In Part 1 of this series I told you about my struggle with feeling accepted by God, with feeling like I never fit in with people, with feeling like here was something inherently wrong with me. I disappeared into performing. In trying to be what I thought others wanted me to be I completely lost myself. In my journey to God (and to myself), I had to discover God’s unconditional, pursuing love for me. I had to have a truth encounter with Jesus, and I needed to experience the empowering presence of Holy Spirit that enables me to live as a beloved child of God, fully Teresa.
As we journey with God, He can reveal to us those lies we have believed about ourselves, others and God, as well as the patterns we have developed to deal with and cope with the lies. He can show us how to be more human, more fully ourselves with the gifts, talents, creativity and design He created us with.
“The goal of the Christian spiritual journey is not to become less human and more divine; it is to become more fully human. Salvation is not to rescue us from our humanity; it is to redeem our humanity.”
– Sacred Companions by David G. Benner
Humanity is not a disease that needs to be cured or a state of deficiency from which we need to escape. Spirituality can and should be in the service of becoming more deeply human.
– Soulful Spirituality: Becoming Fully Alive and Deeply Human by David G. Benner
Through my journey, I was hungry to find Truth. As I continued to search for God, little did I know He was searching for me. I now see how radically my spiritual journey changed when I stopped thinking of God as hiding and making it as difficult as possible for me to find him; but, instead, as the One who is looking for me while I am doing the hiding.
I encourage you to ask God for awareness of His presence, ask Him to show you the truth about who He is, who you are, about others and the world. Here is a prayer I prayed every day for many, many years:
God help me be aware of your presence every moment. Give me eyes to see, ears to hear. Empower me to take every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ. Empower me to take up the full armour of God so I can stand firm in the evil day, having done everything to stand firm. Strengthen and empower me; give me a full knowledge of Your will. Surround me with your perfect love that cast out all fear, give me wisdom, discernment and Christ-centered confidence.
“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ, He had his eye on you; He had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone.”
– Ephesians 1:11, The Message
Arise and shine for your light has come…
– Isaiah 60:1
God is not the patriarch who stays home, doesn’t move, and expects his children to come to him, apologize for their aberrant behaviour, beg for forgiveness, and promise to do better. To the contrary, he leaves the house, ignoring his dignity by running toward them, pays no heed to apologies and promises of change, and brings them to the table richly prepared for them.
– Henri Nouwen
‘Jesus Mafa’ series are online here.
Personal Reflection: Create space to spend time with Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Have a cup of coffee with Jesus. Come as you are, be real; even if you struggle with ‘you’, tell Him that. When you can own who you are (whoever that is), you can make the changes you need to make through the empowerment of Holy Spirit.
Listen to this song, imagine yourself in it.
Song: ‘Dance With Me’ by Jesus Culture
Pray: Below are some prayers Paul prayed for the church; I call them ‘Transformational Prayers’. Make them personal, put your name in the scripture and pray for growth in becoming all God created you to be. Include them as part of your prayer life over the next month.
Ephesians 1: 17 – 23
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. And what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and set Him at His own right hand in the Heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come; and has put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all.
Ephesians 3: 16 – 21
That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts, through faith; and that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love to Christ which surpasses knowledge that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Philippians 3: 13 & 14
….forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4: 13
Empower them to believe they can do ALL things through Christ.
Colossians 1: 9 – 14
I pray that you would fill them with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that they will walk in a manner worthy of you Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened them with all power, according to Your glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.