Tomorrow morning I will be sharing at morning devotions. Every work day here at SP starts off with devotions for ALL the staff. Working at the construction site we leave an hour before things get started here at base to have devotions with our workers.
For the most part I would rather be at our construction site for devotions cause I really enjoy the dynamics of our team, the energy our national staff bring and the quirkiness of having things translated in 3 different languages (Spanish, English, and Creole).
The upside of having to stay here to do devotions (you may have guessed) is that I get to sleep in. Its a really nice change. It happens only a couple times a week (if im lucky) when I have work to do in the office and paper work to fill out to appease the finance and HR departments constant demands (just kidding! I’m really lucky I get to work with such great people or else doing that work would be a lot tougher, and A LOT more frustrating then it already usually is).
SO enough rambling… back to the point. Every so often our program is scheduled to share for the base’s morning devotions. It should really be John speaking tomorrow but he weaseled his way out of doing it (again) by offering to buy me dinner. I caved.
Tomorrow I will be sharing on 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.
Its such a short and simple verse but it is pact with so much. First off, we learn 3 attributes of God 1) He is faithful 2) He is righteous and 3) He has the ability to forgive and to cleans us from all unrighteousness. Pretty straightforward eh?
I think God wanted to teach me about his faithfulness. Dr. Linda spoke about it tonight at chapel in a different context but it was exactly what I needed to hear.
God is faithful. God is faithful even while we waiver. Even when we stop coming to him. Even when we walk away thinking that we are not only good enough without Him, but that we are actually better off without him. Despite my rebellion, my pride, my sins, my blatant disrespect… despite everything, he is faithful. I understand that as being the exact essence of love. I picture a husband’s faithfulness to his wife as a demonstration of his love for her. In his human effort that husband, who is imperfect in himself, acts out of love for his wife. How much more then is God, who IS perfect, who IS love going to be faithful towards us?
For a long time that kind of love scared me. That kind of faithfulness scared me. I tried to find it in human relationships and replace it with those relationships but in the end those relationships all failed to measure up. I think I was afraid to find it in God because of what that would mean for me—Love so amazing so devine demands my soul, my life, my all.
Demands my soul, my life, my all…
Let me share a little secret with you, im a little scared of commitment— Commitment to living in the same place for too long, commitment to plans that are too far away, commitment to a relationship… I was even too afraid to commit to go snorkeling today with a friend because oh no, what if I find something better that I want to do instead? Snorkeling. I mean come on!
So the kind of commitment that demands the most intimate part of my being, my heart, is terrifying to me. But thats totally twisted because God is not some past boyfriend thats going to disappoint me or hurt me or mistreat me. He isn’t another plan thats going to come along and be better.
God is the perfect example of love. This fear, this twisted way of thinking is a straight up lie from satan. I dont have to be afraid of God’s love and His faithfulness. It is the most amazing thing we will ever experience in this fallen world we live in.
There is beautiful truth found in 1 John 4:16-19 that goes like this
“we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us… There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.“
So, with a deep sigh I type this. It can be easy for me to hide behind fear but I cant hold onto it anymore. Fear is crippling. Fear holds me back. Fear is an inhibitor. His perfect love which he has for me casts out ALL fear that I have. And to that I will stand firm.
2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline”.
Isn’t that amazing? It reminds me of Ephesians 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritaul blessing in Christ”.
God has already given us everything we need to overcome. To stand firm. And not only that, but we have his love and his faithfulness for when we forget that He has enabled us. So Im going to hold onto that truth and that promise. Im going to hold onto God’s love and faithfulness and stand firm in the spirit of power and love and of discipline that He has given me. To think I am weak, to think I have fear, to believe I am anything less then capable of living out the life God has called me to live out is a lie.
One thing Dr Linda said tonight that I really appreciated was that sometimes standing firm, as Paul tells us to do in Ephesians, means doing just that; standing- not falling back, and not moving forward. For the past couple years I thought that perseverance meant continuously moving forward and learning and growing and being sanctified and always laying myself down and if I was doing anything less then that then I was failing.
I’m learning a lot about myself while being in Haiti. Seriously I wish you could be in my brain for a day just so you could see how much I’m constantly processing things. No wait, a day in my mind would not be good. You probably would not want to be friends with me anymore or be related to me or associated with me in anyway because really, what I have been learning is that dang I am one mean and bad and selfish and unloving person. But really I think I should save that thought for another blog post for another night…
K so this isn’t at all what I wanted to share with you guys when I first started typing this. I really wanted to confess something to you (something other then that brief confession in that paragraph above) that I have been struggling with since I have been in Haiti.. maybe even before but it became really evident in my time here. But I think God has been working in my heart since I started exploring all these thoughts tonight. As I have been typing this He has been speaking His truth into my heart and It is refreshing. It is liberating.
Matt 11:29 “take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”.
… how could I be afraid of that kind of love?