“I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.'”…(Luke 15:19)
Yesterday as I was teaching the leadership students of SLAM student outreach I began my teaching saying to them, “Whatever message we write upon our hearts will be the story our lives will follow.” I told them these were a few of the messages I had written upon my heart.
1. I’m worthless
2. I’m ugly
3. I’ll never amount to anything
4. I am a total failure
5. I’m stupid and can’t make good decisions
6. I can’t trust God. I need to take matters into my own hands.
All of these destructive messages I have written upon my heart have only led my life down disastrous paths. The longer I have believed these lies, the deeper my destruction went. I am learning how to take every thought captive, making it obedient to Christ. As I told the students, until we let God write a new story upon our hearts, we will never grow and change. Until we truly become broken before the Lord, He cannot bring us into the process of healing. Until we allow God to “go there,” we will never “grow there.”
Many of us believe that we’re the only one, which only keeps us from sharing about our struggles. We sit in our prayer circles, small groups and bible studies deathly afraid to share what’s really going on in our lives. We don’t want people to look down on us or to think less of us, so we stay hidden in shame. We cover up our pain with an, “I’m fine, everything is OK, please pray for my friend, my sister, etc.” We hardly ever get to the bottom of ourselves, beyond the mask and into the depth of the destructive messages written upon our hearts.
Truth be told, until we do, we will walk the journey of trying to ease those messages by filling them with temporal satisfaction. Until we take those messages to the throne room of God and get them out into the light with the body of Christ, our own minds will never experience the liberation of love found in the cross of Christ.
I told the students, any ministry you lead someday will never grow beyond your willingness to go to hard places in your own life. If you want a shallow ministry then stay safe on the surface about your own life, but if you want to relate to real people, someone just like yourself, show a piece of yourself that shows that you’re a human too. A human who is struggling to be just like Jesus, but doesn’t always get it right. A human who wrestles to believe the truth of who God says they are.
Not one of us is a superstar Christian. There’s no such thing. We are indeed, beggars at the door of God’s mercy. We are broken, but being made new. We are hurting, but are fully alive in Christ. We always have hope. We have joy at our fingertips; because joy, hope, love, peace, and contentment all live inside of us through the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. I have learned that the gift of God, the blessings, and fullness of real love all live inside of me and my messy life. I need not despair of life, but rejoice, that God is shaping me into a new woman, found in the love and grace of Jesus Christ. I can have a new message written on my heart as I start to believe an apply God’s word to my heart and mind.
Lord, you make all things new. I am a new creation. You’re writing a new message on my heart through your love. It is a message that says. She is my beloved. Thank you, Father, I belong to you, in Jesus name, Amen.