I remember it as clearly as if it happened just last night. It was the moment I began to learn to live in freedom from shame and striving.
I was laying in bed after a long day, trying to fall asleep, and the Lord came to my mind. The very next thought was that I hadn’t had a quiet time that day, I hadn’t read anything spiritual that day, I hadn’t taken any time to pray that day, I hadn’t listened to any sermons or teachings or worship music, and I hadn’t had any conversations with others about the Lord that day. I hadn’t done anything to pursue the Lord and I instantly felt my failure.
I saw myself on the side of a very high mountain and I hadn’t done anything that day to make any progress toward the top. And I still had a very long way to go to get to the top.
The Lord changed the picture in my mind and I was no longer on the side of the mountain striving to get to the top, but I was standing on the very highest place on the mountain next to none other but the Lord, Himself. (No, I didn’t “see” the Lord, it was just an impression). The Lord was standing with me, and He was eagerly showing me that He had done the work of getting me up the very high mountain. He had brought me there and nothing I could do would change that. It was a done deal. I didn’t need to strive to get to the top because I was already there.
My choice in that moment was to receive the Lord’s reality, despite my feelings of inadequacy, and by faith accept the position that He has brought me to. The position that He has brought all those who are in Him to.
“Draw near to the Lord and He will draw near to you.”
For me, this scripture used to mean, “work really hard to climb up that mountain to the Lord and He’ll be there waiting for you.”
Now I see it differently. Let me give you an example.
I am married to RC. This is an established fact and very few things can change it. Whether we are together or apart doesn’t change it. Whether we like each other or not doesn’t change it.
However, I can choose how much I put into our marriage relationship. I choose if I draw close to RC as my husband or if I only acknowledge him when necessary.
Do you see it, Beloved? You are married to the Lord. It is an established fact. You have been seated in the heavenlies with Him AND you have a spouse that promises you that when you draw close to Him, He will respond to you and draw close to you. You do not have to worry about being neglected by Him. You do not have to fear being rejected by Him.
Not only does He draw close to you when you draw close to Him, but He is drawing close to you in a million different ways every single day even when you aren’t drawing close to Him.
The next time the Lord comes to your mind, and the very next thoughts are thoughts of your own shortcomings or failures or reasons why He couldn’t possibly be pleased with you right now, STOP. Turn away from those thoughts and by faith choose His. By faith choose His Reality over your seeming reality. Choose His accomplishments over your failures. Choose His love over your shortcomings. Choose His Word over your beliefs. Choose Him.
Choose your Lord over your self.
Receive His presence. Receive His drawing. Receive His Life.
And begin walking in freedom from shame and striving.