Sunday, April 22, 2012


I lost sight of the gospel. What is it? How had Jesus really changed my life? I felt I was a believer, but there was no way I could claim to be an actual disciple and follower.

The past 2+ months I had pretty much lived like my B.C. days. Really didn’t care. Really had no hope. Felt really hurt by hope. And I’m supposed to evangelize? Evangelize what? Sigh.

I wanted to know what the gospel really is. And the smallest part of my imagination could picture me really finding it, and being truly on fire as I’ve only dreamed. But I was too scared, scared to be hurt, to be disappointed, to be let down “again.” Not totally blaming God (at least not directly), but rather myself, since I always screw up what God wants and provides.

Will God really show me, so clearly even I can’t screw it up? That was too much to hope for, to scary to allow myself to dream.

After “enough” (what?) time of true lifelessness passed, the slightest breaks in the walls started. I had wanted people to come rescue me… but not many seemed to care much. But all of a sudden, numerous friends started showing their concern, and my heart started softening. I had been mad at God, since so many of my friends hear Him and none really came (at least in the way I wanted or thought I needed), so He must not have cared. Perhaps, I wouldn’t have received them prior to the time they did come. But now I’m realizing I didn’t need to be rescued by friends. I needed to be rescued by my Savior.

A conversation with one close friend reminded me that Jesus’ sacrifice freed us from sin. Not eliminated sin. Not eliminated temptation. But it gave us the ability to choose life and turn (repent) from the things that kill us.

These past months, I gave myself back over to the slave master of sin. But it was a choice. Because those chains have been eternally destroyed by the blood of Jesus Christ. I have the choice. I’ve been scared to choose Jesus, because so much hurts. I don’t get my way (not that I even really know what I want anyway). It feels too hard. But the other way is death. Empty death.

Jesus was perfected through suffering. That’s what God the Father thought best, so Jesus could identify with us and intercede all the more personally on our behalf.

In choosing Jesus, I will suffer. My view of suffering will/has been changing. It may be partly the act of saying “Yes, Lord, I’ll trust You” when everything in me wants to run and turn away from Him.

So I have the choice. I see now that God allowed these two, long flashback months to highlight/reveal to me just how much He has done in me. Mainly, He has freed me from bondage to things I previously was enslaved to. THAT is the gospel. Jesus has freed the captives. Not made their lives pretty. Not eliminated hurt and pain and suffering; we’re actually invited and called to suffer with and for Him. But He’s bringing His kingdom through each and every person who is truly SET FREE from bondage. That’s the beauty. That’s the secret. I had really missed it. But I’m seeing it now, and hope to more fully realize it. And share it. Because THAT IS good news, the news I had not fully realized.

Does that make everything “just right?” No. I still have hurts and pains that are hard to imagine healed. But they will be, because God is faithful and true. And I need to be obedient to yield to His timing and process, often a process I don’t understand but through sincere, heart-felt faith.

So what now? That’s the question that kept me misfiring without having true hope. Well, I spend time with Jesus. Not just “like before”; I don’t want things they way they were before. But just spend time, however it looks. God will bring the opportunities to speak His words and testify to His grace and mercy. It’s a constant battle to keep priorities of the heart in check, but that’s there till this body dies and I’m with my God. It’s worth it… because it brings about the full realization of eternal life that Jesus fought and sacrificed to give us NOW.

More challenges will come. And I’m not thrilled with such a crucible-like method of learning lessons. But I must trust my Father in Heaven.

Lord, may I seek Your face. May I follow You, Your heart, Your will. May I hold firmly to faith when I can’t see anything making sense. Show Yourself mighty and strong, valiant in the battle for my soul. You are who I want.  You are life.  You are love.  You ARE. Forgive me my trespasses, gracious Lord. Thank You for Your sacrifice. May I follow You, Spirit, all the days of my life.  And may I turn quickly back to You if I stray. Thank You that You accept me, fully and completely as I am. May I realize and walk more fully in the sonship You’ve chosen for me.  Amen, and let it be so.  May I love in Your love.  Amen.