I dare you.
I dare you to put God first.
I dare you to let go of every other concern.
I dare you to close your eyes and imagine being face to face with Christ.
I dare you to fall to your knees in worship with fear and joy.
I dare you to feel. Feel the wonder. Feel the intensity of love. Feel the joyful laughter bubble up from inside of you. Feel the tears streaming down your face with the knowledge that you don’t deserve the grace you’ve received.
That. That feeling? The warmth and energy….
The indescribable devotion and powerful love you feel so intensely that at the same time pales in comparison to the energy surrounding you – that’s God’s glory. It’s his Spirit infusing your soul with life.
I usually start my day in prayer and reading the Word. The days I don’t always feel so off. It’s a habit I belief is absolutely necessary to our spiritual health and for me, sanity.
It prioritized God in our lives, first, before all else. It gives us the tools to handle anything that comes our way. It’s both inspiring and convicting. It’s guidance at the source. It gives us peace to hand our concerns and loved ones over to an all-powerful God before the muck and mire of the day seep in.
It’s a great start to the day.
But is it the best?
What if we went deeper?
What if we spent our mornings weeping in sheer joy at his presence? What if we let ourselves feel our desperate need for him, grieving at the limitations this earth has bound us to? What if we felt the ache of hunger for his love, the unbearable thirst for his holiness?
In a healthy relationship, we come to a place where we stop playing the “I’m perfect” game and presenting the heavily frosted version of the very “homemade” looking cake that is our true selves. We come to a point where the icing melts and reality sets in. We are very flawed. Our love is very flawed. Our hope is that we will be accepted and loved despite our flaws. When we feel accepted, we let go of that need to portray a certain image. We begin to rest in the freedom of unconditional love and acceptance. We know full well we are undeserving of any such thing, and as this mere human continues to choose to love us, we feel this sense of gratitude and empowerment that seems to accompany real love by default. We can be who we are with the freedom to grow. We can open our hearts without fear of rejection.
I have been lucky enough to experience this kind of love. But it took me a long time to get there. Past rejections and pain left me closed up and unable to let myself love or be loved. I spent a lot of time being careful in my relationship. I wasted time trying to be the person I thought my love needed me to be. Doing the things I believed would lead to love and acceptance. Putting my best face forward.
But guess what? He didn’t want any of that. He wanted me to be me. He caught little glimpses of the real me here and there, and that’s the girl he fell in love with and was willing to wait for.
As I was contemplating the generic feelings I have been experiencing in my relationship with God lately, it hit me.
I do…we all do, the same thing with God. We put our best face forward, trying to cover our imperfections with that super sweet frosting. We read the Bible. We pray for our friends and family. We abstain from “sinful” activities. We go to church. We invite our friends to church. We have the Christian bumper sticker and wear the cross necklace.
All good things, but all frosting. God sees the cake underneath, and he wants the all of us, not just the icing. And sadly, many of us go through life attempting to maintain the image of perfection but without ever letting God into the reality of our hearts. We do what we think he wants. We live the way we believe a new creation is expected to. We live attempting to be deserving of his grace.
So I dare you to let go.
Let go of trying to be the good Christian. Let go of the futile attempts to please God.
He has already accepted and forgiven our flaws and mistakes! AND HE LOVES US ANYWAY!
The way I feel when I am reminded of Justin’s true and unconditional love for me…it’s indescribable. It inspires me to be a better woman! Not the person I think he wants me to be, but the woman I am. It inspires me to love him and others with the same acceptance and faith. It’s freedom.
It occurred to me that I haven’t felt that freedom in my relationship with God for months. It occurred to me that intentionally focusing on my love for Christ is the rarity, not the norm.
I can live each day in gratitude and wonder at the love another human has for me, but those same feelings toward Christ’s perfect love for me seem reserved for special occasions. Mainly, when he’s bailed me out of some horrific mess I’ve made of my life.
I don’t always feel freedom in Christ, not really.
I don’t feel empowered as a royal heir to the throne of God.
I don’t feel terribly inspired to grow as a Christian.
I am convinced that the reason my spiritual life feels so mundane is because I am playing the “dating game” with my Savior. And he is just waiting for me to let him chip away at that wall surrounding my heart and let my soul fall in love with him. Real, uninhibited, insanely intoxicating Love.
Do you feel the same way?
Then I dare you.
Open your heart to the freedom of LOVE. Expose the real you, the beautiful, authentic, wonderfully made, one of a kind you to the Lover of your soul. Let absolute grace and acceptance empower you to experience real freedom.
I dare you.