In last weeks blog, Confronting Your Hidden Fears, we dug below the surface of what a Christian may appear to be, and discovered a ‘dirty little secret’.
Perhaps you have been there too.
For all your life you have been living with something held closely and hidden from public view. The sort of thing you don’t want to admit to, because you are a Christian, and Christians don’t act that way … think that way… or react that way.
Christians have expectations to live up to! There is an image to maintain.
The real you must remain hidden… the you that only God can see.
© Can Stock Photo / Mik122
Can I surprise God?
It took me decades to realise that no matter what I think, or do … God is never surprised.
No matter how angry, or frustrated I get, no matter when I lash out or think really naughty thoughts … He is never shocked.
That seed of an idea took a long time to germinate and grow, because I had a lot of unlearning to do.
Perhaps, like me, you were brought up believing that ‘Christians don’t say things like that, Christians don’t act that way, worst of all … Christians don’t think that way!
If God really loved me, would he accept me as I was … with all my insecurities?
Was He strong enough to take my past failures and insecurities and weave them into a thing of beauty?
Sometimes I wondered … Was God really that big?
Understand the 'Why?'
Over the years’ I’ve changed, I’ve come to understand that I could call God my Father, Daddy even … Wow, He loves me enough to allow me that one favour!
He still has a lifetime of work to do in me, because there are areas in my life that need continual work.
Sometimes His Grace is instantaneous and at other times His Grace takes longer.
There are practices and patterns in my life that need continual work on — Like recognition.
My heavenly Father not only sees inside my head, but understands why.
He knows my trigger points, he knows my darkest, deadliest secrets … and loves me regardless.
That is amazing grace in action.
Looking back I reached conclusions about God, based on incorrect assumptions … in some cases select verses of Scripture taken out of context.
I’ve discovered that in life it is always best to get all the facts and to take into consideration perspective. That's where having an understanding or what the entire Bible teaches is so important.
The heading of this weeks Blog is What does Recognition look like?
According to the Online Dictionary Recognition can be defined as; ‘acknowledgement of the existence, validity, or legality of something.’
In my case I think that the driving force was a craving to be have my existence acknowledged.
You can probably remember a time when the norm, in Christian circles, was the teaching that we were worthless sinners, saved by grace.
I understand the sentiment, because when I compare myself to Christ, I cannot but recognise the depths to which my sinful nature had dragged me down.
Sin contaminates (Isaiah 64:6—12) and I am rotten. Rotten without the saving grace of Jesus (Romans 5:8)
It seems that a life time of believing this ‘worm theology’ is something that takes longer to disregard than I’d wish.
One thing I need to keep foremost is the reason that Christ died for you and me.
It isn't/wasn’t because He saw us as worms. Far from it, He saw/sees you and me as jewels of great worth.
Jesus didn’t die to reconcile worms to Him. No, Jesus died to reconcile you and me to God, because he recognised our true worth.
Tweet this: ‘Jesus died to reconcile you and me to God, because he recognised our true worth.’—https://bit.ly/2y7rIoR
He paid the price to adopt us into His family.
We may have been corrupted but we were never worthless. The death of Jesus proves how valuable we are to God … our Father.
So next time I’m craving recognition, I need to remember that:
Acknowledged—I am acknowledged. (Isaiah 43:1)
Recognised—My existence is recognised (Psalm 139:13—14)
Perhaps not so much my family, friends or colleagues—but my heavenly Daddy certainly knows who I am.
Not only that, But He has given me a downpayment to encourage me, this side of eternity—His Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:14).
And that’s quite sufficient.
This week's challenge
What about you … What do you crave?
Maybe not recognition, perhaps something different, love, acceptance, fulfilment, intimacy … You name it.
speak to God about it, get angry, vent your frustrations. God understands.
Get to the stage when you say … ‘I just can’t handle it anymore!’
Then and only then will He be able to do something about it.
Leave it at his feet—Let go and let God (Matthew 11:28—30)
Spread the word
The purpose of these weekly blogs is to encourage Jesus followers develop and mature into Full-blown Disciples.
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Until next week … best regards.
The NWBC Blogging Team