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Hey guys! I hope everyone has been okay since my last post. I am excited to share this post today. It really got me to think about the substance of my faith and beliefs. As, a believer it is always important to examine yourself and your faith (2 Corinthian 13:5). It’s not to stir up doubt, but sometimes as we travel the journey through salvation, we get trapped in doing Christianity, instead of being a genuine Christ follower.
Yesterday, I was led to this very thing as I wrote in my journal and spent time with Christ. As, I wrote, I heard Christ ask me ” What draws you to me?”. So, of course I answered and I begin to list why I was drawn to Him.
- Your love and mercy.
- I can be myself with you and not be judged.
- When I am in Your presence I don’t feel pressured to do anything or perform. I can just be still, rest and be loved.
- I don’t have to say anything or explain my out of control emotions, yet I have a unexplainable assurance that You know.
- You comfort me when no one else can.
I wrote out a list of things to answer His question. As, I looked over my list I was drawn to my third listed response “When I am in Your presence I don’t feel pressured to do anything or perform. I can just be still, rest and be loved.” This answer caught me. I was used to performing for love and acknowledgement. From since I could remember I was the child, teenager, and young adult who performed to get attention and feel a sense of love. I wore myself out trying to perform to my best ability to feel important and receive affirmation that I was enough, but I never seemed to be. Yet, in that very statement I wrote I saw the grace and unfailing love of Christ. While I continued to ponder the statement with my heart, I realized that the performance part of me was still alive. Sometimes I still wore myself out seeking approval from God and others— I secretly thought well if I don’t do this “God want heal me, from this or He want do this for me.”
Without knowing it I had placed my relationship with Jesus inside of a “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” box. My sickness of performing for love in my past life had followed me into my new life with Christ and was shaping the terms of our relationship. I sat at the table knowing that what Christ was revealing to me by the Holy Spirit was absolutely true. This demon was still stealing life from me and I had to do something about it. But there was still the part of me I lived with for years, that raised its head up and said “What if I stop doing so much, would you really still continue to heal me? Would You still love me, would I still be a good Christian?” Then I was reminded of the Ten Lepers Jesus healed on the way to Jerusalem and I found it to read in my bible.
“As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”. He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, Praise God! He fell to the ground at Jesus feet, thanking him for what He had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men”? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner? And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.”
“What do you want me to see”, I asked Him (Jesus). He replied ” I do not want to heal you, based on you doing something for Me in return. Only man (people) will offer you service with the motive of expecting something in return. When I give you something, I don’t require you to love Me, you don’t have to follow Me, you don’t have to do anything for Me.” If I give you something, if I heal you, it is because I just LOVE you. What you do in return of My healing or blessing to you is your choice. That is why I have given you Free Will.” As, He spoke these Words to me, I began to understand, but at last I still had questions. So, I asked “Why did you question where the other men were, if you weren’t disappointed that only one person returned to acknowledge You?” Once again in His patience He responded “My disappointment was not completely, because they didn’t give God glory for their healing, but it came when they cried out “Master”, when they needed my power, but did not actually want Me. They chose the temporary healing on this earth, instead of the eternal blessing I could have given them if they came to know who I was, and not just what I could do.” Yet, I did not chase them down and fuss at them because they did not return to do anything for me. I released them and let them operate in their choices, but they still walked away as witnesses of my unconditional love. ”
In that moment, Jesus reminded me of His love for me. His love for humanity. His love doesn’t have any strings attached to it. For people like me who performed all their life, it comes as Freedom when we can accept this. When we learn to let go of the burden of trying to perform to be loved by a mother who didn’t nurture you, a father who abandoned you, a boss who is impossible to please or a friend who is always devaluing you—we make room to accept the grace of the Savior who says He just wants to love you. Of course you may say “Well, doesn’t the bible say that we should serve Christ.” And you are absolutely right, but let this serving come from a place of RELATIONSHIP not RELIGION. When you serve Christ let your serving come from a heart of worship and thankfulness, not obligation and performance. Christ came to set us free, not place us in more unbearable chains. He loves US. He loves YOU and He wants you to get to know Him.
Romans 5:8 reads “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Christ didn’t wait for you to make a choice whether you were going to love Him or not, He decided from His on LOVE that He was going to die for you regardless of what your final choice was. Regardless, of my crazy, anxiety filled, performing mind He chose me first (John 15:16). He chose you first and you are invited to choose Him and know HIM as the eternal gift of God, not just a temporary fix.
I love you guys and I hope this has helped you or made you ponder. This time with Christ has really blessed me and I am grateful I can share it with you. Until next time my people, I want you to know that He loves you and when He showed it there were no strings attached.
In the Stillness
In the stillness you whisper Words that only my heart can understand.
In the stillness you ease my worrisome mind with the touch of Your hand
In the stillness I come to know You
And I find that I am unconditionally LOVED
when I am just still.
Alexandria Leggette, In the Stillness