“It wasn’t until I watched Him change my heart, my life, and my marriage that my eyes were opened to His love for me…” (Read part 1 here.)
Let me explain… At some point in my life amidst the heartache of living in a fallen sinful world, I decided I could protect myself, love myself, and govern myself better than anyone, especially God.
The pain I experienced in my life lead me to believe God had allowed it instead of the sin in my life causing it. And if God had allowed it then what else would He allow? And if everyone around me is hurting me then I’m the only one who can protect myself. Because you see, I know what is better for me than God, I must.
In my heart, it went something like this, I know what His word says about sin but I can control my fleshly desires, I know what I can handle. Or did I? The minute I began to disobey, I was saying God’s word is not truth. Obviously, some parts were, He died and rose again, but those other parts about abiding in Him and obeying His commandments, those could be bent and manipulated around my desires.
It all goes back to the original sin, thinking God was holding out on me. I know what is better for me than He does. He doesn’t know how badly I need…”fill in the blank”.
All too soon the lies took root and I had no idea who I was or what God thought of me, let alone what His love felt like. I felt numb, numb to mostly the good in my life, but the pain, the pain was still very much a part of my every day.
Sin has a way of tying you in a knot, the more you fulfill it the worse you feel, so you keep spiraling downward. It took me a few years of pushing against God, running from Him, asking why, kicking and screaming before I hit bottom.
It was that moment when you look around and have no idea how your life became what it is. I thought things like…
“This wasn’t supposed to be me!”
“I was raised better.”
“I knew better.”
“I should have controlled this better.”
Except you can’t, I couldn’t. I had tried everything in my power to fix my life, and I had torn it to shreds. It took bottom for me to surrender my pride and accept that not only is God’s word 100% true, His commandments are for my benefit and protection.
“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
The Bible is either all true or all lies. It cannot be both, it never contradicts itself. I had a choice to make, believe it all or deny it all. Obey Him 100% and rest in His love, protected and renewed, or let my heart deceive me into thinking 90% was good enough.
During the running from Him and wallowing in sin, He showed me the enormity of His love. How He had perfectly orchestrated so many variables to all come together for a purpose in His perfect timing. He showed me where my sin takes me when I try to do it on my own, and if I allow Him what He can accomplish in me through His love.
His grace had saved me, again.
The beauty of God being my only hope was His character; He is always faithful even when we run. I desired to build a relationship with Him, to be relentless in my pursuit of who He is, and who I am in him. Regardless of the outcome, if I lost everything I held dear, would I still follow my Lord and Savior? Was He enough for me?
His word promises in James 4:7-8, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” He desires for us to know Him because in His word we find out how to love ourselves and those around us.
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12
He commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves, but we saw in the book of Matthew that we can only do that once we love ourselves.
I challenge you to relentlessly pursue a deeper knowledge of Christ, His love, His grace, His thoughts and plans for you. When our daily life is offered to Him, His glory is manifested in what we do no matter how mundane it may seem.
Obedience is not denying the difficulty or pain we experience, it’s saying in spite of it that we will believe God at His word and continue to love and accept His love.
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42
It was because of Jesus’ love that He was able to be obedient and as we learn about God’s love for us we can love Him, ourselves, and our neighbors in the same manner.
Are you willing to love God sacrificially? Is He enough for you? Is there anything in the world that is more valuable than a relationship with our Father? We are here on this earth for a designated amount of time, and in the span of eternity, He chose this century for you to live, to make His name known and to show His love to the lost. What else is more important?
About the Author:
“Worshiper of Jesus. Married to my best friend. Registered Nurse. Amateur gardener. Outdoor enthusiast. Lover of books, coffee, and writing. Dog mom.”