Nothing less…

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“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

I heard her say, “If you still feel just a little bit broken, even a tiny bit, stand up, God has healing for you.” In that moment the small shards of glass left in my heart began to swirl and work their way to the top. I knew something amazing was about to happen. As I stood up and began to praise God, a tremendous weight was lifted.

This was my experience at a conference I attended last weekend. As I got in my car to begin the drive home, I felt changed. But there was more I needed to understand. Where had that last bit of brokenness had been hiding and why my heart had refused to give it up until this moment?

A few days later I came across a blog post that answered my question. The writer approached Jesus and His all sufficiency with fresh perspective. He used the specific term “100 percent.” Jesus became 100 percent of the world’s sin in one inconceivable moment.

The idea of Jesus covering all sin was not new to me, but seeing it written as a percentage shifted my thought process. I understood the fullness of His sacrifice from the standpoint of my own sin, but the thought of Jesus having become ALL sin, even the horrible act of date-rape that happened against me when I was 15, took me aback.

I don’t know if the man who hurt me knows Jesus or not. He may have experienced the divine power of forgiveness, or He may still be living in bondage. But what I cannot deny is that Jesus became all sinners, all of us, in that moment. I wasn’t sure how to process this truth, but after some time I have realized what this means to me.
It means not one single second of that night was hidden from Christ. He saw it all. He experienced it all. His sufficiency covered both of us completely. Jesus died to provide Him with forgiveness, me with the capacity to forgive, and healing for both of us that would have been impossible without Him.

Up to this point, my heart and mind secretly held to the idea that Christ was awesome, but He might not be enough to free me from my past. Sure, I talked like He was enough. I desperately wanted Him to be enough, I just wasn’t completely sure.

2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” His forgiveness and redemption power is not only limitless, but also complete. It is not coming soon. We don’t have to wait on it. It’s already here. Therefore, I do not have to wait around and see if He might be enough or if He might set me free, because He already has.

In the moment I stood up, God showed me His power. He has indeed set me free. It was me who needed to let go. To decide I would fully accept what He has to offer. And this freedom is not just for me. It’s for all of us!

Maybe it’s time you stand up, wherever you are, and receive the fullness of His healing, grace, redemption, and forgiveness. God did not send His son that you might experience 99.9% freedom in your life. He died for the 100%. Total coverage of you and anyone who has sinned against you so that you might not only be 100% forgiven, but 100% free.

God, we are asking for the fullness of your promise, nothing less. The fullness of Jesus and His sacrifice to come alive, 100%, in our hearts and minds. Complete freedom and total forgiveness. On the cross, You said, “It is finished.” It is already done. Lord Jesus, bring us into the fullness of all you have for us. We were meant for nothing less. In Jesus Name We Pray, Amen.

An invitation to humility…

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Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10

We’ve all heard it…James 4:10. A highly quoted and noted verse. As is the case with many well known verses, we skim over them thinking our spirits have already soaked up every ounce of God breathed wisdom they can offer. But I can’t get the verse out of my mind, so much so it has haunted me for the better part of a year.

I tell God that I get it…be humble. But do I really get it? Do I really get humility? Or am I confusing it with self-abasement and false humility. Maybe I don’t confuse it, but I dismiss it as nothing more than a word, denying the power of a humble servant heart and the impact it could have on my relationship with the Lord.

When you look at James Chapter 4 in its entirety there really is much more to it than just verse 10. Verses 1-10 reveal a story, a revelation even. The chapter opens discussing conflict. Why we engage in conflict and how it can be related to wanting what other people have.

I didn’t have this problem…right? I am happy with my car, house, and such…but it seems my jealousy existed on a higher plane. At times I grew jealous of others relationships with God – why did it seem stronger than mine? I even found myself jealous about the spiritual gifts they had or the opportunities God gave them.

I didn’t physically wage war with them, but mentally I start pulling hair and dragging them to the ground. And what was the consequence? They didn’t suffer…but I sure did.

I love what James 4:4 says, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”

Does it get any worse than likening an obsession with what others have to adultery? Cheating on God himself with thoughts of what we want and what we think we need – bashing Him for what He hasn’t given to us and refusing to realize there is a reason.

James 4:2 tells us we have not because we ask not, but other times we have not because we ask with wrong motives…

So what do we do when we ask for what someone else has, He says no, and we are consumed with frustration and jealousy? We readily accept His invitation to humility.

Humility chooses to trust He knows best withholds no good thing from His children. Humility chooses to believe He keeps His promises. Humility trusts His timing-His seasons and humility chooses to let go of what we want and trade it for what we already have…a God who is jealous for us. Who wants all of us.

Perhaps James 4:7-10 MSG version says it best…”So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.”

And there it is…your open invitation from Him into the beauty of true humility…

Out of demands hands…

isaiah 64“Father God I am clay in your hands…help me to stay that way through all life’s demands…” ~Toby Mac Lose My Soul

I’ve heard this song hundreds of times, but for some reason the lyrics struck me…

Lord, am I clay in your hands?

Or am I allowing the demands of life ~ circumstances and life experiences ~ to shape who I am and what I will become.

My work demands…

My family demands…

Society demands…

Not to mention the demands I put upon myself…the blind expectations I never notice until I  shame myself for not meeting them.

But how do we live as clay when everything around us constantly dictates a mold?

The perfect wife. The perfect mom. The perfect boss. The perfect worker. The perfect Bible study leader. The perfect participant. The hands of demands are infinite.

They squeeze and mold us, push and pull us, in a thousand different directions. Maybe that’s the beauty of the clay and the potter.

We can rest in the Lord’s hands, knowing He would rather mold us into His majesty than force us into expectations we will never live up to.

In my work, my home, my everything, I want to step out of the hands of demands and into the hands of the potter. In those hands there are no expectations and I know all movements are driven by love of a potter who wants nothing but the best for me. Such beautiful hands …completely void of any and all demands.