It is easy in life to fall into the idea that we have to be someone to be loved.
Actually it is far to easy to fall into that trap.
We try to earn not only peoples love and approval but God’s.
I fall into it. Time and time again, I find myself trying to earn God’s love. Trying to earn the approval of my parents and look good in the eyes of those around me. And in the moments when I am alone, the Lord quiets me and reminds me, that just as I am, I am loved. That just as I am, He wants my heart.
He does not want me to live a life that looks good on the outside, when within my heart I am far from Him.
He wants me to love Him with all of my heart, to come to Him after I fall and stumble. For when my heart is for God, I realize that I have no righteousness of my own, and when I make mistakes, I need Him even more because only He can heal me. Only He can cleanse me and only He can remind me of who I am, a loved child of Him who although am not worthy out of anything I have, He see’s me as worthy of His forgiveness and grace. For without His love, I would be stuck in my mistakes. Going deeper and deeper into the hole rather than seeing the light and coming out of it, knowing that, no matter how ashamed I may be, I come before Him and draw near to Him because He loves me, just as I am.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
2 Corinthians 3:17
Our culture has placed Jesus within the box of religious rules to follow, when in reality He is freedom. The Bible is not a list of “do’s and don’t” that determine whether you get accepted into heaven or go to hell. The Bible is the Word of God which gives life, it gives hope and a deeper understanding of our new life through Christ Jesus, no longer bound by regulations but able to live walking with Him through the Holy Spirit. Jesus came to show us God the Father longs for a relationship with us, He desires our hearts. For He created us for a purpose, to love Him; to know Him and be known by Him. The Bible is full of those who did not look good in the eyes of man, people who fell short and continued too. People who were sinners, just like you and I, yet Jesus called them His own.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
Romans 8:1 2
He called them to live a life set free from trying to win approval and looking for love in all the wrong places. Because in Him, He becomes Our Sustainer, Our Solid Foundation, The Word of God and Our Savior.
When we come to know Jesus we no longer want to turn to the things of the world to numb away the pain but rather work through them, and see that they no longer have a hold on our hearts and minds. He is not a rule book or laws to follow, rather He is the very One who will show you the love and redemption you are seeking to find freedom from the very things that weigh you down. The way Jesus calls us to live, to walk with Him and in His ways, is to not keep us from enjoying life but showing us how to enjoy life in the greatest measure. To live a life that doesn’t trap us and pull us down, but sets us free to live with the very One who created us. Abiding in Jesus is following in His footsteps because they are far greater than ours and only Him can we have eternal life.
For with Jesus
I am loved: regardless of how I feel or what I see, I know deep down that I am loved. I am loved by a God who is greater than anything this world can offer me. Because His love is eternal, it is not temporary as the things that surround me, but His love redeems me, cleanses me and reminds me of His abounding grace. I am loved not because of anything I do or don’t do, but because He has declared His love for me…for you.
I am forgiven: In my eyes I will never be clean enough. For I continue to fall, make mistakes and feel as though I cannot measure up to receive forgiveness from God. I feel as though I am not worthy to be forgiven, that I have too much to be forgiven for and He wouldn’t want someone like me. Yet He sent His Son Jesus so that I would be clean. For He does not see my stains and sins, yet He see’s me covered by the blood of His Son that washes away all my guilt and sin. For none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes in life, regardless if we believe in God or not, we all stumble. But now knowing that there is forgiveness for all those things, I no longer have to wallow in my guilt and shame but repent from it all and walk freely with Him. Learning from them and moving forward no longer carrying the weight of my mistakes on my back as burdens.
I have value: For I now know my identify is no longer held in the eyes of man but placed in the heart of a God who loves me, cherishes me and wants me to come to Him with all the good things and bad, for He cares for me. I do not have to be accepted or loved by others to know my value or my place. For in Christ Jesus I am found and made whole. I am not labelled as a body but as a soul. I am valued regardless if I live on the streets or have money and to me that gives me hope. That gives me a deeper sense of value, knowing that I am loved even if I lived in the slums and no longer have to try being successful and labour in vain to find value in the eyes of the world. For God loves us all, even those we walk by everyday not giving a second look. He see’s you and calls you to come to know Him and be known by Him.
I have a purpose: To know God and be known by Him. To live walking with Him each step of the way. To not just follow these set of “rules” with my mind and say things that I do not believe with my tongue, but to live each moment knowing that God rejoices over me, that He loves me, that He will never leave me nor forsake me. And all the times that I see all my sin, I am reminded of His grace that abounds over me and am able to keep coming back to Him. For I am made with an eternal purpose, one to live here and now walking with the King of Kings preparing for eternity.
I am set free: I am no longer bound to the ways of the world, trying to attain an image that will only leave me wanting more. I no longer look for love and value in others, through addictions or my body but in Him who has called me His own and claimed me as worthy of His Kingdom, and He is calling you too.
For I am seeing daily that walking with the Lord is all about the position of our hearts. It isn’t about what I do or don’t do, but how I stand before Him while making each decision. It is learning how to love Him with all of my heart, soul, mind and body. To walk each moment realizing that His plans are always far greater than mine and His love for me is deeper than I can ever imagine.
“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
For I could do all the good deeds in the world, but if my heart is not positioned before the Lord, then it is all in vain. For we live not to look good in the eyes of man, but to please our Father who is in heaven, so that He may be glorified with our little bit of lives. I see it as such a joy to no longer live for myself but for Him who has called us His own.
All this to say that it doesn’t matter what you do, what you look like, what others think about you- you have already been deemed valuable and worthy by the King of Kings and to Him you are wanted and welcomed into His Kingdom. For Jesus is Our Redeemer, He is the one whom you can call on and be saved.
“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
I once was in a battle for love, trying to love myself, love others and learn what love was and now that battle is over. For love is not found or made, it is grown from a place of knowing who God is and walking with Him. Letting our hearts be healed from all our pains and hurts. Love is what sets us free, what empowers us to live each day knowing who we are and no longer being defined by this culture that doesn’t know the difference between what’s good and bad. The battle is done when Jesus died, for we are now able to walk freely with love Himself, and come to know Him in our hearts.
For you are loved, you are valued and you are wanted. Just as you are. Our hearts are what matters most to God, not just our deeds. We sometimes think that we need to be “good” before we can come to God and many stay away from Him because they feel unworthy or unforgivable, and that is not true. For you are welcomed, just as you are. Our God is a God of mercy, or compassion and redemption. He comes to those who know their great need for Him and the more that I see how great He is, the more I realize how much I need Him. Because without Him, I am lost, I am broken and I am searching for love and fulfillment in all the wrong places. Without Him I have nothing of myself worth any good. He doesn’t come for those who are already good in and of themselves, He comes for us who know our great need for someone who can save.
“To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”