God’s heart is for us.
He longs for us to face the messiness of our sins and repent of them. Then run straight into His waiting arms where our shame is covered and our lives redeemed.
This week, I welcome a dear and authentic friend to our little corner of the blog world to offer you hope. Jaime Wiebel’s message is near and dear to my heart because we have similar stories. Once upon a time we didn’t know where to find our identity. We looked to the world for answers, when all along, it was God.
He is the only place we can find true worth … and hope.
The one relationship I failed to foster for so long was my relationship with Jesus. In fact, for much of my life, I spent my time running from Him. I had asked Him to be my personal Savior but I was falling away from Him.
Knowing He was within arms reach, I kept my arms stretched to keep Him at a distance.
I knew if He got too close my life would be revealed for what it was and I would have to deal with the perpetual sin in my life. So, I kept an arms distance and my eye over my shoulder so He couldn’t get too close.
I continued to run on that path until I could run no further, literally. I wanted to find a way back and thought about it many times, but didn’t know where to begin.
My thoughts quickly went to finding a church hoping that would be the answer. It may have been the place where I was physically confronted with God’s truth but my heart and my mind were far from home.
The reality was I needed to repent and turn back. My sin, however, had become my comfort and what I thought to be my identity.The reality was I needed to repent and turn back.My sin,however,had become my comfort and what I thought to be my identity #godsheart #momentsofhope #chosenandworthy #forgiven @Jaime_Wiebel Click To Tweet
Keeping My Distance
I found myself in sinking sand. One thing led to another and as I dug and dug trying to escape, I just kept sinking.
My distance didn’t just happen with Christ, I started isolating myself from everyone I knew that truly loved me. The ones that were pushing me to confront my life and my choices were the ones I could safely fall on.My distance didn't just happen with Christ, I started isolating myself from everyone I knew that truly loved me. #Godslove #momentsofhope #forgiven #chosenandworthy @jaime_wiebel Click To Tweet
But I kept pushing. Creating new circles that could tolerate my ideas and my choices. Ones that accepted me for the sinner I was because they were living that same sinful life.
My outstretched arm finally became the hand Christ used to pull me out of the spiral of sin that had become the pit of my life.
I had dug myself into a deep pit and had no other way out than to look up. When I did, I saw God’s grace pour down over my parched soul and flood over me.
Christ the Pursuer
The Bible is flooded with story after story of Christ pursuing His children. If only they would repent and turn from their ways. Time and time again He shows mercy.
“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping and mourning; And rend your heart and not your garments.” Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil. -Joel 2:12-13 (NASB)
Time and time again they realize their life is no life at all without God and yet, they keep running.
His plan was always to make a way to redeem His people and when He finally showed up, they missed it.
I would be quick to judge such infantile thinking, had it not been me, time and time again. Christ would show up and make a way out, and I would turn my back on Him. I missed Him so many times.
Yet, He came and chased me down until He got my attention.
Attention to the Creator of Life
He brought me to my knees and I could no longer run. Not only did I have to face my life but I had to face my sin.
The guilt quickly turned to shame. I not only had offended the God of the Universe, I had caused my Heavenly Father to grieve over my lost soul.
He quickly taught me how He created life and how delicate it could be. Quickly He taught me the power and majesty of the God I claimed to be mine.
He certainly wanted my attention and He certainly had it.
Repent, He said. Rend your heart. Mourn over your sin, turn from it and come back to me.Repent, He said. Rend your heart. Mourn over your sin, turn from it and come back to me. @jaime_wiebel #Godsheart #momentsofhope #forgiven #chosenandworthy Click To Tweet
Blessing Flows From the Throne of Heaven
When I returned to Christ with all my heart there was certainly weeping and mourning. In that time, He was able to do something new. He was able to bless me. Bless me with Himself above all else.
This verse in Joel is such a beautiful picture of God to His people.
I know I was afraid to come back to Christ for fear of so many things. But Joel tells us when we repent and come back with all our heart we are greeted with God’s grace and compassion.
He is slow to anger, and get this… ABOUNDING with lovingkindness and He is eager to relent and not punish.
That is so far from who I thought God to be or maybe that was so far from what I thought I deserved.
I was a desperate sinner in need of this God.
Walking Closer to Christ
When I came back to Christ, I began to fall deep for Him. I was all in. Finally, realizing what it meant to be saved by the grace of God. I realized that His lovingkindness was abounding.
There were definite consequences for my sin, but my repentance was followed by relenting. My shame was covered up by the words God so tenderly spoke to me when I sought His truth of who I was.
My sin and shame were covered by His precious blood as He bore it all on Himself on the cross. Then it was buried and when He rose from the dead He opened the door for me to be set free.Then my shame was buried and when He rose from the dead He opened the door for me to be set free @jaime_wiebel #chosenandworthy #forgiven #momentsofhope #Godslove Click To Tweet
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. -Romans 8:1(BSB)
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. -John 8:32 (NIV)
I no longer have to live in fear or shame. Christ had been set free and my freedom did not come with condemnation but with the freedom to live in Him.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. -Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
Jaime is the blogger and author at Seeking God with Jaime Wiebel. She loves to encourage women and dig deep His Word to discover their true identity in Christ. She has several trials during her journey with Jesus. Time and time again He has proved His faithfulness. Because of Him, she can proudly call herself His child. Because of His great love, she spends her time teaching others about Him. You can also join Jaime weekly as she and the team will encourage you through the Bible at Seeking God Daily.
My Newest Offering
After writing at great length here about what an identity in Christ means and sharing all the hope I can with you through stories from other brave women who have discovered His redeeming love, I’ve taken it a step further and created an online email course.
I’m pretty excited about it because I’ve mixed a lifetime of experience and learning into this. I even have video lessons! (You KNOW I’m taking out all the stops when I bust out the video!) But friends, I pray this offering is just what you need right now.
In this course you will:
- Find out how your view of identity is effecting your life.
- Determine your personal IF (Identity Factor).
- Recognize triggers and identify roots of shame and insecurity.
- Loosen the hold an unhealthy belief system has on your life.
- Dispute negative self-talk.
- Learn to pray Scripture.
Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding -Proverbs 3:13 ESV
Wait … did I forget to mention it’s free?
So what do you have to lose? Just click HERE or on the image below to get started. If you are already a part of the community and have previously subscribed, you will still need to give your email address at registration. Don’t worry, though, you won’t get double sets of emails. It just lets me know you want to receive this email course!
Featured #MomentsofHope Post
This week I want to share with you a series from Emily Wood of Splashes of Joy. She is exploring the aspects to creating a Life of Harmony. I love how she uses the word harmony as opposed to the word balance because I believe balance isn’t necessarily possible.
Harmony has different moving pieces, all of which make the whole, but each part rises and falls as necessary to make that whole. Balance makes us believe all parts are equal. Real life doesn’t have all equal parts. One part of our life may need more attention than another at any given time. But together all the parts of our lives create a beautiful symphony created by the ultimate composer.
Enjoy this post along with Emily’s entire series! It’s a fun and unique way to look at the beautiful chaos we all call life!
As a Christ follower, my primary and all-consuming commitment (gosh, I love that) needs to be to the Creator, the Composer, of my life. I need to have an unrelenting dedication and be doggedly devoted to uncovering the Composer’s true intent for my life.
When others look at my life, my relationship with the Composer needs to be so strong, that the line is blurred.
Our Lives should look like the Composer.
As the conductor of my life, my job is to know the music my Composer has written for me. -Emily Wood
Please don’t forget to jump on over to her site and leave some #MomentsofHope comment and sharing love! And,Emily, please feel free to grab the Happily Featured Here button below!
#MomentsofHope Thursday Link-UpJoin us for the #MomentsofHope Link-Up! Hope-filled encouragement every THURSDAY! #MomentsofHope #hope #christianencouragement #givemeJesus Click To Tweet
It’s all about hope, so let’s be accountable in doing these 3 things for each other …
- Share up to 2 blog post URLs resonating with the HOPE of Christ. Hope for tomorrow and hope for victory. The little things and the big that inspire us to lean into Jesus and let Him carry us through.
- #MomentsofHope is a place to give and get hope, so let’s encourage others in their efforts to share the hope of Jesus. Please stop by at least one other writer’s little corner of the blog world!
- Please either grab the NEW #MomentsofHope button found HERE and in the sidebar, or link back to me.