written February 17

I think everyone needs to reach a point in their lives where it is not about them and all about the one who deserves the attention.

I have not done anything to deserve to stand in God’s presence.

I did not realize that I was so preoccupied with my works and my reputation. . . somehow I thought that all I do brings me closer to my spot in heaven. The are rewards, right?

I forgot that I have not done anything worthy of your full glory.
Even if I look like I have it all together, my motives still needed to be purified today as I realized I was doing my ministry out of obligation. . . somehow to make a complete Christian. . . haha . . . we all have gifts, and also weaknesses . . . all unique. Oh, I thought way too highly of myself.

And people try to get me to think that I am something. Encouragement is so helpful but if I don’t immediately turn it to you, it gets to my head and I think that I somehow have a right to be standing and worshipping God. HOW DID I MISS THE POINT?! That’s the craziest thing, forgetting salvation is by FAITH alone, not by works. Who does that? Only the people in Martin Luther’s time, only the people who were outraged by those 95 Theses. How could a girl grown up Christian miss the most glorious and wonderful part of the gospel? Did I really miss the point?

See, the problem is, as a Christian, if I never put myself out there for Jesus, if I always stay in my comfortable position. . . if I never confront my weaknesses. . . I get sucked into thinking that my strengths are what have made me deserving of your presence.

You know how weak I am, Lord. You know that I disobey you when I hear your voice, you know I doubt that I can hear you clearly, you know I get freaked out by talking to people I don’t know because I still value my reputation which means I still have pride.

And the disgusting thing of it all is that I’m among all my Christian friends and writing something like this will give me more respect. I don’t deserve anyone’s respect, even if I am challenging them. YOU deserve their respect and I am guilty of living among the comfort of Christian encouragement. I value it too highly. And value myself. WE ALL DO! WHY ARE WE SO OBSESSED WITH OURSELVES???

It’s so dangerous. . . growing up Christian. . . I avoid major sins and major consequences but then slip into thinking that because I spend time with you every day and do more than most teenagers that I DESERVE to be in YOUR presence.

I guess I forgot who you are.
I forgot what you did.

I watched the Jesus film tonight, tears welling in my eyes because I realized I love the man who is the star of this movie. . . and there you were, getting whipped and pierced and punched, bleeding for hours because you wanted me to be with you. And I think I can saunter into your presence like I am pure and sin-free? I have tried to conjure up these sorts of feelings at Easter. But revelations of how weak I am started this whole thing and are worth more than any conjuring.
If I spend my life avoiding pain I will never discover my weaknesses, and never realize your mercy.

I suppose I should be more careful when I end my morning devotions with the simple prayer, Wreck me.
He certainly answers prayer. I love it, my flesh hates it, I am denied, I am pierced, but I love it because it’s only in humility that I’m broken before you.

Surrender my reputation? Oh my, no one ever talks about that one.