the good not in me - on chapter 2...{the grace series}

Thursday, May 2, 2013

the word good can actually be a not-so-good word after all...

i think i've known this for a while.

kind of like when you make that decision to cut out all sugar and that friend holds that dark chocolate brownie in her hands and says so sweetly, come on! one bite, just one! it's soooo good!!

yeah - good can be objective.

unless it's resting on the lips of God.

He saw all He had made and called it good,

He saw His Son and was so very pleased.

His Spirit - He's characterized by goodness...

He is good.

and then there is me.

and oh. i want  to be good.

i want you to see me as good.

but i know, deep down, that for years i lived up to the expectations that are placed on the good girl who loves Jesus.

i wasn't defined by Him, i was defined by what was expected.

and i tried hard.

and when i kept failing, i gave up caring.

and then i was a bad girl living in good girl clothes.

it was a touch crazy and chaotic and there are still moments that i wonder how in the world i ever made it back to Jesus.

but ever since then, ever since that moment on that winding road under those bright stars, feeling like my shame was going to swallow me whole and begging Him for just. one. more. chance...

i have felt like i'm running up hill - always one step behind everyone else who seems to have it all together.

i have felt a mess.

when we believe that God expects us to try hard to become
who Jesus wants us to be, we will live in that blurry, frustrating
land of Should Be rather than trust in The One Who Is. we will 
do whatever we believe it takes to please God rather
than receive the acceptance that has already been given. we
will perform to live up to what we believe His expectation is of us 
rather than expectantly wait on Him.
grace for the good girl (pg 32)

what happened to believing in the truth that all of the work was done by The Son on the cross?

why are we, am i, constantly trying so hard to earn His approval?

why am i expecting to fail, to let Him down and start back at square one because isn't that where all the losers go?

my word for this year has been expectancy.  my baby girl, the one who filled me large with the expecting of her turns 4 months today.  the stretching and filling and those final hard months are still so fresh on my mind...expectancy can be a long, slow, hard thing to hold.

because really, you live in a state of not knowing what to expect.

and so, i try and manage what seems manageable. if i don't know what to expect from my life, from Jesus, or even from tomorrow, i'll focus on what i think a strong, good christian woman should look like.

our desire to be the good girl, the good Christian, the good
wife, and the good mom becomes our number one priority,
and Jesus isn't even in the room...
grace for the good girl (pg 32)

i need to stop here - not because the baby is crying, though, she will be soon because of those first two teeth that are making sleep hard to come by - but because my heart needs to rest here.

i need to pause and look around me,

is He even here?

and yes, He is here - He is with me and He won't ever leave, but have i been so focused on everything else that i forget that He. Is. ?

God looks at your heart.  He sees not only your outward "churchy" identity; He sees
who you really are, why you do what you do, and what you really mean when you
proclaim your allegiance to Him. this face should alarm us all.
and it would, if not for the gospel.

think of it; you no longer have to live for mere human approval.
you are freed from trying to approve of yourself. God approves of
you because you have a new heart, a new name, a new love, a new desire.

believers, having acknolwedged their sinfulness and accepted the
gift of divine approval, are in a position to reveal themselves as they
really are. this ought to make believers the most transparent and 
childlike people in the world. *

He approves of you because you are covered with the righteousness
of the beloved Son with whom He is well pleased. you please Him.
His commendation, welcome, acceptance - yes, even His praise - are yours!
is that enough? pray that it will be as true for you today as it 
already is for Him.
comforts from Romans (pg. 41-42)

He is. 

and i have not been...

but because of Him and the work that He did - His grace covers me and He is the good that is now in me.

staggering, beautiful truth.

even when i fail,

even when i mess up...again,

He is the good that is now in me.

for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
when Christ, Who is your life appears, then you also will 
appear with Him in glory.
colossians 3:3-4

thank you, Jesus.

*quote within the quote was written by r.h. mounce