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On My Shoulders??

September 14, 2019

      Hi friends. Today, I am sharing about a truth I am still wading through. It is a truth that my mind has been exposed to but my heart doesn’t quite fully believe in yet. The truth I cannot control my own faith. For a long time, I thought I was in charge of my getting closer to God. I thought I would be the one who would draw His heart closer to mine. What an absurd notion for me to believe that I, a regular human being, could beckon the heart of the Creator of the universe. When I say it like it is, it sounds absolutely crazy to me that I believed I had that much power. But, in reality, if we are being honest with each other, don’t we all want that kind of power? Do we have tendency to live like we do? Personally, I lived under the disillusion that I could control my faith for a long time. Therefore, when I thought I was close to Christ, I felt satisfaction with myself and what I perceived to be my own efforts. On the other hand, when I felt distant from Christ, I was frustrated with myself and couldn’t shake a feeling of lostness and confusion about where I had gone or what I had done to feel that distance. In those moments, however, both good and bad, I did not see it with the clearness I do today, and if you are in the middle of a false sense of security in yourself and your own abilities, you might not either. I read a quote that a person who thinks they believe but doesn’t actually believe is in the most dangerous place in terms of faith and salvation. You see, the light is far more attractive to a completely lost person because it is quite contrasting to the darkness of his life, yet a person who believes he is walking in faith can’t distinguish between real light and the light they have disillusioned themselves into believing. This disillusionment is scary; it is derived from our most fatal yet innate human characteristic: pride. I struggle with this. I have a greater sense of my self and my abilities than is actually true. My pride is most obviously evident in each moment I have ever believed that I could fit God into some box in my life. I fit Him into the parts of my life I thought He should be and relied completely on myself for the parts I thought He didn’t need to be. Looking back now, in what I thought I was doing to allow myself more “freedom”, I was really restricting my freedom as the person God wanted me to become, the best form of myself. Let me repeat that for myself and maybe for you in other words: by trying to limit God’s role in our lives, we limit ourselves in becoming our greatest versions of ourselves. I am not saying I didn’t have faith and a real relationship before I found this liberating truth. Habits of faith are not self-dependency when they are held with open hands and reliant on God to bring meaning to them. Reading your Bible and journalling and going to church and having small groups and meaningful conversations about our world, relationships, pains, joys, and everything and all of it are not self-serving when surrendered to Jesus’s power over them. They are the very tools and ways through which Jesus can come into our hearts even more. In Proverbs 8:17, it says “I [Jesus] love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” So, PLEASE, seek Him. Seek Him in journalling and prayer and church and your daily lives; the Lord wants you to draw close to Him. All I am saying in this is simple: we tread into dangerous waters when we believe that we have complete power over our own salvation. The question lies in this: how we do disillusion ourselves? How do we peel the scales from our eyes to reveal our cave of pride and eliminate our blindness to our weaknesses? How do we begin that process? For me, it was the smallest decision. Not even an action or some big life-altering change. It was a simple declaration to God at the beginning of this summer that I was going to rely on Him big, in a way I had never had to before. I faced many situations this summer that were foreign, even uncomfortable, to me. My only choice was to give my words, thoughts, actions, and reactions to God and rely on Him to reveal whatever plan He had for me. My prayer was less full of fitting God into my agenda and for the first time, solely praying that He would fit me into His. I wanted to show His love to others, and outside of my comfort zone, I had to trust that He would reveal to me how I could do that. And right here, friends, is where I want to pause. To pause for a moment to say just how thankful I am that we serve a God who wants to use us in His agenda. He by no means ever has to but instead choose to include us. I am forever grateful. I want to leave you with hope in this. It is easy to fear our faith and to fear if we are doing or saying the right things to develop a stronger belief in Jesus. I lived in that fear for a long time, always questioning my faith because I thought I had to carry it on my shoulders. I was dragged down by carrying a “faith” on my shoulders that wasn’t true faith because true faith is NEVER carried on our own shoulders, for Jesus offers His hand to us, saying that His “yoke is easy” and His “burden is light.” When you release your daily walk and your every experience with open hands, you place yourself in a posture that allows Jesus to begin His real work in you. It becomes what can we do for Him, opposed to what He “should” do for us. We are closer to Christ’s heart more than ever when we stop disillusioning ourselves into thinking we have real power over our faith, thinking we can draw our hearts to Him. The freedom is found in realizing that He is the great drawer of hearts, and He is the great pursuer. The biggest sigh of relief follows our acknowledgement that we don’t have to carry our faith on our shoulders. In fact, we can’t; it is a bit crazy to think we could. Jesus flips our thinking on its head. He flips our self-reliancy on its head. He flips the whole world on its head. To be clear, I am SO far from figuring this out. It is going to take a long time to make the habit of open hands my first instinct. It is a daily surrender I have to make to go against 17 years of relying on myself before I relied on God. But, man, am I so grateful to be a part of God’s story that offers such freedom, a freedom to be used in His pursuit of love and a freedom to be transformed into the best version of myself. I pray the whole world finds this freedom. I pray each of you finds this freedom. Because when you even get the tiniest taste of it, you will never be able to turn back.

          With love,


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