Ok…so God’s been working on me. For a long time. And I’ve got a long way to go. But I wanted to related something that He’s been teaching me the last few weeks. And its just a component of what He’s been teaching me the past few years. And I’m apparently too thick-skulled to get it quickly. So God keeps hammering home the point, in a thousand little ways.
A few weeks ago at HUB (the middle school ministry at Valley Creek Church) we sang a song that had a bridge that just says, “I am Yours, I am Yours, All my days, I am Yours.” And that got me thinking. Am I His? Do I allow myself to be His? Am I fully committed, all the time, to honestly say that I am His?
And through that questioning, God is teaching me that the answer is a definitive YES, but not in the way I was thinking at first.
Satan loves to take the truth of what God says, and twist it just enough to introduce doubt, fear, guilt or mistrust. That’s Satan’s primary form of attack. It was what he did in the Garden of Eden. It was what he did with Cain. And it’s definitely what he did to me with this thought.
You see, the simple answer is, “No, I’m not fully committed enough to say that I am His.” And Satan jumped on that, flooding me with guilt that I’m not good enough, that I’m not strong enough, that I’m not “churchy” enough. And Satan was right…I’m none of those things. My best is not good enough, my strongest is still weak and my best attempts to be “churchy” are just a ridiculous charade.
But after Satan got me to that point, God kicked him in the butt and opened my eyes to the truth. It doesn’t matter what I am. It matters what God is. When I say to God, “I am Yours,” I am not saying that by my strength I’m giving myself to Him. The truth of the matter is that when I say that, I’m saying to God, “I agree with the truth, that You have REDEEMED me.”
Redeemed…that word just makes me smile. The Merriam-Webster definition of “redeem” is :
to make (something that is bad, unpleasant, etc.) better or acceptable
to exchange (something, such as a coupon or lottery ticket) for money, an award, etc.
to buy back (something, such as a stock or bond)
Redeemed…made acceptable, exchanged for an award, bought back. It has nothing to do with how good I am…in fact, it is in the very definition of redemption that I am bad or unpleasant, but I’ve been made acceptable. Not because of me, but because it is the nature of God to love me anyway.
So, if I try to say to God, “I am Yours, because I am committed, I am good enough, I am strong enough to stay committed to You,” then I’m lying…I’m none of those things. But if I say to God, “I am Yours, because You have bought me. You hold me. You want me,” then that’s when I accept the truth that God desperately wants me to know.
It’s a one way promise. God promises us that we are His. We are in no position to make that promise, because we’re weak and wishy washy and just plain too screwed up. It’s the same thing as the promise God made to Abraham…in keeping with tradition back then, God had Abraham sacrifice animals so that the two of them would walk between them so that the blood of the animals would be a binding promise between the two of them. But before they walked through them, God put Abraham to sleep and God made the walk by Himself (Genesis 15). It was a one way promise…it didn’t depend on Abraham being good enough or strong enough or churchy enough. God is good, He is faithful…that’s all that matters.
So, yes, I am His. Though I’m weak and screwed up, I am bought and paid for by Christ’s sacrifice. I am redeemed. Made acceptable. Bought back from being my own, and I’m owned by the One who has the power to do that. And not having to worry about whether I’m good enough, that’s where freedom lives. Now, I pray that God reminds me every day when Satan comes calling with his lies…that I can kick him in the butt with the truth that I am God’s, and nothing can take me away from that.