I’m not even sorry for putting songs from Rend Collective’s new album on two blog posts in a row.
As is probably evident by my recent blog posts concerning my inner circumstances instead of my outward circumstances, God has definitely been moving my heart to a better understanding of Him on this trip. So this may be redundant. Or not. We’ll see.
[Yes, this is another picture-less heart-post]
As of late, He is currently in the process of teaching me how to live forgiven and in bold confidence of that justification.
Most typically, people who meet me seem to think I wouldn’t have an issue with being boldly confident. And in relation to my dreams and opinions and aspirations, I would tend to agree. I live with the idea that the world can be changed and that it has been changed by various people before, so why shouldn’t God use me in big ways too? But when it comes down to Kristin at present, stripped of her big dreams and plans, with just who I have been and who I am now, I am riddled with insecurities, like most of us. As I have mentioned before, I am acutely aware of my faults and flaws more than anyone, and I know that I don’t spend time with God like I should. As such, I have a problem with living in negative self-talk and self-imposed condemnation.
Yesterday morning as I was eating breakfast I was reading through my daily devotional on my iPod [insert shameless plug for the YouVersion app here] and I came upon a passage that I saw differently than I’ve ever seen it before. I put it here:
“In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,[b]
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub and flew;
he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him
hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.
The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice,
hailstones and coals of fire.
And he sent out his arrows and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
He sent from on high, he took me;
he drew me out of many waters.
He rescued me from my strong enemy
and from those who hated me,
for they were too mighty for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a broad place;
he rescued me, because he delighted in me.”
This time reading it, it was paraphrased in my mind, message-style, into “I called upon the God of the universe out of distress and despair. Not only did He hear me immediately, but He was immediately moved to come to my rescue. He shook up the entire earth, He thundered, and He was not opposed to overturning anything and everything that needed to be overturned to save me. Nothing and nobody was going to mess with me, His child, His beloved.”
There are all these people saying that the average Christian’s problem of being “too busy” for God-time is rooted in them not comprehending how important God is and should be. I have made myself busier than is healthy, and just dealt with the guilt every time small group discussions or sermons mentioned PTWG. But I was pretty sure that a lack of comprehension of God’s importance wasn’t my problem. So if not that, what was [is] my problem?
I realized that I have been afraid. Afraid to come before God and spend time with Him. Because I know God to be so big and powerful and holy when I know that I am so unclean and unworthy of standing where even angels fear to tread (see Isaiah 6:1-5, I won’t put it here).
But I’m not on my own. The grace of God completely takes away my sin. It doesn’t just cover me like a cheap paint job. His grace cleanses me completely and leaves me new and pure and yes, even holy- able to stand without shame or fear in the presence of God. And when I come before God it’s not that He doesn’t even see me because He sees the blood of Christ: my salvation in Christ does not take away my identity before God, it augments it.
What’s more, He wants me to be in His presence. He delights in me. When He sent Christ to sacrifice Himself, He didn’t just ruffle up earth a little bit, like in Psalms 18. He rearranged the order of the universe, heaven and hell, to save me and bring me into His presence.
A fear of the Lord is necessary. But He does not want me to get to that point of fearing the Lord and then stopping there. And like a loving father or husband whose beloved is afraid of him because she has experienced abuse in her past, it breaks his heart for me to cower away from Him because of fear. The point is to acknowledge that fear but then move past it and rest in His Great Love for me. His desire is to be with me, to spend time with me, to romance me and for me to let myself love and me loved by Him. It’s His heart’s cry, Psalms, Hosea, and the whole Bible are are full of His heart and His desire, its climax in Christ, but just because its climax of being shown in the Bible was over 2000 years ago does not mean there was some sort of literary fall to now. He transcends time. His love for me is at the same height of passion that it was when Christ was sent, when Christ died. It is all happening right now, because He is not in this dimension of time. His love for me is more deep, more powerful, and more relentless than I can ever begin to wrap my mind around. And I am learning to rest in that.
“I pray that you may have the power to comprehend with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”