No I won’t wait, Rest in my bones
I’ll take these foolishness roads of grace
And run toward the dawn
On and On
And when I rise, dawn turns to day
I’ll shine as bright as the sun
And these roads that I’ve run will be wise.
Yeah I’m just waiting for the day in the shadows of the dawn.
– The Gray Havens, “Shadows of the Dawn”
The voices in my head have been pretty loud and poisonous today.
**coffee spews out of your mouth as you sputter and look at me incredulously**
What, you don’t have voices in your head?
I’m sure you do. A lot of times they sound like this:
“Who are you for people to listen to you? What good do you have to share? How could you think you have any credibility to the Church of God? Even if you’re right, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is what they think of you, and they definitely won’t think good things.”
Ah, do you recognize them now?
That powerful “they”… They mess up a lot, don’t they? They tell us those that love us actually don’t. They translate other’s intentions for us, and poison our hope that what was once a “we” could ever stay that way. They separate us from others and so clearly convince us that what we imagine is reality so we assume assume assume until we’re left all alone with only “they’s” and no “we’s”.
Have you ever been there?
There are all kinds of reasons the “They’s” came to spill lies into our brains. Mine have a special tinge to them called Independent Fundamentalist Baptist, and they’re especially rude 😉 (I have to keep things light here or I’ll just cry; blubbering all over my keyboard until it doesn’t work any more and that won’t get us anywhere will it? Pray for tearlessness for me, or at least the kind of tears that carry my heart with them so you can see it.)
Did you know spiritual abuse exists? Groups like Recovering Grace focus heavily on healing people who have escaped these flames that consumed them; those who’s souls are more than singed. That’s been my story for almost 4 years now.. recovering grace.. recovering what grace actually means; what it means when the Almighty God comes down to look in your eyes and say you’re clean.. you’re holy. Woah, whaa— holy? Yep, that’s kind of the point of this life y’all. Holiness is life lived in Him, where He gets to live through your life and your left hand doesn’t know what you’re right hand is doing cause you’re just here praising Jesus and resting in Him and woah, that person just started an eternity long relationship with Him because of a random conversation we had in a coffee shop? Sweet!
Yeah, it really is that simple. That’s the life the apostles lived. The Holy Spirit led them here or there, and they just walked with Him there.. then incredible things happened, and they could have no boast in it. When God has so clearly done something, there’s no need for squeezing pride back into its hiding place under the bed because that pride no longer exists? How can you take pride in something God did? You’re just along for the ride, chilling with Him and going, “Woah, You just did that?! Hallelujah, You’re amazing!! How?? Tell me the story cause I can’t stop geeking out about You and how much You love us and how strong and mighty You are to save!”
I don’t mean to sound trite, God is Holy and awe-some. But He also paid a really big price to make us Holy so we can be seated with Him in the Heavenlies as He walks out in our earthly bodies, loving His own. We’re so caught up on perfecting ourselves, crucifying our sinful nature, and all the things we’ve heaped on ourselves until we’re so burdened down with laws He never wanted us to carry, that when He says, “Come run with Me” we go, “Sorry God, I can’t. I’m going about being serious in my faith, and that’s really heavy so I can’t run anymore.” We’re caught up on the things He already finished so we can’t be about the things that He’s all about. We can’t love people genuinely because we’re busy about creating a curriculum and formula to teach us how to make people think we love them. what. You think I’m kidding, but I’m not. I was taught over and over how to make it seem like I loved someone, and never once taught how to go to God and ask for His love for them that would then pour out in abundance because how can you not love someone that the One you love, loves?
I missed so many broken souls because I was trying to make them think I loved them instead of just loving them because I couldn’t help but love them. Some of those are lost forever to me. Some are lost forever to the church building. I carry them in my heart and grieve so often how much I missed them. If one of you happens to be reading this, please know I type this with tears streaming down my face as your faces pop up in my mind. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry the institution and business calling themselves the church shaped and formed me into a tool that couldn’t love the jewel that you were and only seeked to change your outward appearance. I’m so sorry we failed you. I failed you. I didn’t know how to love Him and thus I didn’t know how to love you. For those of you outside of the church building, know that God is out here too, and I pray you can find Him away from all the rules and burdens the Pharisees heaped onto your back that they weren’t willing to lift a finger to carry. (Matthew 23 was Jesus’ response to the religious leaders of His day, and if what He said about them also characterizes your old religious leaders, realize this is what He says to those too.)
I know this post is harsh, it probably isn’t what you were bargaining for when you started reading. I’m just so done watching people put up with being spiritually abused because they think that it’s God doing the beating, and by being beaten then maybe they can become holy. Bah. If you’re walking in Christ you already are holy. Holy means set apart to Himself. You already are set apart from the stuff of this world to be united with Him if indeed you are His; if indeed His Spirit lives in you and guides You in His ways. (1 Corinthians 6:11)
The road I’m walking now may seem foolish to most, as the voices in my head have been trying to remind me of all day today, but I’m convinced that I walk it with Him and that’s all I could want. So when this is all over and all the veils are lifted so we can see as He sees, I’ll rejoice when these foolishness roads of grace are wise. And I hope you’ll be there with us. I hope you’ll throw down the law and cling instead to Him and His perfect grace. It’s beautiful over here y’all. Genuine over-flowing love and all of the yokes are easy and burdens light. You all are my heart, my beloved ones, and I weep in prayer for you all often. I don’t want you to miss a moment with the One who loves your soul. He’s beautiful, and in Him, so are you!
Want one last mind-exploding revelation before I go?
(the Bible doesn’t tell us to crucify the flesh.)
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Gal2:20
That’s the main verse people use for this way of thinking. I did. I taught on this so many times. But let’s read context. The whole passage Paul is saying that if someone tries to be made right with God by fulfilling laws, that is when a Christian can be a sinner. Only then. We who are made right with God are never again called sinners. UNLESS, we put ourselves under laws again to manage our behavior. I’m not joking, let’s read it:
“Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law. But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. Would that mean Christ has led us into sin? Absolutely not! Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down.For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. My old self (the one who focused on obeying laws!) has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.” Galatians 2:17-21
That says it pretty clearly doesn’t it? If you’re curious, continue on to read Galatians 3 too, because it just goes more in depth into this.
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.” Galatians 5:24
We aren’t sinners anymore, y’all. We’re free and beloved children. Don’t let your church institution make sinners of you by rebuilding the system of law He helped you tear down.
In Him, my dear brothers and sisters, may you find rest for your souls.