I lose my ability to be afraid
When I hear you say my name
All the voices that once ﬁlled my head
They are gone when you speak
I’m ﬁnding out who I am
I lose my ability to be afraid
When I see the way you love me
By Jonathan Helser
Today, I feel the need to address the validity of your idea and opinion about yourself and your Saviour.
In general the majority of our ideology stems from our experiences in life, more so from our disappointments. We form opinions and extract data from what we are exposed to and what our senses perceive from our surroundings. We are constantly forming new ideas about the world around us, adopting different points of view and abandoning concepts that have been proven untrue or methods ineffectual. This is how we live, it is not wrong; it is the reality around us. But what we perceive to be reality is in fact not necessarily always God’s reality. The problem comes when we begin to validate ourselves by our opinions and regard those opinions as superior because of the hardship they stem from, something you have been through. I have often heard people surmise their “knowing better” because they have faced difficulty. I have seen how people believe themselves a better sort of person because they have been poor and oppressed. We tend to find our value in what we feel we have conquered instead of who He has made us. The pitfall remains the fact that we will incessantly face difficulty, and we will always differ in opinion and ideas from other people. When we feel the concept of our worth challenged, the value we have placed on our identity tends to fluctuate. What happens when we haven’t recently faced off with some major challenge from which success we can detract some value to feel better for a few weeks? What happens when we are oppressed and it doesn’t get better, if people never change their opinions about us and relentlessly shoot us down?
I want to stress that if I find myself doubting my worth, I remind myself immediately that I have allowed my thoughts to submit to a warped reality. As we grow up we are taught that we were created in the image of God. Somewhere along the line, in the aftermath of disappointment, we become “disillusioned” with the idea of a good father. We lose our line of thought that allows us to view ourselves as God’s children and start relating to Him solely out of the perspective of our humanity. We relate to the vengeful God, we relate to the God standing behind us with a whip relishing the idea of punishing us when we fail. We relate to the idea of a father who withholds things from His children to teach them a lesson. We relate to the God who denies his children His presence when they have sinned. These ideas stem from the theology that all men are inherently evil, that we were born in sin and that sin rules our world and that we are therefore deserving of the difficulties we face, and that we are in need of being taught a lesson in humility.
The Bible says that only from the time of Moses did sin rule, and that was because of the law. It is the law that came with Moses that classified everyone sinful. Sin did not rule from Adam. We were not created evil. In Luke 10:27 God commands us … You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself….He commands us to love with all that we are, knowing full well we were created with the capacity for showing such love, that we were created to demonstrate complete abandon to love. God created us with an immense capacity for goodness and kindness. In Genesis God speaks to Cain and urges him to rule over the sin that desired him. God pointed out his ability to withstand the enticement of Satan, directing him to his identity which ultimately would allow him to be at peace with his brother and God.
Gen 4:6 The LORD said to Cain: What’s wrong with you? Why do you have such an angry look on your face? 4:7 If you had done the right thing, you would be smiling. But you did the wrong thing, and now sin is waiting to attack you like a lion. Sin wants to destroy you, but don’t let it!
Notice that when God spoke to Cain He did not address the sacrifice, but Cain’s anger. He questioned Cain’s response, his reaction. As soon as Cain saw that God was pleased with Abel but not him, he became angered and despondent. He didn’t understand that favour and blessing were the very things God desired for him too. Our reaction to seeing other people blessed and favoured says a lot about how we view ourselves and what we think God sees us as. A victim mentality will ultimately undermine the good intentions God has for our ministries and lives. We consequently become preoccupied with maintaining our idea of what God sees in us, hoping to appease Him with our faithful and committed servitude. But He looks at us and He doesn’t see a servant, He sees a son. And He longs for us to view ourselves as His legitimate children, loved and favoured. He sees us as people created in His image. This is the very purpose of salvation and Christianity – to look like Jesus. We do not accept Jesus as Lord to see how much of ourselves He could possibly save us from, with ME as the motive, but we worship Him so we can look like Him and know His heart. God is not standing beside you looking at you and thinking if only she could get this right, if only he would stop drinking, if only if only if only….He is standing beside you whispering to you, “You are good enough, I love you.”
The opposite of loving God to get things from Him, is resting in His love for you, having your hope renewed in trusting His heart towards you. Rest comes from a place of realising that there is nothing to work towards, nothing to strive for, that the price for your heart was paid in full. Hope comes when we know we are loved beyond measure and that He wants us to be well, and trust comes when we realise His intentions are good and His love is perfect. In Him there is no sin, in this relationship there can be no fear and anxiety. Everything He does is to convince you to trust Him, so that you can know you are hidden in His love, and that His banner over you is Love. His desire is for you, to have your heart completely, just as you are. There is no pressure to act a certain way, or become a specific version of yourself. His love supplies an assurance that can’t be explained, and a peace that can’t be understood by human reasoning. His love was always meant to blow your mind.
Let this be our prayer, let this be our anthem – Jesus we love you, and we love what you love. May our hearts persist in seeking out the heart of God for those around us, and may we be constantly aware of who we are. May it be well with your thoughts, may it be well with your soul. I pray that God will reveal to you more each day how much you are loved and adored. Find your joy in knowing His heart. May you no longer be tormented and harassed by self-doubt and self- loathing. He saw us before the foundation of the world, chose us, loved us, and consecrated us, all for His pleasure and delight. He delights in you.