The other night, I was sitting in bed, completely discouraged by my lack of faithfulness to God. I had gotten caught up in school, work, and life, and as a result, I neglected my personal time with Him. How did I get there? When did He stop being my first priority? Things had been going so well, but in the blink of an eye, almost a whole week passed by without me spending some serious time reading my Bible, asking God questions, and waiting for His words to guide me. The more I thought about it, the worse I felt.
Of course, neglecting God is almost never intentional (except I've been there too. But that's a post for another day). It's not that I didn't want to spend time with Him, but I somehow... forgot to. And as a result, I sat in bed feeling completely ashamed. I felt displaced from His presence, and as a result, I thought that doing anything "spiritual" at that point would make me an imposter.
As my thoughts began to spiral, I was taken aback by the conclusion that in my brain, spending time with God at that point would just be insulting to Him.
Too many times, I've distanced myself from God because I felt too dirty, too far, too unworthy. We think that God is for the clean. The put-together. The ultra-spiritual saints.
But the biggest mistake you can make is to think you have to have it all together to follow Jesus.
Who did Jesus actually call as His chosen? The least of these. He chose the fishermen, the tax-collectors, the uneducated, the... nobodies.
And what did He say to them?
Upon first glance, without them knowing anything at all about Him (while He knew every dark and dirty detail about their messy lives), He only had one instruction: To follow Him in the midst of their mess.
He didn't tell them to go read up on their word, memorize scripture, spend a few weeks in prayer and fasting, repent, go through a rigorous spiritual cleansing ritual, or to do anything remotely along these lines.He simply said to come as they were...that who they already were was worthy enough to walk in the footsteps of holiness personified.
So what is He saying to us?
Follow me. Learn from me. I will teach you the way to live: not a life of legalism or cruelty, but a life of freedom and love. You have no idea the life that awaits you in me; come to me. You will be refreshed and renewed in the recovery I have waiting for you.
Follow me. I will teach you the unforced rhythms of grace. You don't have to put on the facade that your life is a perfect picture of what it looks like to be a
Follow me. In kindness, I will take you firmly by the hand and lead you into radical life change. The following precedes the transformation.
You are worthy. You are enough. You are chosen. You are called. You are seen. You are known. You are loved beyond measure. You are pursued. You will never be given up on. You will never be too far that I can't reach you.
We have allowed shame to overshadow grace. We're living in the shadows, but He is everywhere and in everything; all we have to do is step into the light. The transformative work is up to Him; all you have to do is commit to following Him. Let Him change you.