Just As We Are

I want to talk about two different things that I think are very similar. I hope by the end, you see how close they really are to each other.

So often we think that we have to wait until we get our lives under control before we can begin to have a relationship with Christ. That couldn’t be further from the truth, in fact, it’s pretty much completely backwards. The way we get our life under control is by developing a relationship with Christ. But that’s really a misnomer too, because the closer our relationship is with Christ, the more control we’ll hand over to Him. So, we might get things under control but it won’t necessarily be our control.

Jesus wants us just as we are.

He wants us with all of our sins and all of our imperfections.

He wants us to turn to Him for help in our lives.

He wants to do all the things we haven’t been able to do on our own.

He wants to heal our addictions and end the torment we put ourselves through trying to figure out where we belong.

Have you ever felt like you were on the outside looking in? Like no matter what, you didn’t quite belong? Even when you were part of the crowd, you didn’t really belong? Maybe in your family, you felt like you were one step removed from everyone else? You may have even visited churches that made you feel that way. The thing to remember is, being part of a crowd or group isn’t the important part, being part of God is the important part. Being part of God is how you will feel like you belong. We don’t have to spend our time trying to fit in, trying to do the things that will make us well liked by the crowd. If we follow what God asks of us, we will have a place to fit in.

It’s nice when people like us and when we have friends that we enjoy spending time with. Friends that enjoy some of the same things that we do. There’s nothing wrong with that but when we spend our time trying to look just right or act just right so that those around us will accept us and love us, we are missing the point.

A couple points actually.

If we fit in with Jesus first, we will find ourselves fitting in with those that will really matter. Hopefully, they will be the kind of people who understand that God, though He made us all in His image, made us all just a little unique because that’s the way He wanted us. He didn’t want cookie cutter people or cookie cutter followers. He wants us to be the people He made us to be.

That’s the difference between God and a lot of those people we find ourselves hanging around with. God wants us just like we are, a lot of those around us want us to be more like them. The more we are like them, the more comfortable they are with themselves. By being like them or by imitating them, it might sound strange, but we ease their qualms about them being their own special self.

That might be good for them but it can be disastrous for us. By imitating them, we lose those parts of us that make us special. We lose the specialness that God made us with. That means that we are taking what God has given to us and only us, and throwing it aside because, more than honoring God and His gifts, we want to fit in with those we see as important in our lives. We don’t realize that the most important person in our lives is God.

Even though God wants us to turn to Him for help with our imperfections, He also wants us to be the unique people He made us. God didn’t make the imperfections, we acquired those on our own along the way. He did make each of us a little different, a little special and He wants us to hold on to that. We should give God our imperfections and sins and hang on to those ways that He made to make us special.

It’s not about waiting until we fit in with God’s people, it’s about bringing your special self back TO God. That’s how we will fit in. That’s how we will find that place where we truly belong.

Blessed Affirmation

Sometimes it is so difficult for me to discern God’s voice from all the noise that is the inside of my mind. It just seems like it is so difficult to stop dancing in circles and get my inner voice to shut up long enough for me to hear what God is trying to tell me.

Then there are days like today.

I have succeeded little by little to recognize those things that God is putting on my heart. He has set some things in motion that have gotten my attention and because they are kind of outside my norm, they have made me sit up and take notice. One of my biggest difficulties, when it comes to listening to God, is having enough confidence in myself to believe that I’m not just making this stuff up or making things fit together that don’t. I tend to question my motives, not because I don’t believe what God is saying but because I’m afraid that I’m hearing what I want to hear, in the way that I want to hear it.

I pray quite regularly for God to do what he needs to do to get my attention, scary prayer, I know but I have spent too much time feeling like there is something more I’m supposed to be doing but not knowing what it is. God got my attention this morning.

I have felt pushed in a particular direction for a while now but once again, I’ve been questioning just how much of it is God and how much is me. So, this morning I was discussing all of it with Lori and I just got on a roll. Things were coming out of my mouth that I hadn’t even thought out yet. Bits and pieces were fitting together and things were making sense that had just been hanging out on the fringe of my thoughts. It was all making sense and feeling right.

Then, as the dogs were barking, not an unusual happening at our house, I distinctly heard a human voice. Couldn’t tell what the voice was saying but I knew there was somebody outside.

I walked outside and there were two gentleman standing just outside the gate, good place for them to be with the dogs just inside the gate. I shushed the dogs, okay I attempted to shush the dogs, and one of the gentleman asked if I could help them find their property. I know that sounds odd but there are a lot of people who own property out here that either have never seen it or haven’t seen it in a while, and they have trouble finding it.

Usually we see them wandering around the neighborhood in their cars and we stop and see if we can help. It is very rare that anybody finds their way back to our house by accident, we don’t live anywhere near a main road, even a main dirt road.

The paper these gentlemen had didn’t have a street address but the block and lot numbers. I asked them to wait and I went inside to look up the location on the computer. It isn’t the easiest thing to give directions out here, roads bend and street signs are missing, it ends up being easier to just take someone there. So I asked them to follow me and I would take them there. I got an immediate, “God bless you!”, which made me smile.

I led them to where their property was and walked back to their car. Jorge, the driver, introduced himself and thanked me. He also said, “You did good today.” He said he noticed the lettering on the back of our truck that gives the address to this website. He said that He would go to the site and send me an email because he wanted us to share the word of God with each other.

So, as I was telling Lori what I felt was being put on my heart, someone shows up in the yard needing help. People who obviously are people of the Lord and they bless me and tell me I’m doing good.

Thank you Mr. Torres and friends, I’ll take that.

John

John isn’t sure if he’s traveling or not. He’s been in the Gville area for awhile. But that doesn’t seem to be working out too well for him. He said he had thought about going to church but…… my guess is he doesn’t feel presentable enough to go in a church. I told him God was everywhere and if he couldn’t make it to church, he could make his own, just pray. He wasn’t really talkative but he knows God bought him lunch and a cold drink. Keep John in your prayers, if you would. All glory to God.

 

(UPDATE: wandering around, I spotted a camp and turns out, it was John’s. So he and his friend got a goody bag too. Wasn’t invited in, so I didn’t meet his friend but I got a big smile and a wave.

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Part of What We See As Our Mission

All Glory To God is a fledgling organization that strives to help how and where we are needed; by doing this we hope to achieve our main goal which is to Glorify God. (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)

As time goes by, some of what we post will be situations around the country and the world where help is needed. Unfortunately, at this point, All Glory To God is fairly limited in what we can accomplish, we just don’t have the funding. (If you’d like to help us, please see our Donation Page) But we want to enlighten those that read our blog of the needs that exist, in hopes that people will be moved to help, even if they choose to help a different agency or to help on their own.

We believe that the closer we get to a world where it is natural for neighbor to help neighbor and organization to help organization, the closer we get to the type of world that Jesus asks us to achieve. Please make up your mind to notice a local need and to do what you can to fill that need. (Matthew 22:37-40)

We ask that you consider your safety when walking into a situation that might not be exactly what it seems. Sometimes people in need are not necessarily the easiest people to deal with, so be cautious, but by all means help.