Monday, March 14, 2016

Gaining Christ

Philippians 3:8
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I might gain Christ.” 

This verse rocks me to my core and has always been one of my favorites. One of the biggest things I have learned since joining IGNITE, is that I am not as good as I thought I was. I grew up with a lot of expectation and pressure on my shoulders. Everyone at my church knew my family, and everyone knew me. They constantly told me what a wonderful girl I was, how I was so much like my amazing mother. I felt like I had to be perfect, and failure was, and honestly still is, my greatest fear. I don’t want to disappoint people, and I want to go above and beyond the expectations that are placed upon me. This led me to try with all of MY might, to be the Charis everyone wanted me to be. I did my best to be good enough, to check off all the boxes of being a “good Christian,” whatever that’s supposed to mean. But pleasing people is exhausting, because they are never, ever satisfied. There was always a new weight to carry, and in my mind, I would never be good enough. I knew Christ, just for the sake of knowing Him, but there wasn’t wonder or awe. Coming to a new country, with twenty one plus people who don’t know who I am and have no expectations for me, has been a breath of fresh air, but it has also awakened me to my own shortcomings and insecurities. My life has always been about me. I have to be good enough because what I look like matters. I have to read my bible, and pray, so that I can be a good Christian. There was no room for Jesus, and I have realized that often times, I come to God so that I can get something out of him, rather than coming to Him, just to simply get to know him. But that Charis is gone now. I had to bury her in the grave the first week I was here, because I could not bear to wear the mask any longer. Everything is loss, nothing in this world satisfies and fulfills the depths of my soul, only Jesus. He is my gain. In him, I have gained abundant life on earth, and the future hope of eternal life in the presence of His glory. I have gained grace to strengthen my bones, and love that awakens my soul like the birds chirping in the morning. I have gained joy to carry me through the darkness and the light, and new mercies every morning. And I have gained wonder, absolute awe, that I could be so loved, so cherished, and so adored, by the God who created all things hidden and seen in the universe. All I had to do was let Him invade my heart, all I had to do was come to Him and fall on my face. That one step has given me all things that pertain to life. It has given me Jesus, the greatest, most precious gift that I will ever know. There is nothing that compares to the surpassing worth of knowing my Abba Father. He is steadfastly faithful, even when I turn my back on Him. He tenderly speaks to me, even when I plug my ears. He looks on me in love, though I reject Him constantly. He reveals to me the path of life and dances with me in every season; carrying me if need be. God, wrap me up in you. May I truly believe, with all of my heart, that you are all I need. “…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)

Application: The moments that I feel the most in awe of the Lord, and recognize the fullness of Him, are when I am dancing. I know that sounds weird, but some of my most precious times with the Lord are through those intimate times of worship. This week is going to be busy, but I am going to find time to dance with the Lord, before this week ends. 

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