I used to think that I was the one doing the changing and boy-oh-boy was there a lot to change about me. As soon as I thought I had a handle on one problem, another one was around the corner. Kinda exhausting. And I wanted to change, I wanted to be more like Jesus. He’s called us to be like Him: be holy for I am holy (1 Peter 1:16). But every time I tried, I’d fail, end up with my face in the dirt, full of shame. Unable to let go of the thoughts that would swirl in my head: I’m not good enough, no one loves me. Other Christians were specially gifted, naturally sweet, naturally good. I just wasn’t like them. One sweltering hot day in southern Ontario, not long after I had re-surrendered my life to Christ, I remember being in the office of the house I shared with my sister. In the corner, up high near the ceiling, she had hung a little white hammock and filled it full of cute stuffed animals. Some way, some how, those stuffed animals had all fallen out and were on the floor. I was trying to put them back. I had given up trying to arrange them; I just wanted them to stay in that drated hammock. But they would not. Down they would tumble again and again. Heat does nothing for my temper. It only took a few tumbles of soft, fluffy teddys and rabbits and I was cursing up a storm. I mean like a sailor. F-this, F-that, F-ing stuffed animals. I believe I actually jumped up and down on the hardwood floor in a rage and frustration that belied the simplicity of the situation. And then I said it: “I just can’t be a Christian!!” I was the most wretched of human beings, a miserable failure, the worst example of a Christian. Defeated. I can only imagine the hay-day the devil was having with me then. But as Joyce Meyer says, “I’m not where I want to be but thank God I’m not where I used to be!” How in the world did I get through that. How did I get from there to here. Certainly I am not making myself out to be a perfect shining example of a Christ follower but definitely far from that hot, stinking, cursing-at-stuffed-animals place.
What did I do that was so right, so good, to get me from there to here? Did I muster up enough strength; did I read enough Christian self-help books; did I pray hard enough; did I go to enough Bible studies or enough altar calls or enough church services; maybe I volunteered enough or gave enough tithes or offerings. None of those things would have mattered one sweet stuffed-monkey’s behind enough to change me. It didn’t matter what I did, I couldn’t bring about change in myself. And believe me, I tried. I tried hard many, many, many times. There was just nothing I could do, no prayer I could pray hard enough or long enough to convince God to change me. It was His heart, His overwhelming, overflowing, never changing, never ending, never giving up, rising-to-show-me-compassion heart of love that changed me. His heart is for me. And He foreknew me, He predestined me, before the beginning of time, He saw me and He loved me (Romans 8:29). I am made in His image (Genesis 1:27) and so inside my heart, my sin-filled, loathsome heart, He deposited His Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22) and it turns me toward Him. It gives me an ache and a longing for Him, to be with Him, to experience Him. Not His gifts, not His blessings, just Him. And the more I press in to Him, the more I seek Him. And the more I seek Him, the more I find Him. And the more I find Him, the more I find myself. The person He created me to be, becoming more and more myself. This is the freedom that God speaks about in His word: where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17). Freedom to be and to like myself, just where I am today. Knowing I will change, knowing I will go from glory to glory but still, in this imperfect day, able to love myself because I see the Saviour delighting in me. When He was on the cross, I was on His mind. Won’t you experience His freedom today. Lay down all you think you are, all you wish to become and ask Him to magnify your desire for more of Him. He will take care of the rest.
The More I Seek You – Kari Jobe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4crRPpqoW4
Comparing Yourself Is Useless: Love Life Conference 2013 – Joyce Meyer http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid2538956470001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAA_jYwFTE~,HOyl_CNat4ZI2zU_GYRZegY8hiVIrth0&bctid=2671047196001