On Being the Beloved

Originally written in 2008

Last night at a friend’s house, God showed me more of His simplicity (though He is complexly undefinable) and goodness.  I often think things have to be difficult or hard with God.  However, that’s not so.  In fact, it’s just the opposite.

holding hands

Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  I will stop trying to bare a heavy load He never meant for me to have or carry.  God doesn’t make things hard.  We do so in and by our inability to totally trust that He is good, just, faithful and kind.   We fail to let God be God and our Father.  A constant repetition for me has been “you ask for bread; he will not give you a stone.”  God delights in us.  Why would He ever jeopardize that by giving use what we “think” we deserve?  The blood of Christ makes us worthy, yet often times we choose to make our lives unworthy because we don’t believe we have been fully 100% forgiven and redeemed from head to toe.

That God desires me and that I am His delight is an amazing thing.  Zephaniah 3:17 read, “The Lord your God is with you.  He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you.  He will quiet you with his love.  He will rejoice over you with singing.”  Our God loves us, and He’s so good.  He wants to shower His love over and over and over and over us.  God loves us.  He does not give us the harsh punishment we “believe” deserve.  God is gracious and compassionate, says the Psalmist, and He is slow to anger and rich in love.

So, what is to be done? I can only tell you from my walk with God.  This is not some little ‘how-to’ segment.  It is a ‘this-is-what-I -have-learned-so-far-’ thing.  It’s how God brought me into right alignment with who He is and always will be.  I have no 12-step program.  No 6 steps to happy life here.  Not even a 3 easy step program.  All I have is my testimony, and I pray it encourages you to seek the Lord with all your heart, body, mind, and soul.  Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he will direct thy paths.”  What a comfort to know that God is in control.  What a great sigh of relief to know that God can ‘handle’ it all.  It takes all the pressure off of me.  There is no stress in following Christ.  It’s all about settling into Christ and moving with the Lamb wherever he goes.

Stay in Community

So, what then did I do to get to this place?  I can tell you now that what worked for me, may not work for you.  Seek the Lord, and he will lead you in the ways you should go to get closer to him in deeper ways.  What I can also tell you is that I asked myself “why so downcast oh my soul?  Put your hope in God; and bless the Lord oh my soul.”

I had come to the point where I realized God was not coming to my self-pity parties for one.  God does not dwell in self-pity.  God knows full well who He is.  He is I AM.  That’s all there is to it, and I am His child.  Christ, His son, lives in me.  The Great I AM dwells in this human tent of flesh and blood not cord and canvas.  This BIG God of the universe chose to inhabit my being the moment I said ‘yes’ to Jesus as my Lord and savior.  Jesus moved into my life–my neighborhood; but he didn’t stop there.  He began doing some rearranging.  The day I said, “I do” to Jesus, and the title deed to my life and me was legally transferred.  This gave him the right to every space, attic, basement, knook, and cranny.  He’s constantly sweeping the cobwebs with TLC (tender loving care).

You see, many of use–thought we’d like to think of ourselves as high and mighty, well-to-do mansions, with a place for everything and everything in it’s place, with spectacular views, and wonderful, contemporary designs, crown molding, fresh paint, perfectly coiffed and manicured lawns, yes, the whole nine yards…the reality is we are not.

historic building by austin upton

If some of you who are reading this are like me, then you are the “fixer upper” in need of remodeling, new paint job, clean up of the junk in the yard, rodents, cobwebs, faulty wiring, strange plumbing, malfunctioning electricity, broken windows, filthy fireplaces, etc.  Everything, or so it seems, is in disarray and the “for sale” sign posted outside would read “Buyer Beware.”

Guess what beloved?  God is the anxious buyer who sees beyond the mess of what we see.  He sees we have potential.  He sees good and great things.  He does not have the ‘buyer beware’ attitude.  He already knows full well what he’s getting into with this major buy.  He already knows  what’s under the floor boards and hiding in the closets.

God is excited about us.  Scripture even says so in Jeremiah 31:3 – “I have loved you with an everlasting love…”   God is eager to begin the work of rebuilding and remodeling.  He even knows up front that there will be surprises.  This does not deter him, nor does it frighten Him.

He lays down the asking price–the sacrifice of His one and only Son–and purchases us and our land – yes, the whole of it: mess and all.  Then He begins the work of our lifetime.

Only as we are gradually made ready does he have the great “reveal.”  Along the way, he becomes the Inspector Builder.  Why?  Because we are still in the house.  We still reside in the home, but now we have been made joint heirs and owners with him. We get to be a part of the work that is going.  Mind you, we are not just sitting on a sofa hanging out.  We too are at work.  What work?  Romans 12:1-2, we are at work being conformed, renewed and transformed by the Word of God.  We use hammer and nails to build when He tells us.  We pull out old wallpaper as He instructs us so that His word remains and is made firm.  This is the awesome work of God, and we get to be a part of it.  What we could neither pay for nor fix, he bought with the blood of the Lamb–Jesus Christ the Messiah.

How has your life change because of knowing God?  Share your story.  I’d love to hear. 

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