(The following blog entry is truly a “Come to Jesus” time. I am going to talk about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and even….dun dun duuuunnnn….the devil. I feel convicted to share recent occurrences in my spiritual walk, and blogs are all about being real, right? Here’s the real me. Enjoy!)
Matthew 6:19-21 (New International Version)
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
I’ve always found it difficult to spend quiet time with the Lord; I suddenly develop a severe case of attention deficit disorder and can’t possibly be bothered. How truly sad is that? My Creator longs for my attention, and He waits patiently for me as I entertain the things of this world that will eventually fade away.
I don’t envision an angry ruler, who sits up in a vast kingdom in the sky with his arms crossed in irritation or judgment. And I don’t believe that he intends for me to lose my interests in fashion, music, film, and writing…or even tattoos. I was his idea to begin with; I am the way I am because he thought it sounded like a great combination. All God asks is that I put aside myself and this world for a small portion of the day so that we can spend time together. He longs for me, and I’ve felt a weight building up in my soul which I realize now is a mutual longing for him.
I don’t recall a time in my life when I’ve felt disconnected from God. I talk to him daily, and I trust that my life and future are in his capable hands. Recently, though, he has blessed me with friends who lovingly hold me accountable. Because of this I am making honest attempts to be with the Lord….alone…quietly. I simply can’t sit down and start praying, though; I am easily distracted. So I’ve started taking walks. For some odd reason, movement allows me to focus in on just talking to him. Just plain conversation. Pouring out my heart and listening in return.
Here’s what I found out: I’ve been living with a HUGE spirit of condemnation. In a world where I can control so little, condemnation has inserted in me feelings of guilt and self-contempt for not being able to control them. Crazy, right?!? And beyond uncontrollable issues, condemnation lies to me and has me believing that I’m doing a terrible job at managing the things that I can…or theoretically can control. Weight, finances, relationships, and even spending time with the Lord.
Here’s what I had to relearn…and I’m still working on it. Those feelings are not from the Lord! It’s an ambush from the devil The Lord has no intention of making me feel like an out of control, worthless punk. He knows I’m not perfect, which is the whole reason Christ died on the cross to begin with. He wants me to be okay with not being perfect, and therefore, wants me to rely solely on his perfection, his perfect love, and his perfect forgiveness.
The devil would incapacitate me with guilt, while the Lord would empower me with Love, eternal Forgiveness, and WHOLE Acceptance. I am accepted as I am. I don’t need to be a certain weight, I don’t need to dress a certain way, and I don’t have to say and do the absolute right, perfect thing all the time to be worthy of healthy, life-giving relationships.
You may be thinking, “Whoa! Sarabeth is seriously messed up! How could she so easily adopt that mentality?”
Well, it’s easier and more insidious than you would think. Relying on the things of this world, which do not offer total acceptance and total forgiveness, can effortlessly persuade you to acquire some truly awful mindsets. And I didn’t even realize I was living with it per se. See, insidious! Thank goodness the Lord wants to root it out and replace it with peace.
Does this mean that life will be a breeze now that I’ve figured this out? Absolutely not. When the Lord gives you a goal, He doesn’t promise an effortless journey toward it. BUT, He does promise to make the journey with you. Life is hard and often not fun, but he would not have us despair or go it alone.
Matthew 11: 28-30
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Concluding thoughts: Nothing coherent other than God is Love and He wants to make my life and your life and everyone else’s life worth living. Free from persecution and false ideas of “perfection”.
Look, things are going to be hard, and nothing of this world can solve our problems or distract us from them forever. Not fashion. Not money. Not popularity. Not even the other imperfect people we love. And I am the guiltiest of the guilty when it comes to hunting for distractions. In return these distractions have given me unattainable, worthless goals, and these goals have resulted in pain, rejection, and condemnation.
My new goal: To make the Lord my goal. I keep writing. I keep advising. I keep my interests (i.e. SHOES!) But they are not my goals. They do not control me and my sense of self-worth.
I will have a good day because the Lord made it and gave it to me. No other reason could be better.
And guess what. I’ll have to remind myself all over again tomorrow! Thankfully, the Lord will be there to assist tomorrow…or even in the next five minutes.
So, am I alone in this or has the world also placed upon you goals and distractions that have led to something less than love and acceptance? The Lord would love to take those burdens from you…FOREVER. Talk to him about it, and if you want to talk to me, I could use some solidarity. Sarabeth.S.Lacy@gmail.com