A sweet friend dealing with resentment, pain, and the raw realities of life, recently suffered a loss within her family. A hard loss because he was a VERY close family member, yet also a freeing loss because he was her abuser (in every sense of the word) when she was a child and even as an adult. So many mixed emotions. I can’t imagine.
She made a very powerful statement through text today followed by an even more powerful question. It was honest and raw, coming from a place of deep wounds that seem immune to healing.
“I have learned you can do whatever in life you want no matter how bad and before you die ask God for his forgiveness and you can go to heaven…
so why do the footwork?”
I sat there staring at that text, my heart aching for her, wondering…could I offer any response that would even come close to providing some sense of understanding and comfort to a person that has been affected so deeply by this broken person and our broken world? As I pondered my response, I asked God to show me what to say, and before I knew it, my fingers were texting her back. I’ve summed up part of our text messages in this post and added more thoughts as I’ve continued to work this question out in my head.
We certainly are not forced to accept God or do anything for Him during our time on this earth. So yes, we could live our entire lives rejecting God and “doing whatever we want no matter how bad” and then choose Him as we lay there on our death bed…IF we get that luxury of having the moment to ponder and talk to God before our death.
The thief on the cross next to Jesus got that chance. He said to Jesus, “Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” The other criminal on the cross rejected Jesus to his death, but the thief that accepted Jesus as Lord lived on with Him into paradise. My thoughts…
Praise God he never gives up on us…no matter how long we have rejected Him…
HE. STILL. WANTS. US.
That simple fact alone makes me love God even more. It may not seem like justice to some, especially those who have pursued God’s will their entire lives or to those who have been deeply wounded like my sweet friend. It can be difficult to understand this level of grace. But that is who God is. He never gives up on us. He never stops loving us. His arms are always open no matter what we’ve done or how long we’ve done it. He just wants us to choose Him.
“So why do the footwork?”
“You are the light of the world…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt 5:14-16)
If we do the footwork for God on this earth,
we activate His light to people who don’t know Jesus.
He chose US to spread His word.
He didn’t have to. He wanted to. He wants to work His power in and through us while we face the troubles of this world so that we can experience Him and that others may see His work in us and BELIEVE.
His Power is a power that heals.
A Power that transforms…freeing us from the bondage of countless strongholds.
A Power that shows love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, gentleness, self control – qualities that we struggle to possess if we are left to our own will.
A Power that serves others beyond what our human hearts are capable of doing.
A Power that forgives the unforgivable.
A Power that gives us a new confidence to live life boldly for Him.
I could go on and on about what His power can do in us. There’s nothing that radiates His glory more than that transforming power.
I would rather live my days out on this earth experiencing God like that than live them without him… banking on the chance that at the very last moment I’ll get to choose Him. Praise God for that last moment if you are so graciously offered that opportunity. But you still would miss out on so much awesomeness you could have experienced in your time on earth. Let’s get real, living for sin is only fun for a season. It eventually leads to emptiness. That’s because you were created for so much more than that…you were created to DO the footwork.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph. 2:10)
It’s IN the footwork where His light shines the most in US.
It changes us and it changes the world.
Because of the footwork,
We Are Blessed and God Is Glorified.
If there is footwork you’re avoiding today, my prayer is that you will take the next brave step towards experiencing God’s power in your life, that you may be transformed, freed, and renewed, that your light will shine even brighter bringing glory to our Father in Heaven. Amen.