And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:9-10 NKJV)
The Lord has some of the strangest ways of reaching me when I’m not listening to Him. There are many times when I have tried to start actually believing that I have everything in control, every single aspect of my life. Sounds pretty foolish doesn’t it?
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16:9 ESV)
Over the last several months, I have been greatly afflicted by many physical, mental and emotional ailments. In short, it always felt as if my body and mind were breaking down in one way or another. My attendance at chapel meetings was very limited and I hardly ever left my apartment because I just had a broken heartedness inside of me that I couldn’t explain.
In my Christian walk, I have never once really said “I can’t” or “No”. I have always been gung-ho for whatever the ministry before me was. The sad part is, eventually ministry and doing the Lord’s work were replacing the Lord Himself in my own life.
A fear of rejection
It had gotten to the point that I didn’t know when to go to bed because I was always doing something for any given assembly or even my own home chapel. I sacrificed sleep “all in God’s Name” just working with the fear of letting someone down.
Rather than let my faith in Christ and love of God drive me in the work, I was operating out of an unwarranted fear of rejection if I failed anyone in something I said that I would get done for them.
There are many ways that the human mind works, or fails to work, that have not yet been understood. While the “simple” classification some may have labeled my problem as “People Pleasing”, but I saw it being much deeper than that.
And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b NASB)
Everyone has a testimony of some sort, and within the past 5 years of my life as a Christian, this is something that I’ve tried to stuff down so many times. Some of us are ashamed of our past to the point that we avoid other believers in the church, all because we don’t want to discuss a past that hurts so much. I mean hey, we’re new creations right? Why drudge up the past?
Despite the freedom in Christ that I experienced in a back office at my home chapel in August of 2010, I continued to carry much of the burdens that were no longer mine, but were to be left at the foot of the cross. Jesus dying on the cross for my sins was something I accepted, but it was a peace that my mental and emotional health could not accept as a matter of peace.
I have carried this rebellion inside of me for almost the full 5 years of being a believer. That was until a late night a couple of months ago when I was making a pizza in the oven for yet another late dinner. Something so mundane changed everything as I took the pan out of the oven and proceeded to watch my dinner slide off the tray and land toppings down on the kitchen floor.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8 NIV)
As I stood there, just looking at the bottom portion of my dinner facing up at me on the floor, and the smoke detector beginning to squeal, I walked out of the kitchen, sat down, and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the whole situation.
It was only then that the Lord spoke silently to me, telling me that I’ve been trying to do everything for everyone and determining the outcomes, without factoring what God thinks the whole time.
We’re not OK
What I have come to grasp is the idea that it’s OK to not be OK. Jesus never called us in a perfect frame of mind and life circumstances. No, He called us and said to come as we are. It is He who does the work within us and not us. It’s just up to us if we’re going to obey and go along with His Master Plan…or continue to get lost in our own ideas all of the time.
Everything that has occurred in the past several months has been about working in fear and worry, putting on a front that isn’t real. What I have failed to understand until now is that if the church is functioning as the church should, then we are all a bunch of broken bits and pieces, only being held together by our Chief Cornerstone.
Come as you are, and leave the worries and self at the foot of the cross. The Lord Jesus has proclaimed that “IT IS FINISHED!” so we need not continue on in the past, worried about what others may think. We answer to God, as does every believer for the works they have done.
Christ alone is our focus, glory and object of faith…
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect any other author or an official position of the assemblyHUB team.