Many of you know I have been going through something akin to burnout. I have blogged about it in a series called Stripped. It coincided beautifully with a renovation going on in our home. God never wastes anything, does He?
I've begun seeing a counselor to help me sort out my feelings. This has been wonderfully healing for me. You see, I am usually the one who counsels. I found that having someone validate what I am going through is exactly what I needed. Casually, my counselor handed me a portion of a book and told me to read it for my homework. I started to read it but found that pages were missing. By that time, however, I was intrigued by the story and I found it on the Kindle. It's called Two Roads, Two Rooms by John Lynch, Bill Thrall and Bruce McNicol. It's actually an allegory that describes two paths we take as believers. One is the pleasing God path and the other is the trusting God path. This little book got right to the heart of the matter with me. Am I trying to please God in my own strength or trusting what God says about me is true?
I can't describe it but I felt the lightbulb go on in my heart. I have been living out of a motive to please God in my own strength which I simply cannot do. By trusting Him and believing in His salvation, I end up pleasing Him but trust always comes first. I had begun to get weighed down by condemnation and striving and not seeing myself accurately. The truth about me that I simply need to embrace is that I am a new creation in Christ. God is not interested in changing me because He already did! The moment I trusted Him that first time long ago I received the new me! It's a matter of maturing into who God has already made me to be. It's almost like catching up to the reality that is. And boy, do I have some catching up to do! I am actually excited about it, though.
The grace and freedom that flooded my heart once I had this revelation astounded me. A peace came in; it hasn't left. A wave of relief washed over me. A joy settled on me. It's like I am seeing with new eyes. I AM SEEING WITH NEW EYES! The truth of the gospel hit me. There is nothing I can do to earn God's favor. It's done because Jesus did everything to win God's favor for me. The only thing I can do is fully put my trust in what Jesus has done (easier said than done, I am finding.) This is really pleasing to God, when I believe and trust! Trust always comes first, then I can live out of that trust. If it's the other way around, it's going to lead to working to earn my salvation. NOPE. Not the gospel!!!
Here's the confession: I know this stuff. I teach it. I read it in the Bible every day. And yet I find striving is ingrained in me. How could I have forgotten? How could I have gotten so far off track? I can be really really hard on myself so I have tried to hold this gently. I simply became too focused on me, my sin and how that supposedly separates me from God. Um, no. The Cross took care of that issue. The Cross was the Exchange of all Exchanges. I now am robed in Jesus' righteousness. It's too good to be true! I have been reawakened to the gospel message once again. God graciously put me back on track as He always does.
For now, I am enjoying the renewed love of Christ, basking in it, experiencing His lavish love. I am more aware of how ingrained the striving is and yet, I am allowing God to change this in me because I simply cannot do it. I love that He will do it for me.
I pray He graces you today.
Does this post resonate with you? Which path are you on? Your comments mean the world to me.
Labels: belief, believe, Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol, faith, gospel, grace, John Lynch, pleasing God, renovation, renovation of the heart, salvation, Truefaced, trust, Two Roads Two Rooms