Hey :) We are about a month into 2018, and it already feels like there is way too much going on. There is already distractions from what we should be focused on, already doubts and worries, already fear and anxiety. This year, I did not necessarily make a resolution, but I have begun praying for very specific things, including: Jesus to complete my joy, for Him to become my sole priority and need, and for Him to give me grace to trust Him more. There is absolute power in prayer, and recently I have seen that more than ever. So, slowly He has moved in my life and started fulfilling these requests in small and big ways, continually giving me opportunities to lean into Him more and focus on Him.
In the midst of watching these prayers answered, I have become more in tune to what has previously distracted me, and most (if not, all) of it has to do with the way I view myself. We all struggle with certain things about ourselves, whether it be our appearance, our personality, our hobbies, etc, but never before have I realized how quickly these opinions we form about ourselves can change our view of God in such a negative and unnecessary way. We get so caught up with worrying about what we look like, what we wear, what we weigh, and who we hang out with that we stop seeing Jesus in the middle of our lives, like He should be. I have noticed this in myself countless times, even while I'm praying for Him to be my main focus. That is why I have chosen to write about this, because I learn so much through studying these topics and I benefit so much by sharing them.
I am going to start off by saying that with everything so busy all the time, it is extremely hard to remember the value we have in Christ. We can say that Jesus loves us all the time, but what is that helping if we don't really believe it? Or we choose not to believe it because we feel like no one could love us? Here's a question: have you ever looked at a flower and said it is ugly? Or a sunset, and said it wasn't worth looking at? Probably not, natures beauty is very hard to just ignore. We see these beautiful things around us, and we don't stop to realize that the reason they are so beautiful, and so desired, is because Jesus put them there. He holds all of His creation at such a high value. But here is my point: yes, those things are extremely valuable, and worthy of attention and love, but there is a verse that says "And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?" (Matthew 6:30). I think we forget sometimes that the beauty we see in everyday life is nothing in comparison to how Jesus views us. We strive to please the eyes of others and forget that we have already been fully accepted by Christ. (Romans 15:7).
Along with this realization, I have wondered why we fall so far from the truth about who we are. Why do we begin to doubt ourselves? Why do we stop trusting that the way He views us is immeasurably more important than how the world views us? I believe it is because we are so focused on what we aren't, that we lose sight of who Jesus created us to be and the purpose He drew out for our lives. We need to stop saying that we aren't smart enough, attractive enough, skinny enough, funny enough. Who created this ultimate standard of "enough" that we keep comparing ourselves to? We need to realize that Jesus wouldn't have sacrificed Himself for someone who is't enough. He created us in His image, therefore: You. Are. Enough.
This goes far beyond just changing how we view ourselves. If we don't fix this, it changes how we view God. If we do not trust how Jesus views us, and how true His opinion is of us, we will begin to lose faith in Him altogether. If we are so focused on these irrelevant aspects of our lives, we will never be prepared to accept the plan He has for us. I know that I've missed His voice in my life many times just because I was distracted by thoughts that He never placed in my mind. I am finding this to be so important because hearing His voice is what will permanently drown out the distractions. We tend to be so hard on ourselves, and we forget that Jesus has already taken those hardships for us. He longs for us and desires us far more than we give Him credit for.
In the Bible, there are countless names He calls us, if we doubt them, aren't we doubting God's word? Aren't we doubting the very thing that gives us life, and allows us to hear God's voice in every circumstance? If we have faith that God gave Moses the power to split the Red Sea (Exodus 16:21) , that God can shut the mouths of lions (Daniel 6:21-22), that Jesus can walk on the water (Matthew 14:25-27), can't we have faith that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), that we are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14), that we are radically loved (Romans 5:8)?
In order to truly fulfill our purpose, which is to spread His name across the nations, we have to whole heartedly believe His word, and that includes knowing our identity in Christ. We have to have full faith that we are valued and worthy, in order to show others that they are valued and worthy of His love as well. As daughters and sons of the King, we aren't orphaned or abandoned or forgotten, we are His, and we are enough.
This year, I really want to focus on being the hands and feet of Christ, and to do that I have to receive more grace to trust what He says is true. I pray that so earnestly for you as well.
It has been on my heart to share this for a few months, and I am praying that I worded it how He would have me share it. Realizing my need to keep Him at the center of even my thoughts has matured me and shown me so much, and this is just the beginning of His plan.
I genuinely pray this brings you at least a smile :) You are so radically desired and loved.
Sophia Light :)