God only wants to be loved by you.
At church the other day, my Pastor called a woman up out of the crowd to the front of the church. He talked a bit about how important it was to give praise and to celebrate together the good that God does in our lives.
The woman approached the front and it was obvious she was nervous. She said she had a feeling she would be called up, which tells me, it wasn’t planned. She began to tell her testimony of inner healing. She craved for God to touch her life in a big way, for God to reveal Himself to her so she could feel His presence but she couldn’t feel Him. One day, she realized that she hadn't been accepting the love of God because she didn't feel that she was worthy of loving.
She accepted that He could love her and her life changed.
You're Worthy of Great Love
Self-esteem has always been a battle for me. Many of the choices I made in my life were out of fear and insecurity. I stayed where I felt I belonged, with the "misfits" and the "outcasts". I always felt like I didn’t measure up, I wasn't successful enough, wasn't good enough... Most of those feelings came out of years of being bullied.
Our human nature often confuses us when it comes to seeking God. We wonder why a perfect God would create such flawed people. We're made in His image and yet, we're all a hot mess. The truth is, we were made perfect but we've been born to sinful people in a sinful world. Sin is the corrupter [Read: The Biggest Lie about Addiction]. God is perfect. Which is why we are only made complete in Him.
Which means, without God, we're not only imperfect- we’re actually incomplete. We don't know who we are because our identity is found in Him. We are His royal children. Without Him, we're a mess. It’s no wonder so many of us struggle with insecurity!
“[That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!”
We need to flood our incomplete, imperfect bodies and thoughts with the divine presence of God Himself if we want to really know our worth. Knowing our worth is a part of growing in wisdom. When we know how God sees us, we're on the way to thinking with the mind of Christ.
A diamond, as beautiful as it is, is not a perfect thing. A ruby, although also beautiful, is still imperfect. Onyx? Jade? Emeralds? All beautifully imperfect.
In modern society we've been conditioned to believe our measure of perfection determines our worth. The enemy wants us to believe the lie we're not good enough but once we know how much God loves us, regardless of our behaviour, we learn how very worthy we are of His love.
*Revision: I would also like to add, it's a very "Christian" thing to say that God makes us worthy and without Him we are not but that isn't true either. Without God, we are still worthy. Sinful but still worthy. We were born as heirs to the Kingdom of God. The enemy steals our identity when the flesh is weak but when we live by the Spirit, we're strengthened to be who we were created to be.
You're Not Alone In This
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
In different hard periods of my life, I’ve experienced God’s close presence and provision. His help was immediate and obvious but I recently went through a season of difficulty when God’s direction was very unclear. I'm generally quite good at hearing God's voice but He was silent. Those seasons are hard because we easily fall back on our own ability to pull us through.
In times of difficulty, we need to draw close to God and find comfort in letting Him have control. I know it sounds simpler than it is but keep trying because He has the best solution to any problem.
The Holy Spirit Is Your Helper.
One of the things Jesus said over and over was that He came to give us “The Helper” so that we may know the glory of God and be able to talk to Him. The Helper is the Holy Spirit. So many Christians today don’t know the true meaning of who the Holy Spirit is.
The Holy Spirit is our comforter, our counsellor, He gives us strength, He shows us where to go, He reveals the heart of God to us, He is the Spirit of God and He is VERY important. I teach more about getting to know God as the Holy Spirit in The Be Still Series Bible Study [Click here to learn more about it, it's pretty great!].
“But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.”
If you're a Christian and you're feeling God is distant, or maybe you've never heard God's voice or you're not even really sure He's there, I would start by trying to learn more about the Holy Spirit and how to have a relationship with Him.
Renew Your Spirit
Holy Spirit closes the gap between us and the Kingdom of Heaven. He restores our broken human Spirit and breaks our bondage of being born into sin. We need Him to make us Holy and Righteous so we can take our place in God’s Kingdom as His children. The Holy Spirit is what lived in Jesus as the son of God and is the same Spirit we have in us. Think about that for a minute because that's pretty amazing!
“You are just like your true father, the devil; and you spend your time pursuing the things your father loves. He started out as a killer, and he cannot tolerate truth because he is void of anything true. At the core of his character, he is a liar; everything he speaks originates in these lies because he is the father of lies.”
Saying we are “born again” as children of God is not a figurative metaphor- it’s literal. We're born again when we're baptized in God’s Holy Spirit. God always intended for us to be made completed by having a relationship with Him- it’s why we sometimes feel inadequate, like we can’t do anything or we are “not enough”.
This passage is long but this is Jesus explaining to a man named Nicodemus what it means to be born again:
"Nicodemus was a 'Pharisee' which means he was a very religious man who strictly adhered to the Old Testament teachings. He was a supporter of Jesus and this conversation came from an evening where he showed up to question Jesus about His teachings. Even though he was a Pharisee, Nicodemus did try to advocate for Jesus and even went as far as to shower his grave with gifts suited for royalty. He obviously respected Him a lot!
'Jesus said, ‘You’re absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it’s not possible to see what I’m pointing to—to God’s kingdom.’
‘How can anyone,’ said Nicodemus, ‘be born who has already been born and grown up? You can’t re-enter your mother’s womb and be born again. What are you saying with this ‘born-from-above’ talk?’
Jesus said, ‘You’re not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.
So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.'"
BUT WAIT, WHY THE PROCESS?
Why not just create us to be perfect? Why make us choose?
Ask anyone whose been married for a long time and they'll tell you, "Love is a choice". Just as we want a man to choose us to be his wife and choose to love us forever, God wants us to choose Him. God wants us to choose Him everyday because that's what real love looks like.
We are the love of God's life.
He wants us to choose Him.
Spiritual Check In
How are you really feeling? Do you feel incomplete? Unworthy? Unlovable? Do you feel like you need to perform to a measure of perfection for God to really love you? Do you want to be filled with the Holy Spirit and the knowledge of how much God loves you? Do you want to hear God's voice?
If You Said, Yes!
When you’re done reading this article, I want you to go to a quiet place and close your eyes. Wrap your arms around yourself in a big self-hug, lift your head to the heavens and smile.
Imagine God’s Spirit coming down over you like a warm light. Now, imagine that warm light is coming out of every pore in your skin.
God tells you, “You are beautiful. You're worthy of a Kingdom. You’re a finished work of art. I created you to be completed in Me. I am always here for you. I want you to know how much I love you. Not because of anything you’ve done or haven't done but because you are my daughter. I will always love you. Be filled with my Spirit so I can be with you always.”
God is there with you. Talk to Him. Tell Him what you need. You're His daughter and He loves you. God wants to make you feel complete. He will fill your longing and give you peace for your pain.
Why? Because He says, "You were always worthy of a great love"!