A Complete Counter to the Entire Gospel?
I drove home from a video shoot today, filled with anxiety. I had been asked to share my story, and I worked incredibly hard ahead of time to formulate all of the right words.
When it was all said and done, though, I was terribly disappointed with myself. I felt like I didn’t say things clearly and like I couldn’t possibly have shared what God wanted me to.
Where did I come up with this idea that God will only really be glorified in me if I'm perfect? I don't think I'm alone in believing the lie, either. We apply it to our marriages, to our parenting, to our homes, to what we produce...
But isn't that a complete counter to the entire Gospel?
Christ died for our sins because we were dead in them. He raises us to life so that we can live by His power and in His strength. If we were perfect, we wouldn't need Him. If we could do everything right, say everything right, be those perfect moms, wives, daughters, people that we strive to be, we wouldn't have any use for the Gospel.
David Whiting preached such a beautiful message about The Simple Gospel on Sunday. The timing couldn't have been more ideal. This truth--the truth of the Gospel--will always be the most important, most relevant thing in our entire lives.
Oh, how quickly I forget.
I realized, in all of my worry today, that I was doing the very opposite of what the whole point of my story is: choosing joy--rejoicing in God because of who HE is. It's not because of who I am or anything I can do.
It's His story.
God reminded me, so graciously, that I can’t mess up His story. He reminded me that it’s true—what He says in His word--that He will be glorified. And it won’t only be when I have all of the perfect words or when I say or do things in the best way.
"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me," (2 Corinthians 12:9).
He works in our weakness.
His strength holds us up in our weakness. His power shines through our weakness. He uses us in spite of our weakness. He loves our desire to share His truth and His love. A little bit of desire goes a long way in God’s economy.
"That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong," (2 Corinthians 12:10).
- So, did I have the perfect words?
- Was I as clear as I could have been?
- Did I remember everything I wanted to say?
But, I know that God is so much bigger than my words. It would be awfully presumptuous of me to think that God can't work through my sincere efforts to pass along a message of His grace and a working of His power. My prayer is that He’ll shape what I did say and that His story will come through. And that's my prayer for every part of my story. That He'll shape each and every moment of my weakness with His perfect strength and use it for His glory.
It truly is well with my soul.
- Do you have expectations of perfection in any area of your life?
- Do you tend to believe the lie, like I so often do, that you have to be perfect or look perfect or act perfectly in order to really please God and bring Him glory?
- In what way has God helped you to say, "It Is Well With My Soul" and to rest in His strength?
Would you share?
God wants to let His story radiate through us today. Not because we're perfect, but rather, because of our great need for Him. Let's do this together: Let's allow the truth of God's strength in our weaknesses to soothe our imperfect souls and motivate us to keep on keeping on. He will be glorified.