I want to start with some words, from a song that spoke words of truth.
Riley Clemmons, ‘Broken Prayers’
“You want my tears, every messy word
Every scar and every fear
You want all I have
With no holding back
When I am hurt, at my worst
You meet me there
Cause you see the beauty
Of my broken prayers.”
Sometimes there is such a pretence of having this perfect relationship with God. If we say the right words and act in the demeanour that is seen as worthy, then we have a perfect relationship with God. I am not going to dismiss that for some, having a structured way of how they live their life and worship God works for them. What I worry about, is that for most of the time we are scared to be our true selves with God.
This struck me when I was reading a few verses from Genesis.
Genesis 3:8b-10 So they hid from the Lord among the trees. Then the Lord called to the man, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”
Is this not true for our lives today? Instead of living our lives bare in front of God, we glaze over the subject or we attempt to battle it on our own. If there are aspects in our lives that we do not believe glorify God, then we attempt to keep them hidden. It leads to a relationship that is broken, here truth is not seen as necessary.
Going back to the story of the Garden of Eden. Their lying and half-truths led to them being banished from the garden. Although God was still with them, they no longer remained in that intimate and safe place with God. Sin was now the great divide. Sin remained the great divide until God sent Jesus as the sacrifice and saviour for all. The imagery of the curtain being torn from top to bottom, was the end of sin having the authority to divide us from God. Although, sin remains, we are seen as worthy by the name of Jesus.
We have to learn not to be scared of laying it all bare before God. I am so thankful, that the people found within the Bible are not perfect people who have it all together. There is the quote that states “God uses imperfect people for his perfect plan.” If you look online there is a list of famous Bible characters and listed next to them is their greatest weakness. These people sinned (messed up) the same as you or me; they were drunks, murderers, gossipers, adulterers, etc. One attribute they all had was that they were faithful, they did not allow their sin to divide them from God. Some of them paid a price for their sin, although they were forgiven, due to it having repercussions on the people around them they had to make amends. In God’s mercy and grace, he still did miraculous acts through their lives.
This is a valuable lesson for our lives. No sin, no mistake, is too great for God. God is gracious and loving and kind. God does not glory in people suffering at all. In a world that is broken and that always has a word to say about how your life should look. It is hard to see a loving and gracious God in it. I know that it is a struggle that I have myself. What we can be assured of is that when we come close to God, he comes close to us. That no matter where we are in life, if we reach out to God then he will meet us there.
James 4:8 Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.
Like any relationship, different ways of communicating are going to be important. One of the worst things we do is compare our faith with how other people live out theirs. That was never meant to be the point. Comparing only ever leads to inadequacy or to judgement. We need to trust that the way that God ministers to us is enough. We do not all need to be listening to the same worship music. We do not need to be at the same spiritual place as those around us. The one important action is to keep journeying. For some that will be in small steps, for others they will make leap and bounds quickly. To be honest, it is our own relationship with God. People can offer guidance and advice, it must be our own convictions. We cannot live in the shadow of someone else’s faith. Be a part of a community of other Christians, not just for the sake of it but because there is belief that we can use our faith to play a part in building community, that will always extend outwards.
I pray that you will know the hope that you can have a relationship with God. That you do not have to hide who you are. Regardless, of what you have been told; God accepts you for who you are. I pray that your perspective of God will not be shaped on ignorant and judgemental people who have used their faith in an l.attempt to destroy people. I pray that your life will be blessed as you begin to know Jesus in your life or if you are connecting in with your faith again. Remember, when you are faithful God can use your life to do incredible acts. Even in the simplest way, God’s hand can be seen upon your life.
You are so loved. May you have a blessed week. Victoria. Xx