We gain a false idea of what our lives should look like by things like Social Media; newsfeeds built upon lies, a deceitful sense of worth that often has us saying, “I wish my life was that good,” when in reality those same people that we see living these incredible lives struggle just as much as we do and are by no means any more perfect than we are!
The only life that holds any true value as a pattern or an example of what our lives can and should be is the life of Jesus Christ! I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if Christ were walking the Earth and performing His ministry today, that He would not be caught up in Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and wishing that He had a life that good!
He understood that there will be pain, He came to heal it! He knows that there will be arguments, He came to free us from the anger we might experience in them! He knows that things might not always go the way that we want, but He came to become all that should want!
When we try to base our lives on what we see when we’re online, we are going to be disappointed! Every. Single. Time. On the other hand, however, when we base our lives on the love and the Word of God we will only see satisfaction and peace, we will experience joy and strength, and we will be full of power and courage because as long as we are seeking Him with an honest heart and with true intent then He is ALL of those things in us!
There is a pattern that was given to us, a way of life that fulfills us! There is a hope, and a purpose for our lives! There is value in us! We may have been unworthy before we knew Him, but He died on a cross to become our worth and then He rose again to set it in stone! That pattern, that example that we look to in other people by seeing what they post online is misleading and inaccurate! It is not anything that will stand the test of time, but God is! His Son is the example that we thrive by! Jesus Christ, the One Who came and suffered for us so that we do not have to, stands for us as the Way that we should go to see a life of joy and of peace!
I look at what I am facing right now, and it seems almost as though it can’t possibly be real.. I can’t really be going through this, can I? I have even cried, sobbed, and asked God, “Father, is this real? Is this really happening?”
I’m in a movie, or a dream, something separate from the reality that I have come to know and to love dearly..
I am the protagonist behind the wheel of a bus full of passengers, speeding out of control.. I am the man negotiating with himself to make the right move before leaping into space. I am the one whose life is flashing before his eyes in the last seconds before he decides to cut the red wire, or the blue; knowing that one wrong move could send me in a multitude of directions all at once, and in the blink of an eye..
Shaking myself, pinching myself, trying to scare myself awake; none of these work because, as much as it hurts, the truth is that I am not asleep. This is not just a bad dream.
How often do we find ourselves in a position like this, telling ourselves this very thing? Living as though we are at the end of our rope. Fearing that we are. We are not without hope! As long as we do not give up, and keep pressing forward we will make it through!
I understand that it may seem as though we are incapable of getting through it, that all of the odds may be stacked against us, that the pain may be almost unbearable; believe me, I do understand that, especially the latter! However, we don’t not have to be bound by our circumstances, because we serve a God that empowers us to bind them! He makes us able, and lifts us up, so that no matter what we face we can face it with courage because we know that He is Who sees us through!
I had an amazing experience with God yesterday, one that I will never forget! The experience was mind numbing; so extreme or intense as to prevent normal thought. I was caught up, and swept away by my God in a moment of absolute peace and clarity! I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt that He is there eagerly awaiting us to look to Him; ready to stand before us at a moment’s notice and defend us in our pain! I don’t need for anyone else to believe what happened yesterday, I only need to be grateful and work on myself accordingly! As long as we perform the work of our faith, He will uphold us!
It is because of that experience that I have peace! He asked me, as clear as I have ever heard anything before and with words that I was not even capable of thinking myself, “If you lose everything that love, would you still love Me?” I was taken aback — the breath left my lungs with a sudden ferocity in an intense moment of realization and awe — yes, I would.
I not only heard, but could feel the words pouring into me, “What is more important to you? To have anything, or everything you want in this world? Or to have Me?” I know, without any doubt at all, that I would lose everything, even my life just to have God! This was something that I needed to be certain of!
You see, we hear a lot of Christians say things like, “Well this is happening for a reason.” or that, “It’s God’s will,” when they face painful and seemingly insurmountable circumstances, but that is simply not true! God doesn’t cause us pain, or confusion! He doesn’t put us in circumstances that can damage us! He came to restore us, not to break us!
Granted, we will face such circumstances; more often than not though, they are of our own doing and have very little to do with God at all. Of course He will allow us to go through things, but He never puts us through those things Himself; rather, He waits patiently to see if we will choose Him in the midst of it! He watches, yearning for us to come to Him, aching for us to use the power that is His Son in us to overcome!
We say that we have faith, but when it comes time to move the mountain we trade in our faith for a bulldozer. We say that we believe, but when we are faced with a vast ocean we cling on to the boat out of fear rather than walking on the water.
We pray, and we ask that His will be done, but He showed us His will is to raise us up and for us to be “more than conquerors in Christ!” He told us what He wants for us; a life of power, victory, courage, obedience, prudence, wisdom and understanding, unwavering and unbreakable faith, and above all a life of absolute and unconditional love!
He doesn’t lead us into pain! He sent His only Son to die, so that we would be free from pain! Why would God ever lead us into anything He gave His Son’s life to free us from? We should not blame God, but we should look to God! We should not blame ourselves, we should trust in Him to see us through like He said that He would!
There is also, however, no good that comes from blaming ourselves! We cannot dwell on what we might have done to put us in the positions that we are in, but we should have faith and keep moving forward; never taking our eyes off of Him!
We shouldn’t condemn ourselves and hold on to guilt, because we have none! He forgave us! We need to learn to forgive ourselves!
I was listening to music last night, and doing research on some things that I am trying to gain a better understanding of — the specifics are for me, and those who are in this with me, alone to know so I will not go into detail — and as I was listening to this song I felt so much heartbreak for those I love who struggle to see past their guilt, and who find it difficult to forgive themselves! Who struggle with confusion, and fear and feel trapped in that state, with no escape; unsure of what to feel or do!
The song, You Are More by Tenth Avenue North, played and I sat there just taking it in for those I love who are struggling; “This is not about what you’ve done, but what’s been done for you! This is not about where you’ve been, but where your brokenness brings you to! This is not about what you feel, but what He felt to forgive you! What He felt to make you loved!”
I love those words! “This is NOT about what you feel, but what He felt to forgive you! What He felt to make you loved!” It is so powerful, so true, and so beautiful! We will find so much peace when we come to the understanding that our mistakes, our past, our fears, our worries and anxieties, our wrongs are of no effect because of what HE did for us! When we stop, and listen to who HE tells us we are, instead of who WE think that we are, we will see that we are more than those things!
We ARE more than our mistakes! We ARE more than the sum of every wrong that we have done! We ARE more than our fear! We ARE more than our worry! We ARE more than our inability to forgive ourselves, because the God of our Salvation has forgiven us; He has become our rescue, not only from sin and the world, but from ourselves!
What exactly has been done for us? The God Who created the heavens and the earth came, He was beaten beyond recognition and bled to death on a cross; which was a shameful death in that time, and HE has risen again so that WE can live a new life free from those things!
Where will you go? Where will your run if not into the arms of Christ, Who has given His life for you and has become life for you?
It isn’t about what we have done because He took our sin, our mistakes and fears, our pain and suffering; He took everything from us, literally EVERYTHING, and He put it on Himself so that it could ALL die on the cross with Him! He took it to the grave, and when He rose again He left it there!
We can get caught up in these things, but the beautiful truth that God wants us to know is that if we just stop and caught up in Him we will not suffer because of those things! He is the absence of those things, and He is in us so we are absent of them!
We should be really focusing on learning that, and on living in understanding of it! It is so much simpler to forgive ourselves when we have the understanding that He has done away with it! The God Who holds the world has forgiven you!
You will make it through this! You will be okay! There’s another song that comes to my mind that speaks loudly concerning this, Sparrows by Jason Gray, which says “If He can hold the world, He can hold this moment! Not a field or flower escapes His notice! Even the sparrow knows, He holds tomorrow!” Take those words in for a moment, let them really sink into you! The God Who holds the world is certainly more than capable of getting you through this, and of forgiving you for what you find it hard to forgive yourself!
Just stop! Be still! Clear out your head, and meditate on Him! Let yourself get rid of every thought that isn’t of God, and let thoughts of Him flood your mind! Get caught up in Him! Get lost in the moment with Him and experience Him in an intimacy that you haven’t before!
We should redirect the way that we think, and speak about ourselves from His Word and not our own!! The words that we speak have power, actual manifest-able power! We can speak words that either build us up, or break us down! We can speak life into ourselves, or condemnation! We can start a flame, or we can put it out! They have the ability to make us or break us in every circumstance that we face!
When we tell ourselves things like, “I can’t do this” or “I’m guilty of this, and I don’t feel like I can be forgiven,” and things like “I don’t know what to think, or do.” we put ourselves in a position of doubt, which is the opposite of faith!
You will be absolutely amazed by the effect that just changing the way you speak into yourself can absolutely alter your life! Instead of saying those things, say to yourself, “I can do this! I am more than a conqueror in Christ!” and “I am forgiven, and nothing I have done has any right to remain in me! Guilt has no place in me because Jesus has set me free!” or “I may be confused, but my God is not the author of confusion! He shows me where to go, to Him!”
When we begin to alter the way that we think and speak about ourselves and the situations that we are in, we will see a drastic change in the way that we perceive them; they’ll no longer seem daunting and scary, but they will become insignificant and even completely unnoticeable! When we put His Word at the forefront of our minds and begin to speak His truth into ourselves, His truth WILL burn through us like a wildfire and remove all of the doubt and the fear that had previously held us back!
There is power in the Word of God, and that power is manifested in us when we speak His truth into ourselves! It may take time, and practice and we may not get it right for the first while, but if we do not give up we will begin to see the change that He came to bring into our lives! He, God, our Creator and our Savior, promises us that it will!
He said that He would! Look to (ROMANS 12:2) which says this, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
God gives us assurance of this, that He WILL perform this in us and promises us that “You will seek Me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (JEREMIAH 29:13)
The Holy Spirit enters into us and urges us forward, He challenges us to try harder, gives us direction and guidance, becomes what makes the power and the love of God effective in us and through us! When we stop and let ourselves be made into a new person by changing the way that we think, we become at peace and we no longer look at anything as though it it is too much to handle! We will find purpose, and know what it is that God desires for us! We will understand what He wants us to do, and that He will stand with us in everything that we face!
We are not defined by our Social Media accounts, or by those of others; these are an avenue for people to make their life appear as something that it is not, and give us a sense of dread because ours do not look the same!
We can’t base our lives on the lives of others’ that we see online! We can’t form ideas of what our relationships should look like because of what those of others’ look like on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter! We can’t form opinions of ourselves because of what we see on a newsfeed! NONE of these things hold any value in giving an idea of how we should be, or what our lives and relationships should like like! They have no power to make any positive change or influence in our lives, instead they only show us the things that people aren’t afraid for us to see!
Where Christ is, though, there IS hope for our lives! When He becomes the thing that we want our lives, our love, our aspirations, and our opinions of ourselves to look like we will find that we have a much more stable example in Him than we do in anything else!
I hope, I pray my hardest, that the Spirit reveal this to you because it is so important to understand! Christ is the pattern by which we can live our lives fully and joyfully, and no thing we see online or in the world around us can sustain us the way that He can!
I love each of you, and I am grateful for the opportunity to share with you! Go with God and have a blessed Sunday, and week ahead!