This past weekend, I was at the Women of Faith Conference. There was an unbelievable line-up. Seriously, any ONE of these people could have headlined and keynoted the entire conference and yet they each had just a short time to pack a punch! I had a great time with my sister and cousin, an awesome time learning and worshiping, and even had the unexpected opportunity to meet a new friend who has been following my blog. Crazy! That is the weekend overview, but the depth of what I learned and reality of what the Lord impressed upon me continues below. One group shot…
Oddly enough, in a line-up full of women, the one I most avidly took notes on was Pastor Tullian Tchividjian, Billy Graham’s grandson (maybe that’s why I was tuned in). He spoke of our culture’s general exhaustion: (paraphrase) “I’m tired, you’re tired, we’re all tired and I’ve never met anyone who isn’t! So, what is the Cause and Cure of our Exhaustion?” His overall premise was the cause is that we’re all trying to SAVE ourselves. In the world we live, success = life, failure = death! What is the cure? The Gospel.
The Gospel says:
Jesus won, so I am free to lose. Jesus succeeded, so I am free to fail. Jesus is strong, so I am free to be weak. Jesus is extraordinary, so I am free to be ordinary. Jesus died, so I am free to live!
My personal reflection on such a statement is that I often “forget” the truth. I fight, wrestle, struggle so hard to BE who God wants, instead of just BEING and allowing Christ to work. We are suppose to “work out [our] salvation with fear and trembling,” but the next verse says, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Phil. 2:12-13).
I ask the Lord to work in me by the power of the Holy Spirit, yet somehow that still translates in daily life to ME trying to “be better” in a multitude of facets; resulting in personal frustration when I mess up, say or do the wrong thing, act disrespectfully to my husband or yell at my kids.
I ask. I fail. I Ask, I fail. And, round and round we go! But that is the point, I am a weak, imperfect, sinner – when I fail it should not be devastating, but expected! And in continuing to ask, I will inch-by-inch grow more mature in my faith and in my ability to humbly accept my fallen state.
I wish I could easily say, “I am the first to admit…” because usually that is not the case. I can come before the Lord and confess 1000 ways that my heart is sinful and crooked, that I fail or fall short. I know all this, and yet still it is hard for me to admit fault or imperfection (primarily with Andy) and exhibit Christ’s humility. There is a laundry list of explanations for this tendency, but giving it would be the exact opposite of my point…
Andy tells me all the time, “I love you, you’re amazing, but you’re not perfect and I’m not perfect. I know that. You know that! The sooner every person can admit that and walk in humility the better off we’d all be and the more God would be glorified.” This is entirely true.
Life is exhausting enough without us wearing ourselves out on “self-salvation projects.” We have someone who already saved us, the work is finished…Rest:
Is there an area in which you constantly try to “save yourself”?