I was reading my He Loves Me book this morning and the chapter was on being motivated by fear. The chapter helped me to bring clarity to the journey that I have been on during the last 5 years.
My last book giveaway was for the book Waking the Dead. At the time of the giveaway my mom asked me why Waking the Dead had been so instrumental in my life. That day, I had said it opened my eyes to the love God had for me. After my reading this morning I would like to embellish on my answer: I think Waking the Dead opened my eyes to the difference of being motivated by fear versus being motivated by love.
I've been a Christian for as long as I can remember, in fact I don't even remember asking the Lord into my heart. The only event I do remember was being baptized 24 years ago TODAY (9/7/85)! I went to a Christian school, church all my life... I've lived a very blessed Christian life and I know it. One of the things though that "happened" in my Christianity is that I learned how to be good out of fear. I didn't want to "lose" the love God had for me. I knew God's Word was true. It is very easy to see that people who don't follow God's laws end up with negative consequences. I knew that if I obeyed God and His Word, things would go well for me and my life. And that is exactly what happened. But in another sense, I felt empty in many ways.
I remember sitting and listening to sermons. I would get convicted every Sunday of how far I fell short of whatever the topic was. When they asked you to stand at the end for prayer, or raise your hand, my hand was up every week. I fell way short and I knew it. I would pray the salvation prayer too, because I didn't remember when I had done it the first time and so I thought I should pray it again to make sure I was saved (in case God wasn't sure).
I remember listening to the songs, "I could dance 100 miles because of your great love" and I'd actually not sing that part, because I didn't understand it and I didn't believe it. I also remember singing, "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere" and I would think, I could think of a thousand places I would rather be than sitting in church all day worshipping God. So yes, I think in a sense, I understood that God "loved" me and I was going to heaven because of His love but what I understood better was the burden of the perfection I thought it took to remain one of His children.
The journey or path God began to take me on 5 years ago began for me with Waking the Dead. During that season I began to learn about God's love for me as His daughter. In all my years of reading about the Pharisees I began to see that I had become a Pharisee. The exact thing Jesus wanted to break, "trying to obey the law perfectly to earn God's favor" is what I had begun to do. I thought I was pretty good at it, but it was heavy and burdensome. Somehow, somewhere along the line I've begun to understand the incredible love that God has for me as His daughter.
Last Sunday at church we sang, "I could dance 100 miles because of your great love" and yes, now I am one of those crazy people who can sing that song with my whole heart because I have a heart understanding of that great love and if I could choose one place I would rather be, it would in the courts of my Father.
The purpose of my blog truly is my heart's desire: FREEDOM IN CHRIST. I have tasted the freedom of Christ the last 5 years and I know how different it is from living under the burden of fear of failure and the desire to earn God's love and always falling short. But I now have also experienced the freedom of being a beloved daughter of the King. I choose the second experience and I desire all of His children to experience the depth of love that He has for them. It is beautiful thing.
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