There are certain things we all know about ourselves but we hate to admit them to others, let alone acknowledge them to ourselves. Personally, I care way too much about what other people think of me. I know this is fairly common, but it is probably the thing I despise most about myself. It’s interesting to me though, that we tend to pick and choose how we care about what others think, at least I do, and I assume I’m not alone in this. I don’t particularly care how I look. I want to look good for myself but I don’t really care what the world has to say. I’ve never owned makeup. But on the same hand, is I love being an athlete, and I love people knowing I’m in shape, and when I’m not it really brings me down.
It’s the little things we tend not to see about ourselves as readily, or we can excuse them away. I’ve never looked at being glad about being in shape as caring what others think until I put it into perspective with my life. But what about the big things? The ones you are well aware of but try with everything you have to suppress them so you don’t have to face it? Those things that make us feel inadequate, unworthy, unchristian. I care far too much about certain groups of people knowing my faith in Jesus. Why? Truthfully, I’m not exactly sure. I know I’m a people pleaser, so maybe I just want to fit in and be the person they want me to be. But at what cost? My brain starts spiraling out of control the moment I let myself go down this path into a cyclone of self-condemnation. I’m scared I won’t have the strength to stand up for what I believe in under certain circumstances–and here comes the guilt about those literally dying for their faith and all I care about is getting teased by some coworkers. I don’t want to be the outcast in a group of people who all think one way–and here’s the self-dissapointment over the fact that I know I might be the only bit of Jesus they ever see and I’m risking their lives because I didn’t want to speak up. It gets so out of control in my spirit that I feel so unworthy to be a disciple of Jesus.
This is a big part of our move. Learning to step out in faith and let God lead, not me. To stop over-thinking things and let daddy-God direct my steps. He has called me into a season of growth. To step back from leadership and pouring into everyone around me. He wants me to fill my cup completely so I can give completely, rather than only be half full and only giving half. But my head keeps wandering to those I’ve left behind who I feel like I failed because I didn’t tell them what’s in my heart. But in a moment of drowning in over-thought, God spoke to me, “be still and know that I am God.” This has been the mantra of our move. But what happened in this moment of introspection, was that God showed me all the levels of that one simple psalm.
I had always read it as “be still and know that I am God.” It was God telling me to slow down, step back, grow, learn, stop fussing, relax, breathe. But what he spoke into my heart at that moment, came out as “be still and know that I am God.” Whoa. Suddenly this moving-mantra of mine took on a whole new meaning. God said to stop making these other people idols in your life. Let me be God and I will make it happen how it should; trust me, lean on me, and the rest of your worries will fade away. If you let me be God you won’t care about what they think of you anymore because you will only be looking into my eyes, where you will see nothing but approval. Thank. You. Jesus. I am so blessed to serve our God. His mercy and glory are beyond compare, and when He speaks His truth straight into your heart there is nothing more comforting.
This got me thinking though. How much more is there to be found in eight simple words? While I can think of a few, the only other one I want to address at this moment reads like this, “be still and know that I AM God.” I have only recently had a decent understanding of God’s name as “I Am” and it was thanks to a sermon that Steven Furtick preached called “I Know I Am” (the second in the series, if you click the link to watch it you will have to click on the tab for the second sermon). He talks about all of our shortcomings and God knowing we’re not perfect but rather He is and if we let Him work through us everything is possible. It’s hard to explain the impact the sermon had on me and the level of understanding it brought me, so the best I can say here is watch it. It is well worth your time. The point is, it opened my eyes so that when I took a second look at this psalm, it reminded me of how big God truly is. “Relax, rest up, and marvel at the wonder that is my being. I AM. I am everything. I am in everything. I counterbalance everything. I complete everything. I fulfill all promises. I make up for those who are unable to give wholly. I AM. I love perfectly. I completely heal wounds. I make all things new. I am light. I am freedom. I AM. I AM. I AM.”
God is so big and we are so small, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a big impact for Him. He is our guide and if we let him lead, with open hearts and spirits, the impact made through us can be nothing short of miraculous. So my closing thoughts today are to know that God is God. Stop letting the world dictate who you are and how you act. It’s not worth it when you’re looking into the eyes of the one who loved you more than we can ever truly know. Agape. We can put a label on it, we can define it, but you will never feel it until you look into your father’s eyes and know that you are His and His alone.