A young lady came into my life recently and we were matched up because she wanted to know God better. To be honest, she had a very convincing testimony and if salvation had a checklist I would argue that she could check every box. I was pleased to see that she already knew a lot of scripture so I assumed my role, as her mentor, would be to show her how she could build daily disciplines into her life, hold her accountable to putting what she read into practice and to encourage her in her walk with the Lord. We both agreed that this would be our goal.
I made her a promise that I would not give her any personal advice, but would point her to scripture that would be useful to teaching rebuking, correcting and training in her righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). With that, I encouraged her to ask questions and to be curious about what she was reading and take time to meditate on how she could apply what she was reading into her life.
Shortly after, her questions started rolling in, I responded with verses that would not only teach her, but affirm her as she would wrestle with the truth. She began to realize that her life wasn’t exactly aligned with what God would want for her and began to open up about her struggles with addition, low self-esteem, anxiety, borderline depression and a complete lack of inner peace.
I kept sharing God’s truth and continued to remind her of who she is in Christ; that she is God’s creation, His handiwork, an heir to the throne and a daughter of the King who is deeply loved. She began rebuking me out of her own disbelief that if that is true about God, why doesn’t she feel that way?
Whoa! There it is… she’s seeking a feeling and desiring after some supernatural, magical, confident state of mind. Jeremiah 17:9 says that the heart is deceitful above all else, who can understand it and when I shared this with her, she had to admit that this is true of herself. She is being tossed around endlessly by her feelings and is guilty focusing on how she feels rather than on what she knows to be true in scripture.
Girlfriends, God made us to be feelers, thinkers and have emotions, which (I can speak from first hand experience), can be one of the biggest barriers to having an intimate, authentic and personal relationship with God.
We can’t wish ourselves into heaven anymore than we can earn it.
We need to throw our whole entire heart (life) into knowing God and trust every single one of the promises that are given to us in His word. We have to believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that what Jesus did on the cross was enough to cover our sins today, tomorrow and for eternity. Until we do, we will live on an emotional rollercoaster and be tossed around and tormented by our feelings – exactly what is happening to her.
It has been weeks of watching her come to the end of herself in this battle of wills – her will vs. God’s will. Last night she finally made this statement, “I know suffering has a purpose but it hurts when in it… I’d like to view it from God’s perspective.”
Oh, the honesty, defeat and vulnerability in those words.
Poor sweet girl (and all of you reading), we DO have God’s perspective and it is found at and in the cross! The cross that performed the greatest, most selfless act in history. The cross, where God’s grace was freely given to us in the form the most sacrificial gift of all time. Not one of us deserve it! It is the most horrific form of suffering, where Jesus was placed on an altar, the altar called the cross, and where his sinless, flawless life was sacrificed and he willingly took all of humanity’s collective sin onto himself paying the ultimate price… death! Satan thought he won, but on the contrary he was never more defeated. Jesus conquered death and he lives!
It is because of this that we surrender our lives to him – our whole selves. He gave everything up for us and held nothing back and when we realize the magnitude of what he did, we willingly, enthusiastically and wholeheartedly give him our lives. When that happens, the Holy Spirit enters us and begins to change us from the inside out. The process takes a lifetime (here on earth), but the assurance of heaven is guaranteed. The changes we begin to see within ourselves are evidence of his transforming work and we not only love ourselves (which covers low self-esteem, doubt and anxiety), but we love others unconditionally.
Today I am going to ask this young lady if she wants to accept the greatest gift of life that God gave to her, because now I can see that she may know scripture intellectually, but not personally. I pray I get to witness the birth of a new believer who comes to know her Father in heaven on Mother’s Day 2020.
Is today that day for you too? Are you done being tossed around by your feelings and emotions and are you ready to accept the greatest gift of all – eternal life through faith in what Jesus did on the cross for you?
I hope so. My greatest pain comes from watching this young lady, and many like her, struggle. Especially because I know that on the other side of this decision is peace that surpasses all understanding, joy that is not contingent to circumstances and love that abounds beyond my ability to describe it.
“Lord, thank you for sending your son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for MY sins; not just the sins of the world, but for ME! Father please forgive me of all my sins – I admit that I can’t save myself; I need a savior. I surrender my life to you, Lord, and I ask that you fill me with your Holy Spirit. That you will guide me everyday for the rest of my life and I thank you for giving me assurance of eternal life through Jesus Christ. In Jesus Name I pray – Amen!”
If you prayed this prayer, Congratulations! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will share some ideas on how you can take your new found faith and grow it, mature it.
For you and all who have already surrendered your life, we will see you in heaven, sisters in Christ!