To walk by faith and not by sight, takes every ounce of what little belief I have but I’m going to hold faith and believe anyway. This business of wrestling with God till He answers is all I have for the present moment. No human intervention will suffice. No human help will suffice. What I need now is the fullness and presence of God, for in Him is all I need. This is not just some pie in the sky statement. It is matter of fact. It is the essence of my faith and believing.
Is God who He says He is? Does God really do what He says He can do? Can I really trust God? Can I tell Him how I really feel without reprisal? These are not indictments against the character of God. Because, let’s be honest, who would want to be in relationship with a god you fear will harm you or trample your will. Think about it. I’m not asking you to agree. I’m telling you my story and the rocky bumps jutting up from the ground of my not-so-strong faith. I am imperfect. I don’t always believe right or well. Sometimes I chose the lie. Sometimes I have doubted God. Does this make me any less of a Christ follower? Does it condemn me to a life in hell? Does it steal me away from faith? No.
If anything the questions, doubts, and imperfections remind me of my human frailty. More than anything, they drive me to pursue God, not some religion, not some person’s idea of God, and not some 3-step religious program. I’m done with those things because they just don’t work!
How about living out a broken, messy, very imperfect faith that drives the soul always to the throne of grace? Yes. I like that so much better. How about a real knock-down-drag-out faith that allows me to get real, naked, and brutally honest with God? Yes, I need that so much more. What would happen if we really wrestled with God and refused to move until he answered, being unswayed by what we “see”? I’ll take that right this minute. Why?
Because God is real. He is after real relationship. He is a person worth pursuing, and He has done a finished work that allows me always-access to Him. I just keep getting in my own way because I have kept trying to do the christianity thing by way of the world, by way of lists, by way of self-help, by way of half praying, by way of not believing. Well, NEWSFLASH!!! It doesn’t work that way. I must come to Him as I am. This means I go to Him with all my faults, with all my inabilities, with all my frailty, with all my anger, malice, rage, pain, hurt, angst, joy, happiness, disappointment, sadness, desires, wants, and needs. And that’s just the short list.
God wants to know me most intimately, but how can that happen if I hold back, hiding secrets in the shadows. That’s not fair to God. In fact, it seems more a rejection of the finished work of Christ on the cross – that it really is finished. Hiding keeps me from authentic, vibrant relationship. It cuts me off. It creates an idol of the thing I fear most rather than trusting a god I can’t see.
Here’s the real talk.
I don’t have to strive to be anything. There’s nothing for me to “do.” There’s no checklist to follow to get in “good” with God. There’s no getting my “ish” (read crap) together. There’s not a need for my to have my act all together. That, my friends, is me doing the work of making my self righteous. It just doesn’t cut it. All God asked is that I believe, to have faith, to come as I really am (warts and all). To this I surrender. I surrender to Him my all, my everything (including my striving, my rule-keeping, my legalism listing) because, quite frankly, I’m exhausted from carrying the burden and unrealistic expectations. I don’t know about you, but to hell with the lies (the devil is the father of those insidious things and he can have them back; they don’t belong to me), fake-it-till-you-make-it, and pretending to be perfect. All those things were making my walk hellish anyway. I’ll take a daily dose of God-truth any day, any time. His truth pierces, cuts away falsehoods, and sets me free.
Here’s to living whole, free, and unfettered!
We’d love for you to join us. Poem, Song, Essay, Story, Blog Post, or Photo Essay – share the words and images that speak of truth. Your voice will be heard here. We’re ready to hear your stories. We honor each voice here.
All we ask is that you share your post, comment on the person before you or after you, and share the link up. As always may our words be seasoned with salt and grace. May our words empower, encourage, and equip.