I’ve always been “the glass is half full” type of girl. Positivity naturally runs through my veins and I tend to look through my rose colored lenses even when I read and interpret the Bible. It’s really easy for me to see the fun and beautiful parts of Christianity. In many ways, I’ve focused on these aspects because I grew up around the time when the Church shared more about what it was fighting against rather than what it was fighting for.
I’m now someone who enjoys focusing on and talking about how much God loves us, how He’s fighting for us and how He has a good purpose and amazing destiny for our lives and I still completely stand by every single one of those statements… I realize that there’s another side to all of these.
It’s easy to sway to extremes, but I’m finding that in truth there’s a tension that we must live in as Christians and Christ followers— between the beautiful parts and the self-sacrificial parts of Christianity. Both are true realities that create the tension of this divine and heavenly relationship in which we strive to live our lives on this earth.
This past season I’ve been reminded of the “harder” parts of faith and the difficult truths of my humanity within my relationship with God. While being secure in the knowledge that the Father is loving and has given everything for yours and my heart, He was also very serious about the cost of His relationship with us.
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” (Luke 9:42)
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46)
“Those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciple .” (Luke 14:33)
“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matthew 10:37)
We’re carnal creatures, so easily pleased, addicted to validation, created to have a source need for acceptance… but we find that in such carnal things— popularity, job titles, friends, significant others and even honorable things like church, ministry and sharing the Gospel…
We can do easily create a new source for ourselves, new idols of these things to feed on, claiming that they are things of God… When if we were really honest with ourselves, sometimes we do them because it makes us feel good, purposeful and validated.
Exposing the reality of our hearts that we would choose feeling good, being accepted and having a validated purpose at the expense of the most important relationship we have- our relationship with God.
I’ve really had to sit back and think about a lot of my desires, dreams and passions. I’m spending time praying on each of them and asking myself which of those dreams were ones that I created and asked God to come alongside of and which ones were God-breathed and ordained from the start.
It’s actually been really difficult, because you have to face the reality that though you may have had the best intensions, a good heart and a desire to do noble things but still be completely and totally off the destiny & purposes God actually has for your life. Then you have to decide if you would be willing to give it all up for something different, something you didn’t create for yourself…
Jesus is not just a friend that validates me and makes me feel good. He is also my Master and my Lord. This life truly isn’t about me, what makes me feel good, what I want, feeling comfortable or even feeling fulfilled. None of those false sources of security are worth the cost of violating the most important relationship.
More than ever I’m realizing the revelation that true connection to the Father is costly. I feel the weightiness right now as I reflect on these verses and type this… and though it’s costly, I know is the most fulfilling sacrifice and the weightiest decision I could ever make.