One thing that I didn’t mention in my previous faith FULL friday post on healing, is that for the last almost two years I was consumed with whether or not the prayers I sent up as a young girl acknowledging I was a sinner needing a Savior had secured my salvation. You see ever since I prayed those prayers as a 4 year old I have had this overwhelming sense that I was missing the mark (the definition of the original language for sin). I know now that I was missing the mark. Not because I wasn’t a daughter of the King, but because I didn’t know entirely what it meant to be a daughter of the King. Jesus’ shed blood not only paid for my sin but also for my transformation. That means “hitting the mark” it is not defined by my striving or how good I got at behavior modification. Can I get a raised hand if you’re like me – tired of striving and just not that good at behavior modification?! I’ve got both hands up. Haha! He taught me that instead of striving and trying to fix myself, I needed to surrender and let Him do the work of transforming my heart, mind, and soul. Out of His transforming work the fruit of the Spirit would flow (rather than missing the mark) and I would be able to take thoughts captive that did not align with who He says I am in Christ.
The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy and it is just like him to keep Christ’s followers in bondage to sin and wrestling with questions they were never meant to wrestle with. It wasn’t that I wasn’t saved, it was that I wasn’t matured and had lost sight of God as a good Father. And a good father doesn’t look like what a lot of our culture considers good parenting. He doesn’t control us and isn’t punitive in nature. His wrath was satisfied on the cross and even in that it was Christ who laid down His will. God didn’t force Him to do it. There was no other way for us to be reconciled to God and Jesus laid down His life for US! That is LOVE. Not a father who grows impatient or rolls His eyes when his children mess up or push the boundaries again and again (which I am completely guilty of in parenting!) No, when we miss the mark, we can repent without shame, confident that His posture towards us is forgiveness and lovingkindness. That He will gently guide us back onto the path that He desires for us to be on.
Similar thoughts began circling my mind again this week and with it came shame. If I am transformed and set free why am I wrestling with this again?! Why do I feel shame and a desire to run from the Lord rather than run to into the comfort of His arms?! God showed me a couple of things in this. We have to hold tight to what He has given us. It is much to the devil’s benefit if we are rendered ineffective by being consumed with questions and shame rather than stepping freely and fully into our callings and purpose (to co-labor with Christ in furthering the Kingdom of God.) God wants to give us an even greater level of freedom in Christ. When anything that does not align with who He says we are enters into our minds we have the power and authority to take it captive and declare that it is not ours and has no power over us. We are FREE. We are perfected by his perfect love and we are complete in Christ.
In the original language to perfect (teleioo) means to complete, accomplish, bring to a successful conclusion. The word fullness in both the Colossians verse above and below emphasizes fullness and completion.
I wish that I had an eloquent way to summarize my thoughts today, but I don’t. I think that that is the beauty of sharing my journey weekly. Just like you can’t fully understand the Bible just dividing complete letters up into chapters, my story does not come to a point of completion each week. I just know that some of you need to be reminded and encouraged by the fact that we have the fullness of God and are complete in Christ. We can remain unchanging in spite of what is going on around us and how the devil attempts to attack our peace and freedom. And when we miss the mark, our loving Father is waiting patiently with His arms wide open!