I no longer feel as I once did the tremendous pressure to perform or produce, oh it stills rears its head from time to time but it does not haunt me moment to moment as it once did! Why? Because I finally understood…I ran across Psalm 139 a number of years ago. The realization became clear. Jesus, God – knowing me fully before I was ever formed – loved me, loved us. Knowing before either you or I was formed EVERYTHING about us in advance – still He formed me, formed you. He knew I would fail, He knew I would blow it – just like now two days behind again in my Christmas devotional reading, or something stupid or hurtful that I carelessly said to someone dear. Still, He loves me; He loves you! Knowing everything about us, in advance of our first breath, He lovingly formed us with a purpose, a plan…a specific place in time in His mind for us where we would be placed purposefully. Knowing we would go our own way at times, get off track…yet He, in His great love, called forth my life and has walked every step with me – the good, the bad and yes, even the ugly! Even before I was aware of His Presence, He was right there whispering, “Perform no more, walk with Me and be free to become who I created you to be… not someone else’s image or destiny but your own unique calling unlike any other – no cookie cutter image here!” He provides grace for the gaps; and there are gaps! Times of self-doubt; times of difficulty; times of comparison; times fear slips in that I am not enough, unworthy, unloved. He always steps in, His Words chase me with grace; compel me; woo me; draw me closer… His grace whispered… love lavished…drawing me back, closer… reminding me of His love – unconditional – the love He created me in, you also!
How grateful I feel for God’s gift, His ultimate gift… Salvation! Right standing, a chance for real life, full and abundant life… Not just about heaven, the after life. No it is not just about avoiding separation from God, or a fiery hell and eternal punishment. No, His salvation is so much more… It is about life, true life. Full life, living water flowing in and through me; through you, overflowing that we might love others with a love that is greater than ourselves. A love like His! Pure love, unselfish love. His salvation is about working it out in our lives while we are alive, Philippians 2:12, with fear and trembling. Fear? Doesn’t perfect love cast out fear? Yes, this fear has a rich deep meaning of reverence and respect – not being afraid but a deep reverence and respect for the One who created us, loves us. He is for us, Jeremiah 29:11. When we understand and believe His Word, when we know He is for us and not against us, then we are able to see God as a perfect and loving Father who is always seeking our best as we walk this planet; then the reverence and respect He desires from us follows naturally. It is then we stop seeing Him as the great rule maker; we stop seeing Him as out to limit our fun, control us. It is in this place we begin to see His loving and gentle hand protecting us, guiding us to be the best we can be; to reach toward our destiny. We begin to live life to the fullest and most abundant progressively moving forward in love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, goodness, kindness, gentleness and self-control.
Salvation and eternal life are found in Jesus, but it does not stop there! We work it out (Philippians 2:12) in our lives by seeking the Father and walking with Jesus by means of the Holy Spirit’s guidance in our life – hearing God’s Word directing us in what He created us to be, wooing us, drawing us into the dance of our lives. His salvation is not just for eternity but for life here and now! He makes it so simple a small child can understand, yet we complicate it. He loves us indescribably, exponentially!! Yes, He like any good father wants us to be obedient but not for His sake or for His satisfaction but for our protection, for our good so that we can have the richest and most satisfying life possible. Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” He would not have taught them this if it we not possible, in fact all things are possible with God. What would it look like if every one of us who God calls son or daughter walked in our destiny and fully understood who we are in Christ. Can we even imagine? What would His kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven look like?
I am betting that just one glimpse and not one of us would ever be the same!!