A throwback from my blog 4 years ago…
I found myself in the woods earlier this week, escaping from reality and hoping for a fresh connection with God. Going on a hike seemed like the perfect idea to spend some time in peace and quiet. Just a few feet into the trail, it dawned on me that I was alone. Every squirrel and chipmunk made me jump. I could just hear what my mother would be saying to me, “Now Bri, a young lady walking in the woods alone? Not a smart idea, you never know who could be out there.” With my mothers persuading voice booming in my head, I turned back around.
I thought about how this is just like me: FEAR stopping me from reaching the top of the mountain with the beautiful over look. For the past 2 years, I’ve been battling with what I’m supposed to do, as far as a career goes and making sure it’s “God’s will”. You want to know my biggest stumbling block? Fear. Fear of failing, not meeting others expectations, and fear of not being in God’s will.
“God’s will” is one of those christian sayings that has ALWAYS left me feeling constrained.
It’s not what you do, it’s who you are. Better yet…WHOSE you are.
Up until last week, I was trapped in this fear of not being in God’s will and obsessed with trying to make something of myself by gaining a title through a career. There was good intention behind my pursuing a career…I wanted to desperately serve God and serve my family by providing more income to better support them.
Unfortunately, I was trapped. Trapped in the idea that servanthood gave me worth.
The same day that I attempted that hike, was also the day that I failed my exam through the American Council on Exercise–a certificate that was supposed to land me a job. I learned so much from this. I learned that I was putting way too much of my worth, in owning a title in a career because of how hard it hit me. I broke down, throwing out hard words and questions at God, ‘I thought this was what you wanted!?…What am I supposed to do now!?…God show me what you want!…What direction do I go?!’
Now, these questions are not bad at all. In fact they’re good questions to ask. The problem with them, is that they stemmed from a heart of pure servanthood. When that’s actually NOT what a relationship with God is.
Have you ever stressed about the will of God for your life?
There are many verses in the Bible that explain God’s will. Explaining that His desire for us is to be saved, to be filled with the Spirit and to be set-apart, etc. Although, when it comes to our day to day decisions, we can get ourselves trapped in wondering what God’s will is, as if we have no choice.
For many things in my life, I’ve been afraid to take advances because what if it’s not the will of God? Let me tell you friend, it’s time to release your self from that dangerous holding cell. I wasted enough time of my life with that perspective. What God’s done with me, literally just last week…has placed a great shift in my view of our relationship. Instead of living my life with too much worth in what I’m doing, I’ve shifted into living my life completely understanding that I am loved by Him and He values my choices and my passions more than I do my own. He doesn’t see me as His servant, but as His friend:
“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you FRIENDS, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”
He has way more interest in your desires, than you have in your own. He is passionate to have the desires of our heart come true. When you’re a servant, you have a master and usually the servant doesn’t know too much about the master’s business, and the master usually has no great desire to know the servant.
“Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
The shift to being empowered and liberated by His will.
The shift comes when we realize that we are not identified by all that we do, the applause we get, the certifications we own, or the amount of service hours we hold. We are also not identified by what labels we put on ourselves such as: weak, afraid, screw-up, unpopular, etc.
The shift comes when we realize that we are radically identified as: ONE LOVED BY GOD. To understand that by simply being ourselves, we bring glory to God.
He calls you friend and you are His Beloved.That is your pure, raw identity.
The shift to my worth coming from God’s love for me.
YOU ARE GOD’S BELOVED.
He absolutely cherishes you, 100%. He values what you value. You are known, you are heard you are important…AS YOU ARE. Strip away everything that you hold against yourself, telling you that you aren’t good enough. Then you’ll see the shift in your life slowly begin to work:
People’s negative comments, won’t bother you. His love is greater.
Your spouse, not treating you like he or she should? His love is greater.
You failed an exam? His love is greater.
You’re fearful of saying something stupid or screwing up? His love is greater.
Your friends don’t call you as often as you like? His love is greater.
Your children don’t respect you? His love is greater.
You’re past looks like one out of Shawshank Redemption? His love is greater.
You’re illness is only getting worse? His love is greater.
Yes, things can hurt us in this life. They can hurt bad. But when we shift our relationship with the Lord to one of friendship and pure love, life’s temporary getups don’t hang us out to dry. Being loved by the Creator of this world, means so much more. His love for you is greater than you can even imagine.
“‘Who am I? I am one loved by Christ.’ This is the foundation of the true self. The indispensable condition for developing and maintaining awareness of our belovedness is time alone with God. In solitude we tune out the nay-saying whispers of our worthlessness and sink down into the muster of our true self. Our longing to know who we really are–which is the source of all our discontent–will never be satisfied until we confront and accept our solitude. There we discover that the truth of our belovedness is really true. Our identity rests in God’s relentless tenderness for us revealed in Jesus Christ.” -Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child.
If you’ve wondered why your relationship with God is stale, weak and uneventful. Or maybe stressful and self-condemning…I encourage you to sit in solitude. Sit down with your true self. It’s when we are alone, that our deepest worries, anxieties and fears hit us. What’s causing you hurt? What’s weighing you down? What’s owning yo
u? Now ask the Lord to show you how to live in the freedom His love brings to the table. Radically claim your identify as God’s beloved. Then you will see that God doesn’t want to make every decision for you, but would rather build in you something rich and see your deepest passions spring to life.
“It’s not ‘what is the will of God in my life?’ instead, ‘what are you building in me?’”
The freedom that comes when you embrace the fullness of relationship with God, will reveal His heart of passion for you and your desires. He loves you DEEPLY my friend. Now, ask him daily how to make the shift to live in that truth.
In His love,
“Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.” 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 The Message