Confessions, Part I: Acceptance is the First Step
Confession alert! I’ve been a Christ-follower for a long time. I went to Christ-centered institutes of education for the majority of my schooling. I’m a pastor’s kid. I’m a pastor’s wife. Ready for my confession? I still (yes, still) find that, at times, I have very untrue views about how God operates. Even today, as I sat down for my morning prayer time, I came across one such fallacy-filled philosophy.
Things had started out well enough. I prayed for my list of concerns. I asked Him to help me to be a blessing today in some new way. I praised Him and thanked Him for all He’s done and for all He’s been. But then (this is the part where my confession kicks in), I started asking forgiveness for not doing enough in my attempt to solicit an answer from Him about a particular request that’s laying on my heart. I apologized for not fasting long enough. I apologized for not praying long enough. I figured in my mind that I had not seen breakthrough (AKA an answer) in that area yet because of something of my own doing (or rather, my not doing). I felt guilty and beaten down and defeated. I felt like I had let God down by not doing more.
Thankfully, it only took a moment before I shook my head, took a deep breath, and asked forgiveness again. But this time, it was for putting my own, earthly, limited perceptions onto a Holy, all-powerful God. It is almost an insult to Him that I would take my own behavioral expectations and place them onto my perfect Heavenly Father. Why is it still so hard for me to accept His love at times? Why do I insist on being harder on myself than even He is?
The truth is that God’s grace has never been about me. It’s not about what I can offer. It’s not about how much I bring to the table. What a laughable thought! It’s simply a one-way gift that He’s given to me with no expectation of return. God’s not sitting on His throne, frowning down upon me and waiting for me to take even the slightest step outside of His strict formula so that He can zap me. No! This is the God who is the perfect dichotomy of power, justice, and knowledge, but also, the most pure and perfect fulfillment of grace, love, and mercy. He’s vengeance and compassion all in one, unimaginably perfect package!
Not all of my prayers will see immediate answers in the specific ways that I want. I cannot, however, immediately draw the conclusion that this means I have not done enough in order to see my prayers answered. God’s ways are so much higher than our own, that we often cannot grasp what He is doing in a moment in time. That’s okay, though! We only need trust that He is still in control, and that His answers will always be the right ones. Yes, even when they differ from my answers. Putting the responsibility for the answer on me and my actions makes it all about me, when it is now and always has been all about Him.
Do you have some misconceptions about life that you’ve inadvertently brought over into your relationship with God? Let them go! They burden you down with a guilt that He does not desire for you to carry. Get before Him today and allow His sweet love to overwhelm you until you can’t help but cry out and realize just how twisted you’ve been seeing Him this whole time. He loves us! Oh! How He loves us!