Wednesday, September 21, 2016
this is not a test
Many years ago, I was praying one day and I found myself wondering why I felt this distance between me and Jesus. I felt close to God the Father, and I felt like the Holy Spirit was within me. But I felt this ... estrangement... between me and Jesus.
I prayed "God, why do I feel estranged from Jesus?" And I picked up my Bible and opened it up, and the very first verse I saw said, "You feel estranged from Christ because you are living according to the law, not according to the Spirit."
Amazing, of course, that God answered my prayer so directly. I still marvel at that moment today.
But the answer speaks to what Lewis is telling us in today's reading. See, growing up I always tried to be good. I was a good student, a good child, and I was proud of being a good person. And so, when it came to Jesus, I actually felt a sense of competition with Him. I felt like I was trying to be good like He was... but in a way, I was trying to be better than He was. Silly, I know. But that's how I felt.
When I realized along the way that I'm a sinner... that I'm NOT a good person who is competing with Jesus, but that the only reason I can hope to be good at all is BECAUSE of Jesus and the love that He pours into me every day... it was very liberating. I felt free.
And I was. When we realize that we're not trying to pass His test or put Him in our debt... when we realize that every day He walks with us and gives us the energy we need to do the things we must do... when we realize that every good and perfect gift comes from the father of heavenly lights... we realize that He is freeing us to truly be ourselves. To glory in the person that He made us to be.
If you feel like you've been striving all your life to be GOOD... let go. Let God make you who He created you to be from the beginning. Trust in His mercy, grace, and love to fashion you into an amazing creature who does things you can't even imagine.
God, thank You for throwing the test out the window... so we can rest in Your peace, which passes all understanding.