Things I've been reflecting on today...
This week, I felt attacked and rejected because of my relationship with God, my lifestyle, and the way that I live out that relationship with Him. But you know what? That's ok... because Jesus said, ""Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me." (Matthew 5:10-12).
It makes me overwhelmingly glad that I obeyed the Lord's will, because now their true colors have been revealed, and I have no more ties holding me back. MAN I love the joy that comes from obedience to the Lord's will! It is always met with joy in the end!! I am SO glad that there is a God up there who loves me!
Let's focus on that last part for a minute. He loves ME. And as I reflected on these events this week, I am more resolute and resolved that I am not ashamed of who I am, what I believe, or what I stand for. That I am proud to be a child of God and to loudly proclaim my love for and belief in Jesus, that I proclaim His kingdom come, and that I will readily obey His will as He conveys it to me. I will spend my life earnestly seeking to obey his commands, to live out the way the Bible tells us to live, and to glorify His name. And that does not make me crazy, that does not make me "less fun", that does not make me less of a person - in any way. I'm a sinner, but I'm saved by grace. I am beautiful, and I have a beautiful heart. For the first time in maybe ever, aside from my humanness that will be there until I die, I feel like I have a pure heart. I have no sin I'm hiding from God or from man, I'm not trapped by any sin patterns right now, I'm not locked in drama, I'm not out of God's will, I've been freed from the lies and bondage of Satan... I feel restored. I feel blessed with a gift of salvation, and not just in terms of where I'm going to spend eternity, but salvation from the bondage and lies I was living in, salvation from a nightmare marriage... I have been rescued and I am safe.
"What will people think, when they hear that I'm a Jesus Freak? .... I don't really care if they label me a Jesus freak."
The other part of my reflecting today made me think about this... (unrelated to the first situation)...
No matter how much you may love or care about someone, how much you might pour into them, or pursue them, or desire to be close to them, and no matter how much you may have bonded with them: You cannot force someone to want to have or invest in a relationship with you. And if they don't, it's better to just accept it, because it will save you unnecessary strife and unrest in your heart.
Being family in Christ doesn't mean that someone is going to want to build a relationship with you.
I think being family in Christ often makes relationships with each other a little more touchy and sensitive.
Even friendships can become idolatrous and become a distraction from God. Even CHRISTIAN friendships can be used by the devil to distract us from God. I'm sure some would argue with me, but getting emotionally attached to a close Christian friend can equally distract you from your relationship with God or what else God might have for you. I think Satan likes to use things that look so good we don't think it could be possible.
At the end of the day, God needs to be our source of joy not just above romantic relationships, but above friendships as well.
I think there is a place inside each of us that only God can touch and fill. A place that friendships can't fill, family can't fill, and significant others can't fill. "There's a God shaped hole in all of us... "
As I walk through this season of learning how to make Jesus my all in all, I am reminded that includes friendships.