Right where you are.
There isn’t one thing that you need to do before you are loved by God.
He accepts you for who you are… right now.
He won’t accept your sins, but he will accept you.
Way back when I had all these great ideas of what a real christian would look like.
In other words I felt like I needed to change who I was in order to be a real christian. For example, Public speaking is more freaky to me then a huge spider, (trust me, spiders are one of the worlds creepiest creatures) but I need to overcome my fears and step out of my comfort zone and learn the art of public speaking.
Yea, maybe… because we won’t get very far if we never take those steps of faith, but thats not what I want to point out here.
When I asked God about it, this is what he had to say:
I know the plans I have for you and I created you perfectly to fit into those plans, If I wanted you to be a speaker up on stage in front of people, I would have given you the ability to speak.
I felt like I had been set free to be exactly who I was instead of who I thought I needed to become, and it just made so much sense.
God created us, so he had the ability to make us however he wanted too, so why would he create some with a dislike for public speaking and then expect them to be passionate public speakers?
Why would he create someone with a love for living in the spotlight and a talent for speaking and then expect them to work quietly and unnoticed behind the scenes?
Guys (as in all people 🙂 ), seriously, I want you to get this…
The core of who you are will never change.
We can grow in our weaknesses…
The quiet person can learn to speak publicly and maybe even learn to enjoy it, but they will never attain that natural gift for it because it isn’t in the core of who God made them.
The ‘life of the party’ people can even learn the art of quietly working behind the scenes but silencing the voice God gave them will never come naturally for them. (nor will it last long, so enjoy it while it does.) 🙂 (no worries, I really do love talkative people, in fact I envy them a bit sometimes) 🙂
Even so, the core of who God created you to be will never change.
If you love details, you will never naturally jump into something without knowing the details.
If you hate details, learning to plan carefully will never come naturally for you and that’s ok because God made you unique, he made you exactly the way you need to be to live out the mission he has for you.
We should always be striving to grow stronger in our weak areas, but lets not try to eliminate them because the truth of the matter is…
Meet people where they are.
Recently I came to the conclusion that, we as people, have a really hard time stepping down from where God has us spiritually, to meet people where they are spiritually.
As christians we are all on a journey with God and the longer we walk with him the deeper that relationship grows and the more we learn to understand his ways and know his heart.
I understand things now, that I didn’t usually understand.
Why then, is it my human instinct to turn around and wonder why not everyone seems to understand what I do?
It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and it is a marathon that doesn’t end until you die.
Which means you will spend the rest of your life learning about God and his great love for us.
You will spend the rest of your life growing closer to him and being transformed to become more and more like him.
News flash: He works on each of differently!
Just because the first thing he convicted you of was your bad language, doesn’t mean thats the first thing he’s going to weed out of everyones life.
Maybe they will walk with God for 20 yrs before he convicts them of that, because remember: he has a plan for everyone, he creates each individual to fit into that plan and guess what?
Even the often painful things he leads us through that mold us and shape us to become more like him are unique to each person to prepare us for the specific plans God has for each specific person.
We are humans, who live in a fallen world, so no matter how Christ-like we become we will always have a rough edge or two somewhere. If we allow him too, God will be sanding those edges smoother for the rest of our lives, but we will never see perfection this side of Heaven.
In DTS they did this thing where they asked us to rate our relationship with God on a scale from one to ten.
The average answer fell somewhere between 5-8, which most people explained as: well I feel like I have a good relationship with God, but I also know that theres so much more to learn and grow in.
Good answer right?
They told us we should always rate our relationship with God as a 10.
What?! My relationship with God is far from perfect!
Actually its not.
Your relationship with God is perfect!
Weather you start your christian walk at 10 years old or 90 years old your relationship is perfect because you can never advance beyond your current level of growth right now, you can always keep growing but in this moment you can’t be where you will be next year.
God isn’t disappointed in his relationship with you because he knows everything. He even knew that you would hit that dry period where you didn’t really grow at all for awhile, but he’s still not disappointed with where you are now.
Because disappointment means: To fail to satisfy someone’s hope,desire or expectation.
So you see? Because God is all-knowing, you can’t actually disappoint him.
Your relationship with God is always perfect!
Here’s the thing…
If God accepts us exactly where we are. If He can allow us to grow at our own pace and doesn’t rush us.
Then why? Can we not do the same for one another?
Why do conservative pastors preach against non-conservative churches?
Why do non-conservative pastors preach against conservative churches?
Every single denomination has legitimate christians in it, just like every single denomination has people in it who think they are saved because of the church they attend.
There is christians in the amish and mennonite churches. Sure they might be living in bondage but if the love of Christ shines through them, who am I to try to boot them out? Especially if God accepts them exactly where they are?
There is christians in ‘english’ 🙂 churches. Sure they might be less community oriented and might dress a bit immodestly sometimes, but if the love of Christ shines through them, who am I to try to set them straight? Especially if God accepts them exactly where they are?
I can’t tell you how much I long to see these two cultures fully accept each other. We serve the same God, so why can’t we lay all else aside?
I long to able to hang out with my people and not be judged for the choices I made that don’t line up with their belief system. (BTW I’m talking about the amish church as a whole, not any specific individual people.)
I also long to hang out with the non-conservative people and not feel like like they would like to knock all of the amish culture out of me because there is freedom in Christ!
There is freedom in Christ!!
Freedom to be exactly who you are!
Christ accepts us, with all our flaws, in a way that no church ever has, or ever will because who am I kidding?
We will never see perfection this side of Heaven.
I still think we can do better then we currently are…
I think we can pursue and grow in that Christ-like love, and while we will never perfect it, I think we should be able to come pretty close, because:
I can do all things through him who gives me strength! Philippians 4:13