Relying on God

This isn’t a particularly insightful blog but a simple truth that I rediscover constantly on my journey in life with God. Its a simple understanding that all God desires is for us to rely on him, that in our weakness he would show his strength. My prayer is that for me and for all of us is that as we surrender to our maker we would see his love, grace, hope and power fill our lives….

We’ve all probably experienced those moments when it seems like everything we put our trust in and everything that we’ve invested in falls down like the walls of Jericho. In my short-ish life of 21 years I have experienced a couple of times where these moments have been true, most notably when my amazing grandma sadly passed away. She was a hero to me and someone who loved me for who I am and for not who I wanted to be. Life was also hard in that time for other things too. Yet in that low place I discovered the power of our God and King as I sunk so low that to me all I had left was God. In my weakness God became my strength as I pulled through and saw God do so much through me and in me in those dark hours.

Yet its easy to forget this truth. We live in a culture where often we are judged by what we do. I find myself falling into the trap of advertising my life as been one of wholeness where I can do everything by myself. I often peservere to stop sinning and that in that God might do something, I often find myself  not needing God, that I can do things by myself. It’s in this place that I find myself operating in most of the time. I have enough money to support myself and do stuff I enjoy, I am doing really well at university, I’m involved in a number of church projects, I’m accountable to a number of people and I give people my time. I find myself wandering life with no real need to rely on God apart from the duty of the act or the things that I can do fail.

From this perspective it seems an admirable place to be, commended even. For the man who does not need to rely on anything else is surely a powerful man in Gods eyes. Yet throughout scripture this story does not hold true. In fact it seems that God does the very opposite. He took the Israelites into exile so that they would return to him, he took Abraham to the top of a hill calling for him to sacrifice his son and he led his people through the desert for forty years, he called Joshua to march around a city instead of attacking it and led Daniel to the lions den. It seems that the people who did the most amazing things in the bible were the people who merely surrendered themselves to God.

For me this is the place that I want to be everyday, fully relying on God. The challenge for me and I think for all of us is do we choose to rely on God, especially when all is well. Waking up every day and asking God to be my guide is perhaps one of the scariest things we can pray because often it means not going the way I want to. I often picture my life’s journey as a constant stream of perfection and its hard to lay down my dreams and plans when God tells me otherwise. Yet whenever I give my life over to God and just say have it your way God always pulls through, it doesn’t mean life is perfect but it makes more sense. Even recently as I turn my eyes back to God its been painful and I’ve not understood it, but I’ve never ever been let down by God and I’ve seen his kingdom come in my life and the life of the people around me.

‘Lord thank you for the cross that you made a way for us to be your sons and daughters in relationship with you. Thank you for my life and the things you’ve given me. Help us to rely on you in everything we do for we know your love, justice, hope and power will keep us going. Sorry that we get to the place where we don’t feel like we need you or love you. Humble us, even if it means breaking us, we ask that you would bring us to a place where we are fully reliant on you for in our weakness is when your strength is truly the most powerful. Help us to surrender even when its hard. Thank you Lord. Amen.”

amen

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

This is a song that we sing so often in our church, I’ve played it a number of times myself and have even done some amazing rearrangements that have brought a fresh lease of life to it. Yet so often I sing it without truly knowing the power of the words. Im very aware of the cross of Christ and how amazing the concept is of Jesus dying for me, yet that is all I sometimes leave it as, a concept, or rather thats what I let it become. I’m sure we all have moments in our life of genuine awe of our God whether it be from an amazing sunset, an encounter with Gods spirit or an amazing gathering with other believers there are times where the sheer wonder of God overwhelms us. I remember waking up one morning a couple of months ago in such a place of joy and peace because I knew that God loved me.

Yet so often these moments for me end up fading until the next moment of wonder and I end up becoming religious, doubtful or arrogant. In truth the last few weeks for me have been a mixture of those three things and its been startling to see the ease at which I’ve gradually let this wild relationship with God become nothing more than an ideology. I’m very good at putting up the fake mask of myself, the chilled out manner that everything is ok and I’m a good Christian when deep down I’m struggling and I’m broken. I’ve found myself becoming less content with who I am as the devils lies infiltrate my once well guarded heart that I used to protect every morning with scripture. The result is a dive for the world, almost like a prodigal son who suddenly starts reaching out for the ways of the world. I found myself caring more about the clothes I wear and the way I act than focussing on other people because my identity shifted from God’s love and what he thought about me to what the world thought of me.

Yet just like all things they never fully satisfy and never leave me feeling real like being with God and so with a heavy heart I turned back to God and just like the lowly son in the prodigal son I came before my father embarrassed and broken not daring to believe that God would look at me again in the same way he did a few months ago.

How wrong I was?

On coming into his presence I only felt joy and love from my Dad being welcomed back into his arms, the slate wiped clean, my sin pardoned. It was here that I truly re-discovered the words of that song amazing grace, for how amazing it is to be welcomed back by the King of Kings. You see this isn’t the first time I’ve turned my eyes from God and the first time I’ve made a dash for the world. Yet every time I come back to God I’m accepted and loved and I can’t understand it. The very fact that Jesus died for humanity, that he chose the cross just so we can be right with God astounds me when I know the amount of times I run away from God and reject him. It literally confounds me and all I can sing is  that song.

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound

That sav’d a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found,

Was blind, but now I see.

I write this blog not just to share my own life and sufferings but because really God’s grace amazes me and I just want to share how amazing it is to be loved by God. Maybe you feel like the prodigal son and you keep turning away from God I hope that my story shows that even though it happens a lot God still somehow welcomes me back. Maybe you’ve never turned to God, literally its the best thing I’ve ever done and I would love to chat to you more about my own story of faith and now how its made my life religious but how its released me into freedom.

Jesus is my saviour, there is no better news than that.