This has been heavy on my heart lately. I have this huge desire to follow Jesus in a way that is not common. I believe it’s not widely accepted, so I feel out of place. The devil lurks and I see him clearly. One reason I know it is the enemy is the guilty feeling of knowing that it is the right thing, but the right thing is not truly accepted. So guilt — Tossed in the waves of the ocean.
I then remembered in a blink of an eye that God does not cause these waves of uncertainty. He gives the absolute peace that cannot be found anywhere else. Once I closed my eyes and feel Him there, unburdening myself of this load that I wasn’t meant to carry, I knew. I knew the enemy was the one who made me feel that way.
I came across a Bible plan in my little app in my little phone. One of the insights talked about how it’s okay to tell God the most vulnerable part of your heart. I’ve heard this many times before, but I guess in a way, this one touched me the most.
I wanted to live my life the way Jesus did. The way He called me to live it as well. Unapologetically but with a beautiful kind of light shining over it. It is a painful longing of the prayer I had for myself. That is to let Jesus live through me — all of the time, with authority even through a time of rest. Jesus went by himself to rest, and made it an importance of this time to his disciples.
It has been hindered (is this the right word?), or maybe buried underneath this worldly and cultural expectations that I started questioning who is it really I’m worshipping. We all say it. Put it in this way, every Christian will say Jesus. But when we look deeply in our hearts… does it get thwarted by those around us? Who shapes the actual outcome? Who is it really we are putting first in our lives over the one true God? One person answers, then the rest depends on the next, and those who follow.
Jesus has planted Galatians 5:22-23 since the very beginning of my journey with Christ. Something about this verse just resonated with me and it is the exact verse that told me who Christ is.
I wanted to be that. I wanted to be all of that. I learned it and I made it my life, eh, mantra?
It was just that important for me.
In a weird turn of events, the pigs and pearls came second. I just remember it all of the time. Imbedded in the book of Matthew, chapter 7 verse 6. He warns do not give what is holy to dogs, nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
Tear me to pieces? It’s a bit of how I feel at the moment. It is as if I’m being torn. Being pulled in two different directions leading me to being unsure of whose I am. Such a tragic thing and this is probably why a lot of Christians never truly become what Jesus has called them to.
What Jesus has called ME to.
Do not give, He said. It sounds like boundaries. When I think of boundaries, it isn’t for the outside. It’s for the inside. Protecting what is dear to me. The obvious reason of all is of course my own family, but there’s more than that. It’s my relationship with my Creator, my Father, my Friend.
He knew that it isn’t healthy and in turn, I would lose sight of truth. Do not give to those who do not want it because they truly do not want it. In other words, give to those who wants it. In more words, let go and let God.
There’s a long scenario here, one I’m reluctant to share but… well here it is:
“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.” – Matthew 18:15–17
Honestly the word pagan disgusts me. I’d absolutely be offended if someone said, “hey you, pagan!” Or “ya heathen!” Ugh 😩. It is a sore sight to see that a verse in the Bible actually instructs you to treat that person as a pagan. What are pagans? Those who don’t believe. I don’t know why, but I see pigs and pearls again. So I guess, in simple words… How else should a person bother? A person should not, unless they want to be torn.
In a world of people, most of the times I feel outnumbered. That in itself, turns me into questioning if I am being the diabolical one. Maybe I should be this way instead to please or make it easy for another person. I mean, isn’t that the Christian thing to do? Mainstream ones maybe, but biblically, God instructs something totally different. Matthew 10:14 says to move out of the home or town, shake the dust off your feet, and all of it can seem harsh. I would then play out the same scenario of the waves tossing, and realizing that yet again God does not cause confusion.
That one day of that strategically orchestrated by God Bible plan in my little app had something promising to teach. Something heavenly to teach, actually.
Allow yourself to be vulnerable to God in the very depth of your soul and say all the things you need to say… because He is your friend.
I imagined what that would look like. All of a sudden, the big God in the air that doesn’t really have a form that I could really understand or see, turned into a man named Jesus who walked along this earth and made himself known to the world by sight.
My prayer poured out to Him.
“Help me feel at peace in following you truly. Remove these lies of guilt in my heart. The one that constantly tells me I’m wrong for wanting to live out your Word. Help me to allow myself be fully free in my heart and mind to say the things you want me to say and do the things you want me to do. Remove the shackles and voices of others who cause confusion. Do not let me be torn into pieces, Lord. I don’t want to be torn away from you. Allow me find a quiet dwelling place to renew myself in Your name, Jesus. Bless me with clarity and strength to worship You and to carry out Your Word — without shame or confusion, but with Your Authority.”
Jesus said to speak life, truth, and love to those close to you that won’t live it. So I’ve learned that. I guess this is the time where I learn to truly put up boundaries to protect me. At the same time, to not be ashamed of this desire. Choosing to protect what should be holy. Because Lord, I don’t want to be torn…
No longer am I to question who I am worshipping. It is you, Jesus. No longer am I tossed by the sea, I am grounded by You.
As I imagine myself walking on a bright green grass on a sunny day, I realize that it is a picture of what’s to come — Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.