we have our friend, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, ready to do the heavy lifting for us, and all we have to do is to trust in Him.
Isn’t this amazing? This is the greatest thing that God has given us: A way out, free and undeserved (that’s why it’s called grace) but oh so perfectly fulfilling.
And by having this friendship with our God, by understanding his Word, we will receive the outpouring of his love in every aspect of our life. Life will never be the same, life will come alive.
So, I encourage today to humble yourself before God and be ready to bask in his glorious presence, to accept the gift of redemption through Jesus and become an heir of his eternal kingdom.
Wishing a beautiful weekend!
p.s If you want to join me in a like-minded community, head on to my Instagram and let's be friends.
This past saturday I heard a guest speaker at church that moved my heart and actually helped me understand something that I have struggled with for a long time: The actual thought of ME being a worthy daughter of God.
I have always felt condemned and guilty that I could never be the better person that Jesus wants me to be. I always felt that because of all that I had done, or said or thought; God would be mad at me. I mostly felt guilty that I could never be the best I could be, not perfect, not the happiest and more positive person, not the most patient or the most eloquent… guilty for being upset with my daughters for not listening to me, for being stressed because I could barely have time to clean, cook, do homework, clean our home, take care of my shop (design new cards, take pictures, list more products, promote them online, process orders, etc)… At the end of each day I love my bed!
While everything that surround us may stress, upset and get us tired, God understands every single part of us and our imperfect nature and knows that even if we -with every good will in our being- try to be perfect for God; He knows that is impossible.
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
Writes about beauty in the little things around us and highlights of living a christian life.