There are days that I think about what it would be like to give up on being a Christian. To stop looking to the Word of God and the love of Jesus, and to block the Holy Spirit’s prompting over my energies and understanding. I think about the journey I would face if I just gave up on treating myself and the people around me as well as I know I can. I could do anything, letting my impulse bounce off every wall. I could say whatever sprouts to my mind with total disregard for myself and the individuals nearby. Relationships would be about what I could get and anyone that failed to add value to my life, or stepped out of turn, could take a long walk off a short cliff. My world, my rules. I could dictate it as I see fit, harvesting whatever I fancy, whether belonged to me or not.
Those who think they can do it on their end up obsessed with measuring their moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self-ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God.
If God, Jesus and the Holy Spirt weren’t my help, self-gratification would be a hungry beast that would demand my worship. For a man, sex, drugs, alcohol and porn are right at home in this kind of soul-soil. I know this because I’ve been there, and that path was just about the loneliest time of my life, a time that only perpetuated the needs and wants of the beast in me. Even back then, without God, I wanted my life to mean something.
I ended up listening to the shouts of the loudest voices, the ones that told me I wasn’t good enough until I hit some kind of warped rule of thumb that did more to devalue who I could be instead of seeing what value I had. I know this now because as soon as I started to get my life back on track, with God and myself, those people that were “socially accepting” of me began to accept me less.
At one point or another, we all have a profound moment, an absolute revelation to become something else, to stop one journey and start another. Thus I broke the mould of what people wanted me to be and started to ask God what he wanted me to be. What He wanted for me.
It’s in God’s design, that deep and innate desire to be loved and valued for who we are. Even if a person doesn’t believe in God or Jesus, their love it still there, God’s legacy is in every single human being. It is there for all to claim.
I know now that I only did the things I did because I was starving on the inside. All the unhealthy things I chose to do was just my heart telling me I had a need, a missing piece that I couldn’t fill, or even identify. Not on my own.
If we know God’s affection for us, that it’s at the core of who we are, and if we know it without putting human limitations into it, we know Truth. This truth changes the way we see life. God’s perspective, His reality, redefines how we see ourselves and those around us. The value of life and all that it includes will shine with new clarity, a new value. The muck and mire won’t stick to like it used to.
The day I learnt about the grace that God had for me – His Love, His understanding – I learned that I could be defined in a whole new light. The fears I had, their reality in me, their weight, buckled under God unconditioned desire for me and my future. My understanding of fear became less frightening, and I began to change in a way I had always wanted.
With God, you don’t have to do anything the voices of the world. You don’t even have to do what God tells you, not under a sense of guilt or threat of being zapped with a bolt of lighting. The only things God tells anyone is that they are rescued, loved, and graced – that they can grow. God knows the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, the light and the darkness. God knows what we are all capable of and can help us become more than we will ever know.
I never went looking for God and His love of me. But through a slew of life events and chance relationships, here is stand. I am fighting to become the person I always wanted to be, with all the permission I could ever need to live my life wholly, with the truth of Jesus defining all I can humanly allow.
With God, you can find the difference between who you can be and who you are. At that point, you can figure just about anything out.
God wants us to enjoy a full and meaningful life. He wants us to understand what is good for us and what is not. He won’t take over, but He will help us. And even then, it’s purely on the grounds we want the help. That doesn’t mean that He won’t challenge us or lead us through difficulties, but that He will be there with us through that, urging us on, giving us His strength.
Becoming something else takes a real choice. Breaking a habit, or even starting a new one, means taking a real honest inventory of our heart and mind. And the biggest and hardest thing after that is asking for help.
I can’t give back what God has done for me. I can’t undo the gift of a second chance that Jesus has given me. And no one could ever take that knowledge from my brain (or heart). I can’t go back. No way, no how.
I’m a changed person because of Jesus.
Signed and stamped with the approval of God Himself.