We all say we want the truth. We believe in the truth. We want to get real. But, the truth is until we are willing to get honest about our struggles, our past, our strongholds, we will never reach the full destiny that the Lord has planned for each one of us. Despite the got it all together appearances we try to maintain, God knows our hearts. HE knows our thoughts, the impure ones, the selfish ones, the petty ones and he loves us still. There is a difference between love and being pleased. There is nothing we can do to make God loves us more or any less. But there is a difference between being loved by God and pleasing God. Just like with our own children. We love them all the time but there are many days that we are not pleased with something they have done. God loves us so much that he sees potential in us that we do not see in ourselves. He also sees for this potential to reach the top there are things that must die. It is time for us to quit playing the games. Quit worrying about what others think of us and strip off the strongholds that have us bound. When we take the steps to do this and get real , it pleases God. He says, yes, FINALLY, now, I can work in you and you can do what I have called you to do.
The scripture Romans 11:29 that our Pastor Chris shared this past Sunday has given me a new lease on life. It has broken chains that I still carried around even as a God fearing, blood bought, on fire for God Christian. This scripture reassures us that God’s gifts and call that he placed on our life are irrevocable and NEVER rescinded. It tells me that I can still have the original plan, the masterpiece that God had for me to fulfill even with my past failures. The Lord is also showing me in order for me to have that plan there are things that I have to do.
Nothing is luck or chance when we serve the Lord. I heard a new take on the story of Lazarus and Jesus raising him from the dead. When Jesus arrived at the tomb of Lazarus , he told them to roll away the stone. Now, we all know Jesus could have spoke to the stone and it would have moved in a second but he told others to do it. Jesus spoke and told Lazarus to come forth. Lazarus walked forth and was bound by his wrapped linens for burial and Jesus told them to unwrap him. In a relationship with Jesus it is always two fold. Something is ALWAYS required of us. You see Jesus will not do for us what we can do for ourselves. He raised Lazarus from the dead which no man could do. The rest they could do. This story also showed me the spiritual realm. Even though Christ raised me from my former life, I still have strongholds that bind me just like Lazarus had burial linens that bound him. He was alive but he needed help to get unbound. He had Jesus and friends to help him. We need this same Jesus and friends to help us today. James 5 :16 tells us, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
It has only been in the last year that I truly understood that we can love the Lord and be serving him and still have strongholds. God wants to set us free from them. For me there were some that were such a part of me that I did not know what was a stronghold and what was me. I thought they were part of my DNA so to speak because I lived with them for so long. Speaking from experience I have lived the fake it until you make it life and the real freedom that only Christ can give and trust me fake is exhausting. I love the book title from Rick Bezet, Be Real For Fake Is Exhausting. Rick is speaking of the Christian life and teaching us through his life experiences how to live in true freedom everyday. God is showing me that living the REAL life for him is the purpose of our life. We are to multiply everything that he has given us. Every talent, gift, calling, blessings, MULTIPLY it for others. We are blessed to bless others.
IN order for me to reach my destiny the Lord has showed me that I have to let down the protective wall that I have around me that is as tall and thick as the Berlin wall . Just like that wall in history , it must come down. Some parts of my wall fell down immediately when I truly came to serve the Lord. Some pieces have to be chiseled away a piece at a time. It is painful . God did not say it would not be. He did say he would be the strength I need. He would be there just like he was for Lazarus and HE will do what I cannot do in my own strength. HE also promises that living for him in this vapor of a life will have eternal rewards that my carnal mind cannot comprehend.
He is teaching me that the wall cannot go back up even when friends say words that hurt me or treat me unfairly. Even when people and yes even Christian people do things that just make me shake my head and say… Wow. Even in the times when I say Lord, I don’t like people. He gently reminds me but I DO ~ He is teaching me that there is a reason that my dream has not come in to fruition yet . Be patient Darla, my ways are not your ways. Be faithful with the little things that I have given you and you will have more. He is teaching me that when I share his word, my lessons, my struggles that I am multiplying , that I am planting seeds in what at times I see as an invasion of the privacy that I hold so dear. I do not deserve his patience or his grace or his mercy. He never gets tired of reassuring me. Each day I am seeing that HE and HE alone is holding my hand and guiding me on this journey that I am on daily.
Folks, I must tell you, I am starting to experience a freedom that I have never known. The Lord is also saying, My child, you have not seen anything yet ~ Get ready, the best is yet to come. There is so much more and each day things are being chiseled away. Some days are good and some days are painful but it will always be like that on this Earth to have less of me and more of Him. We have to lay our self down DAILY. There are days I just don’t want to do it. Being real here and transparent. BUT, I know that to reach the master’s plan , it is something I must do. I have been wounded and experienced hurt and betrayal from some that I love the most and it hurts and I take it to the Lord. The Holy Spirit reassures me and reminds me that many turned away from Jesus and he experienced the betrayal and disappointments of friends in his earthly life. Keep pressing on, Keep on in the journey, I will lead you and I will make your path straight.
Friends, my reason I share and write what I write is to encourage you. You are not alone. We all struggle, We all fall down. But, we have a loving God. The God of second chances, really of countless chances that is there to raise us up with HIS outstretched arm and he will set our feet on solid ground. It is never TOO late, we have never gone TOO FAR, we have never sinned TOO much. This Sovereign God that created Heaven and Earth says come to me. I am here for you. I love you . This Sovereign God had His eyes upon YOU before the foundations of this Earth were formed. KNOW, He requires something of you. HE requires something from us all. He wants to be Lord of ALL in our life. Trust that what he ask us to lay down or walk away from is nothing compared to the life of freedom in Him that he wants each one of us to experience. Know that our sole purpose on this Earth is to serve God so we may serve others. May we all run forward in our calling for the Lord. ~ Know, Say out loud, Repeat often…….. He is FAITHFUL !