My church is doing a series called Profile and we are digging into what it means to be his disciples and bear much fruit. These are just some of my reflections after our connection group discussed the last sermon and after some reading I did on my own.
So I'm sitting in a circle with my sisters in Christ talking about how unqualified we think we are to be disciples and I'm thinking about this incredible lie Satan has convinced sooo many women into feeling, including me. He has told us, and we have believed it, that whatever our sins are and whatever our motives are, they aren't from God.
Who's report will we believe? A God who says we will do greater things than Jesus, John 14:12. One who says he had written his law on our hearts, Jeremiah 31:33. One who says we are 100% justified and righteous forever and ever just by saying I believe, Romans 5:1. One who says he rejoices over me with singing, Zephaniah 3:17. One who says the battle is his, the battle is won, 2 Chronicles 20:15 if he is for me than who can be against me, Romans 8:31. One who sent His only son to the world to die, for me, John 3:16. Why is it so hard for me to believe this? My identity must be built on shaky ground.
If we feel scared about sharing this unfailing love, what does that mean? Who are we fearing? Who are we believing? The word written on our hearts should make us feel, as Jennie Allen says in her book Restless, "empowered, convicted. encouraged, and peaceful." If we aren't feeling this way about our faith (and sharing our faith) we need to take this lie to God and plead the blood of Jesus cover it and wash us clean. He has made all things beautiful. We get to be a part of that but Satan has us on the sidelines analyzing, worrying, paralyzed, not active. It was several months ago at the If Gathering that I realized I was not in this game. That I had a cloud of witnesses cheering me on like Paul, John, Esther, & Mary and I was not participating because of ME.
How can we believe? I suppose it is memorizing the truth to dismiss the lies. Being vulnerable and showing how God has taken the yuck and made it beautiful. Humbling ourselves and giving people the opportunities to see the makeover God is doing on us. The continual sanctification. I need to respond. I need to become like a child dependent on my Father.
I heard a quote that we can check to see if we are prideful or relying on ourselves too much if we wake up in the morning and start it without seeking our God first. Phew, convicted. I think of my daughters who count on me to make them big bowls of oatmeal first thing in the morning; we need spiritual food. I think about picking out their clothes and dressing them to prepare them to leave our little haven for the day; we need to put on our armor. I think about how my daughter will ask me, "what are we doing today?" We need to consult God about our schedules. It would be crazy to think they could do all of it on their own. Why am I not depending on God each and every start to the day? I am opening myself up to defeat and schemes. But maybe even more importantly, I am giving myself way too much credit.
I suspect that is where the fear of being unqualified comes in because I know my shortcomings and that puts a horrific amount of pressure on my pride and performance. The Lord has assigned to each his role and it has nothing to do with us (1 Corinthians 3:5). We are being used by the Holy Spirit and THAT should grant us unspeakable peace when it comes to talking to others.
His Power Is Made P E R F E C T in My Weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Paul says we should boast in that, not worry about what others will think about it. That is when the real work begins when others can see our transformation.
I get nervous talking in front of people; Praise be to God. I'm awkward; Praise be to God. I can be too serious and overwhelming; Praise be to God. I am struggling; Praise be to God.
Use me Lord. Let me rest. You qualify me and nothing else. I am a missionary and your amazing grace is all I need.
I also heard this sermon on Moody radio today that hits a home run on the topic.