Wednesday, April 27, 2011
"Not As Advertised"
"I know things have not turned out as you imagined they would. When you first set your heart on following Me, you were ready to give all to Me, and it seemed that as soon as you did, your problems, doubts, faults and stains would be washed away and your life would be full of strength and faith ever after. The words of your church leaders and founders told of a change of character, lifestyle, and becoming an example to all those around you. You were led to expect that after coming up out of the water, you would be like Me.
"I know your pain. I know your tears. I know your disappointment and discouragment. I know how you've wanted to just give up. I know the pressure of how you have to try to look like everything is okay and pretend that you're not actually just hanging on for dear life. I know you feel like there must be something wrong with you because it seems like everyone else changed magically when they were baptized.
"I am not going to tell you to try harder. I am not going to tell you that you have been a failure, because the truth is that I never expected those things of you at all. Those expectations were placed on your by the teachings of your leaders and your church's founders, and by a church environment where everyone was aspiring to meet the church's expectations and could not openly admit the truth.
"I have never wanted you to pretend. I have never wanted you to be like your church's founders. I have never expected you to stand before My Father without a mediator. I have never based My love for you on the perfection of your character.
"I gave you Myself on the Cross because I knew you could never ascend to heaven on your own, and I want to be with you forever. I didn't die so that you yourself could 'become righteous,' but instead I died to credit you with My righteousness. Your righteousness is not and will never be the standard by which I accept or reject you. I have already accepted you, I have already died on the Cross for you! And My love will never be removed from you. I died to set you free from your righteousness.
"I want you to be free! I want you to be free of thinking that your righteousness will save or condemn you. I want you to be free of the lie that you will have to stand before My Father without My intercession. I want you to be free of the environment in which you have to pretend that you are a 'spiritual' person and can't admit how you really feel. I want you to have rest.
"Come, rest in Me. You have already given Me your heart, and I accepted it gladly! Don't doubt your sincerity and don't think that you did something wrong or didn't give your heart to Me completely enough. Of course you didn't give me your heart completely! You can't! Only I can do that. I will undivide your heart in My time, in My power by My Spirit. That's My job.
"Come, take off the robe of expectations that your church has given you to wear, and rest in My righteousness instead."