i believe we have an enemy. and i always cringe sort of when i mention this because i always feel like its going to come across so dramatic. but listen. it is kind of dramatic. what happened in joplin and in alabama is dramatic. its appalling. its disgusting. its evil. what happened on september 11th was evil. and the root behind all the terrible things we encounter is evil. and its our enemy.
i also think this evil is powerful. and it attacks us at a very personal level. and i think the place where the enemy attacks us first is our identity.
i need to admit very candidly that this past week, my sense of identity was mixed up and turned upside down. if i can’t get my identity straight, i won’t be able to see the people around me for who they are either. my ability to give back to the world is wadded up into a paper ball. we are all facing our own battles. we are all fighting. and sometimes the person you are cussing out on the street, is just having a really hard time. how can we help each other fight our battles if we are unaware of who we are? chances are…if we are unaware of who we are, we are unaware of who they are.
you know why i like God so much?
because of a verse that says
we have been made in the likness of God.
we are all walking, breathing, laughing, creating, communal, loving characteristics of God.
look around at your favorites. pick pieces out of all your loved ones. you will start to paint a picture of a pretty incredible God that is calling us to him.
you know another reason why i like him so much?
he traded my little life for his life.
everything i had, i gave to him. what do i have? let me think of what i have….
a little bit of creativity. just a little bit. i thought i was creative until i started reading blogs. ha.
a heart that beats pretty desperately for a God i can’t see
an emotional mess. thankfully not all the time 😉
inability to multitask well
some more broken parts
maybe some more good parts
there is a little bit of good and a whole lot of bad. and i didn’t realize all the bad i had until i started to learn the character of God. then i realized i was sort of upside down and broken. but you know what is kind of crazy about being upside down and broken? God uses those broken parts perfectly to reveal himself to us. God has promised me a few things i’d like to share.
something really big.
i figured out quickly that i was a little screwed up. and that everyone is. and screwed up and broken = death.
but God decided he would take on my brokeness and my death. that i wouldn’t have to carry it anymore.
and he told me i could have his identity instead… if i believed in him.
that everything i had to offer, would be his. and all that he had to offer, would be mine.
i think i got the better end of the deal 😉
how is that possible?
that means we have access to a kingdom. a community. a thriving city….that is to come. not some hocus pocus, dorky, cloud-like version of heaven we have in our heads. but like a thriving, way more beautiful picture of our world. without brokenness, sickness, disasters, and death.
and wealth. we have no idea what wealth we have to come.
but more importantly, more meaningful than the riches of all that…
is that i’m forgiven.
not even just that…. but God looks at my life through Jesus. this means he doesn’t see all the wrong i’ve done. he’s written it off. i get to go free.
and he’s proud of me. and that he loves me. no matter what. he’s proud of me. i’m his. and he’s pleased. and he’s enamored. by little me.
but i’m not so little to him. i’m pretty breathtaking to him. i have all of his attention and all his affection.
you should probably be jealous 😉
and i should probably be jealous of you, because you have all that too.
for all of us who think we have to earn God’s favor. we have been misled.
he’s pleased. we have his favor. he’s proud.
do you hear me?
he’s proud of you.
because he’s given us Jesus to stand before us.
this makes me laugh out loud its so good!!!
i kind of want to dance around. its too weighty to strive your whole life for your identity. working so hard to be all sorts of things. we already have a freaking incredible identity. and if you leave the noise and clatter of your to do list and your goals for just a few minutes….you’ll hear it. it will be spoken into you as you ask for it.
who do we have to accuse when jesus stands before every sinner, including yourself?
jennifer knap has an old cd. the words on the cd have changed my life. she created lyrics about a story found in the bible that pictures some of the stuff that we see around us today.
a woman caught in adultery was sent before Jesus. they wanted to stone her. and Jesus says the proverbial,
“let he without sin cast the first stone.”
everyone walked away. no one picked up a stone. they were all speechless. i wish i would become a little bit more speechless when it comes to accusing.
this poor woman looked into the eyes of Jesus and found acceptance and a different identity than what her accusers were giving her. a different identity than what she was giving herself.
the song goes like this in the perspective of Jesus,
“let he without sin cast the first stone if you will,
to say that my bride isn’t worth have the blood that i’ve spilled.
point your finger and laugh if you choose, to say my beloved is borrowed and used.”
and her response is,
“i am weak and i’m poor, i’m broken, Lord, but i’m yours. hold me now.”
the world was speaking shame to her, but Jesus was calling her his bride. his love. the woman in whom he had established a covenant relationship with. all she had, for all he had.
and the moment she believed that, he began restoring all her brokenness. and the journey of God making something beautiful out of her life began.
he’s making beautiful things out of us. i might be broken, but lots of things have been made whole. and he is still restoring me. my heart is filled with hope. and for all that, i will wrap my arms around Jesus and cling to him for dear life.