Matt chandler once said, “God’s grace isn’t for the sin, its for the sinner”. He doesn’t say I love you so you can go on doing XYZ, instead He says-I love you, go and sin no more. Man. This may seem like a duh statement to you, but I needed to have that truth spoken over me. The truth is God hates, absolutely hates my sin-always has and always will, but He loves ME. He LOVES me. HE LOVES YOU! This profoundly changes EVERYTHING!
With that being said, up until about two months ago, my life was not even close to what I would have wanted or, to be honest, what I thought I deserved. I mean, I had been a “faithful” servant, I had loved on people, and always strived to live above reproach. From the outside in, I was doing all the right things for God…
After months of me being a bratty complaining two year old, because I felt God hadn’t kept up with his end of the deal (to basically make my life as perfectly as I had “earned”, smh) God, in His love and most beautiful grace, wrecked me.
I decided to listen to Kari Jobe’s new album and more specifically the song called “the Cause of Christ”. Though I had heard it before, this time I HEARD that song and I was entirely undone. It became so clear to me that I was living for MY cause, to build MY kingdom and MY name. Everything stopped or at least felt like it was in slow motion. I didn’t have the words, and I didn’t have the voice to even sing along.
Somewhere along the way it became all about me, what I wanted, what I didn’t want, what I planned and said. I had always known that my heart was prone to idolatry, but y’all, what I was seeing legit scared and wrecked me. I think for the first time in months, I was truly grieved by the fact that I wasn’t trusting God and that I had opted out of helping build his name to build my own. I had managed to climb onto the director’s chair and it was “the Sam show” and I had instead invited God to sit in the Audience. I thought giving Him the best seat in house was enough, that if He sat close enough, I could just look over every once in while to “check in”. But I was wrong. It wasn’t enough.
The final verse in that song says
“I pray it’s said about my life That I lived more to build Your name than mine”
Um, I’m sorry… what? cue the ugly cry. Even as I sit and type this out, I can’t help but tear up as I feel the love of God that brought me to the end of myself to reveal this to me. HE loves me this much, that despite my trading Him in for a counterfeit, He would call me back to Himself. It’s been such a humbling few weeks as God continues to show me the stuff that I’ve held on to and have put before Him.
I feel so fragile, almost as though any little thing will bring tears to my eyes. I had forgotten His goodness. His love feels so much more real than what my brain knows. I realize, for so long I hadn’t seen HIM. It’s almost as though I looked passed Him and trusted only what I had in the past known about Him and I reduced Him to just that. But God in HIS grace, wanted more for me. I know He does the same for you.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Cor. 3:18
God is about His glory and making His glory known. I can’t imagine why He would want to use someone like me to do that and why He would want to take the time to bring me back to Himself, but HE does and HE did. HE‘s the one who loves. HE‘s the one who forgives and redeems. This WHOLE thing is about HIM. I know we say this in our little Christian bubbles, but I’m reminded to let that sink in for a minute…
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another. Isaiah 48:10-11
The scary thing is, most of the things I’ve held as idols in my heart are good things like community, church, serving people, a future that honors God, etc… But, even good things in the wrong place can become bad things.
As always, if you’ve read this, know that I’ve prayed for you.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth! Psalms. 57:5