I had a merciful thought yesterday. What I mean by that is simply that I had a thought I knew was God because I'm not naturally so optimistic. I was driving along when suddenly I thought about how great it is to start to get rid of some of this fear that's always been on my heels. Then I thought about what it will be like when I move like I am not afraid of anything or anyone other than God. I started imagining the feeling of being weightless--hopping around like a time-traveler doing whatever God wants me to do--being intimate with Him. Seeing Him smile at me. Seeing lives change because He and I are working together. Being myself and not apologizing for any of it. Not apologizing for my passion for God, my intensity when it comes to all of us hitting our mark and making it big in Christ, my song, my nutty sense of humor, my nose, my struggles--whatever! What would it be like to not apologize for Jesus? What would it be like to have no fear? How much would I accomplish for God if I wasn't afraid? We can ask these questions because this is where we are going! Anyone who wants to come should come now! There's nothing like the feeling of not having to shift or slouch as the world throws it's weight around. There's nothing like living as a gaseous wind blowing to and fro and then one day stamping around realizing you're a solid and you can stand up to any battle and win. My grin is getting bigger and bigger, thinking about our future with no limits.
I used to think that if I was myself, my friends wouldn't want to be around me, and probably would ditch me. (What an insult to my friends!) Anyway, I really believed I had to choose between being myself and being alone or being a shape-shifter and having some tentative, sort- of relationships. The attractive thing about being a shape-shifter is that if you want to hide out for any reason--no problem--it's pretty easy. I got really practiced at sidling into the shadows. I sort of want to gag when I think about the amount of time I've logged behind other people, circumstances or excuses. A record-breaker in the halls of pride. No worries, though! I'm going to have my one "gag" and then move on.
I've started to see that what really happened to me, when I patterned my life in this settling for being untrue to God first and then myself, was that I lost everything! I wasn't actually preserving anything! My friends didn't actually want to be around someone who was either: a.) freaking out, b.) looking exactly like them, c.) trying to prove something--anything, d.) agreeing with everything they said, and for e.) I will restate a.) freaking out...because all of this hiding is really hard work and honestly not a whole lot of fun! I believe hiding and repeatedly attempting to shirk God's creative genius comes at an incredibly high cost to us! More so than we even realize! I'm speaking from experience.
I'm turning 30. Some people who love me tell me I'm moving quickly through the lessons I'm sposed to get. I feel like I move at the pace of a slug--let's go with "the pace of a sloth". (Sounds less slimy and maybe cleaner. :-) Anyway, I feel slow. I want to get free and serve God, but sometimes I feel like it takes forever. Really, I tell myself, it is all part of eternity. Serving God is one of the best ways I know to get free and to get to know Him. That's how all the people in the Bible did it. God would be like, "Ok, now you're going to lead an army and free your people" to this little person and he or she would say something like, "but God, I don't know how to lead an army and no one listens to me" and then God would say, "no worries, I AM, be favored", and that would pretty much end the conversation. I don't recall ever reading that God showed up to someone and said, "You have worked very hard and by your own sweat you are looking more and more perfect. I think you might be ready to take on more chores. Don't fail or you'll have to start all over again and then you're on your own, Kid." Why do I tell God that's who He is? Why do I continually relate to Him this way? This mind/ heart-set sounds so absurd when exposed. This blockage is worth getting healed up! The peace that comes from being so unable to do anything and realize that God is even more able to work through me is astounding!
If you've recently heard God tell you anything that doesn't move you to dream, lift you to soar, cause you to be ready and willing to look Him in the eye; if you've heard Him say something that makes you feel discouraged, unworthy or disconnected--get into His presence and listen again! You've been hearing the counterfeiter, and no one wants to work for Him! That being said, for our Abba we can do anything. Anything, anything, anything, anything, and when it's really been Him we've been listening to, there's unlimited favor and the repercussions of works we do with Him are infinitely grand.
Esther 4:13-14 Amplified
"Then Mordecai told them to return this answer to Esther, Do not flatter yourself that you shall escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise for the Jews from elsewhere, but you and your Father's house will perish. And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this and for this very occasion?"
Philippians 3:14 The Message
"I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong; By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward--to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back. So let's keep focused on the goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total committment, God will clear your blurred vision--you'll see it yet! Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it."