Reminding myself that Christ is The Only Perfect One and as I lean on Him, I have no need to be perfect but at the same time, I sometimes feel the strain that as a Christian I am called to live a life that looks different to that of the World and that can sometimes be hard.
When emotions run low and you no longer feel that the joy of the Lord is your strength what do you? When emotions run high and you don’t feel as though God is able to make a way of escape so that you do not succumb to temptations, what do you do?
The ultimate answer lies in the truth. Knowing the truth, believing the truth, professing the truth. There’s one thing I have realised, you cannot profess or speak the truth over your life and/or the circumstances you are dealing with and not see a change. It may not even necessarily be instant but a change will come. Why? Because the truth is God and God cannot lie neither can the words He professes ever fall short or not accomplish what He said they would.
I was feeling a bit 50/50 and was asked to lead a Bible study recently. I didn’t feel like doing it, however I thought it’s not about me, it’s about God and His people. God is always aways consistent with me and always shows up for me, so the least I can do is lead this Bible Study. Despite how I felt, the Bible Study really did lift my spirit. Why? Because I was sharing the truth and the truth sets one free.
There are undoubtedly going to be times when you feel like God I cannot do this (walk of faith) anymore. I always fail, I never measure up, I can’t keep going through these highs and lows of faith but no one said that that this walk was going to be easy. Jesus Himself said that we (believers) will face many trials and tribulations in this world ,but even in that we cannot lose hope because God has overcome the world and if we are His children and heirs, then we too have overcome this world.
Whoever said that being a Christian is a walk in the park lied. This is a battle and not just any battle, this is a spiritual one where your soul is at stake. Don’t think the enemy takes it lightly that you profess your faith and declare your love towards Christ your Saviour. Don’t think the enemy is pleased when you forsake your selfish desires and instead follow Christ the Author and Finisher of your faith. No, he is not happy at all but seething, angry, reviled and disgusted. His plan is to steal, to kill, to destroy.
We know that in Christ there is no longer any condemnation but the enemy is always around prowling like a roaring lion seeking who to devour so that he can have legitimate grounds upon which he can accuse you. Don’t let him play with you. Don’t be a pawn on his playing board.
It is hard and I’m not going to say that I’ve never fallen for the bait because I have several times and the thing is, as I grow in Christ, it gets harder for me because I realise more and more how fallible I am. I realise that I can’t do this walk of faith on my own strength because my own strength is no where near enough. It’s not nice to come face to face with your weaknesses and realise how much they can at times have a stronghold over you. Whether it’s where my attitude wasn’t the greatest or I’ve said something, done something or acted in a way I fully know I shouldn’t have. It definitely does get to me.
In any sense It sucks to fail. I mean no one likes to have their eyes and heart set on a prize to then lose. It hurts. You feel rubbish and no matter how many times you hear “it is well” or “next time”, there will be an initial stage or feeling of disappointment in yourself.
I’ve come to learn that talking is great therapy. Sharing your shortcomings, struggles and pain points with not only God but also your trusted people can bring such relief. Speaking it out and being honest and vulnerable about the things that you’re going through or dealing with, exposes them and what is exposed can’t hold you down or back. It can’t hang like a cloud over your head taunting you and making you feel as though you’re worthless and alone. With all this being said, it is important to share things with those you can trust. Those who will yes tell you the truth in love, but also lift you up, not make you feel ashamed, pray for you, hold you accountable and most importantly love you. The hardest thing is holding it in and thinking ‘what are they going to think about me.’ Don’t let self deprecating thoughts, hold you back from living in the freedom God has already set out for you.
There is nothing new under the sun and you would be surprised about how many people may actually be going through exactly the same thing as you - only if you would share.
I remember reading something by Lysa Terkeurst. She wrote ‘perfection does not exist on this side of eternity’. Lysa also said that the ‘pursuit of perfection can be exhausting’ and in all honesty it truly is. Instead of pursuing perfection and being unattainable so that no one can relate to you or it’s hard to approach you, be real. In a world where everyone seeks to be hard, be soft. In a world where vulnerability is seen as weakness, make it a strength. I shared something with one of mentees this week and where it’s not something I would share normally, it actually felt freeing to share and it acted as an encouragement to her as well. Don’t beat yourself up when things go wrong. I mean there is a stark difference in doing wrong because you know Christ is gracious and will forgive anyway, so bascially acting recklessly on purpose, and in making a mistake, being remorseful about it, repenting and moving on.
Don’t allow the enemy to hang a cloud of shame over your head. You don’t have to be perfect, Jesus Christ already is. You just have to love Him and love His people. Everything else will follow.
Lots of love,