As the regular Sunday service was coming to an end, my Pastor closed in prayer. Prayers at the end of service are typically a little longer and allow for a deeper reflection of yourself. Most Sundays I find myself just standing there thinking more about the tasks of the day rather than my relationship with God. I need his covering, his grace more than ever in these moments.
Many times during these prayers, I can feel the intense heat. The strong sensation to drop to my knees, raise my arms or head to the front alter. Most of the time I just stay put. My knuckles turning white from grabbing the seat so hard in front of me. My feet heavy with iron weights rather then shoes. Why is it so hard sometimes to submit to my Father? My eyes cringe and my teeth grind. Lead me Father…
THE HOLD BACK
2 Corinthians 5:14-15
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
There have been so many times that I have asked myself what is holding me back? Maybe it was my fear of rejection? The more I think about this idea, the more I realize that the only person being rejected in these moments is my Father. Maybe it was a fear of what others might think? The more sense I throw at this idea, the more I realize that people will embrace me in my needs and attempt to comfort me in my areas of struggle. Maybe I don’t feel worthy? The verse above should be clear enough that Jesus died for all of us – including me.
RECOGNIZING WHO I AM
2 Corinthians 5:17-18
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; The old has gone, the new is here! (TWEET THIS VERSE)
Paul continues on and tells me that I am a new creation in him. I am no longer the man who still needs to surrender to Christ; instead I am child of his. As my hands enforce pain on the seat in front of me and my knuckles turn white and pale, I only need to remember one thing: “I, along with every one else in the Church, am a new creation. As I feel the calling of the father to worship him in any way he asks, I will be fully supported by those around me.” Jesus’ death was meant for all of us and we no longer live to satisfy ourselves. We are meant to support, challenge and encourage each other in his name!
RISE UP! BE BRAVE! HAVE COURAGE!
2 Corinthians 5:20
20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
It is comforting to know, even as I write this, that I am an ambassador of the Heavenly Father. As you encounter the iron feet or white knuckles, remember that you have already surrendered to Christ and that you must now submit to him in the moments of truth. Learn to embrace the moments, even if they humble you or make you feel weak. Be the ambassador that God has called you to be and reconcile yourself back to God.
These moments that you will face may be some of your hardest, but they will also be some of your greatest. You will learn more, appreciate more and accept yourself as a new creation.
Where do you need to rise up and be brave in your Christian walk this week? God has your back. Will you let him support you?