I'm currently reading a book that I'm reviewing for Multnomah Publishing Group. Though this is NOT my official review, nor have I finished the book, I just had to share something that I have already read in it that TRULY spoke to me. This is another one of those books that is taking me FOREVER to read since it's so full of GOOD stuff. It's from the book "Lazarus Awakening" by Joanna Weaver. Many of you may have read her book "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" or even attended a women's Bible study on it.
I wonder what would happen in our lives if we stopped resisting God's love and started receiving it. What if we stopped trying to do the math, stopped striving to earn His favor? What if we just accept the altogether-too-good-to-be-true news that the yardstick has been broken and the Cross has opened a door to intimacy with our Maker?
For if we are ever to be His beloved, we must be willing to BE loved.......
Maybe it's time to look in the mirror and start witnessing to ourselves.
Maybe it's time we stop living by what we feel and start proclaiming what our spirits already know. "I have been chosen by God. Whether I feel loved or believe I deserve it, from this moment on I choose to be loved.
Say it out loud: "I choose to be loved." .....
So say those words as many times as you need to...until the message gets through your thick head to your newly tender heart. Until you finally come to believe what's been true all along.
Shh...listen. Do you hear it?
And He's calling your name.
Doesn't that just make your heart overfill with joy and soothe the innermost doubts and hurts? For me it does. I am one of those guilty of carrying a yardstick. Sure, I can wrongly use it to see if others are measuring up, but in truth I use it on myself WAY more often. Constantly measuring myself against others, against my OWN expectations, against the person I am and the one I want to be. In my mind, I can just see myself marking another notch of failure on it and not measuring up. I yelled at my kids....whack...there you go down another notch. I didn't get X,Y, or Z done today...whack. I let someones hurtful comments go down deep....whack. I was short with my husband or allowed a very minor disagreement turn into something bigger....whack, whack. I meant to eat just two cookies or walk that extra mile but instead never put on my tennis shoes and ate five (or more cookies....after all, it IS girl scout cookie time!).....whack, whack, whack.
What if....what if I gave God my yardstick and let him replace it with His cross? His word constantly reminds us to not become like the Sadduccees and Pharisees that lived by the law. How would my life change if I truly gave God my yardstick----the dangerous tool that I compare myself to others or find failure in myself with.
The author wrote about when she was able to finally do that and her words describe it beautifully:
For as I surrendered my yardstick--the tool of comparison that had caused so much mental torment and a sense of separation from God--Jesus took it from my hands. Then, with a look of great love, He broke it over His knee and turned it into a cross, reminding me that He died so I wouldn't have to.
Can't you just picture that? I got a huge dose of Holy Ghost goosebumps wash over me with that picture in my mind. I love it so much that I see a trip out in the near future to purchase a yardstick. JUST SO I CAN BREAK IT! I think I'll then place it in the shape of the cross and put it somewhere that I can look at it when I need that reminder.
For the reality is, no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to explain or deserve such amazing grace and incredible love. Nor can we escape it.
It's just too WIDE. (Ephesians 3:18). We can't get around it.
It's just too HIGH. We can't get over it.
It's so LONG we'll never be able to outrun it.
And it's so DEEP we'll never be able to exhaust it.
Bottom line. You can't get away from God's love no matter how hard you try. Because He's pursuing you, my friend. Maybe it's time to stop running away from love and start running toward it.
Powerful words. Beautiful words. Words worth BELIEVING in. Just as Wendy Pope said in her "The Scriptures are Alive" workshop on Saturday (surely you didn't think I would get through a post without mentioning Hearts at Home!)......."It's time to put that cross down, Someone else needs the wood! " It's time to let go of our failures and our lack of measuring up in our minds. It's time to let God's love TRULY penetrate each and every deep, dark crevice. Those are healing words. That is REAL encouragement. THAT is LOVE from a cross, not a yardstick!