Saturday, December 7, 2013

I Can't Escape Him

This whole thing is His.

I got tired of running. I got tired of acting like I was in control of my life. Now I know without a doubt that there is a calling on this life that I call "mine."

When there is a calling on your life I believe that God will stop at nothing until you surrender to Him. "Surrender" sounds like such a bad word. But really, it's the beginning of the most beautiful, intimate love relationship that you'll ever have: a relationship with your Heavenly Father.

I was recently asked about my faith in Jesus Christ. With so much conflicting information out there about the validity, authenticity and authority of Christianity, Jesus, and the Bible, how can I still have faith that Jesus is the Son of God? Why do I believe? At the time I couldn't articulate my answer because I hadn't given it much thought before then. But now that I've had time to reflect, I know why. I am not going to attempt to defend the Bible; I am not versed in apologetics. All I can say is what I know, and what I know is this:

I can't escape Him.

When I reflect on my life, there have been countless times when I could have gone off the rails, but a Force greater than myself prevented me from self-destructing. "Yeah, well how do you know that isn't just God? Why Jesus?" Because I am so imperfect, so flawed, so unworthy...a holy God would not be able to have a relationship with me because my innately sinful nature blocks me from Him. But, He walks with me...He cleanses me...He purifies me before the Father, because He's been here before! Even when I am weak - especially then - He carries me. He is the bread of life. He sustains me. I am nothing without Him.

You hem me in behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. ~Psalms 139:5

I can't escape Him.

Even when I was going through that rebellious teenage phase, there was always something (now I know it was Someone) who would not let me go too far. "Yeah but that's just your conscience, right?" What one person calls conscience or coincidence, I call Jesus. Because you see, all those times when I almost stepped off the cliff but Something wouldn't let me...all those times when the thing that I'd been praying about was answered by a stranger's "random" comment, or by a sign in the street, or by a few words in a book that I only picked up because "something" inside me urged me to...all those times when my heart cried out, "God, where are you?" and then a friend, family member, or even a complete stranger would reach out to me in love and say the exact words that my heart needed so it could heal, so it could rest....None of that happened by accident but because my Lord and Savior is after my heart and wants a love relationship with me so badly that even though He doesn't have to, He'll do anything to prove His love for me...even die on a cross.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners... ~Isaiah 61:1

I can't escape Him.

Even when my circumstances make me want to believe that God has abandoned me, that He doesn't really love me or care about doesn't matter what I do or where I go, Jesus still patiently pursues me. I could turn on a song in an effort to drown out my pain, and I'll feel His heart for me within the intricate melodies and harmonies of the music. I could go for a run to clear my head, and through the aching I'll feel His unending mercy fall fresh upon me, so that instead of wishing that the physical pain would go away, I welcome it because I know He'll sustain me through it. I could weep tears of bitterness and frustration and feel crushed beneath the weight of hopelessness, and He'll come down beside me in that valley and stay there with me until I trust Him enough to take His hand, rise and keep following Him.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. ~Proverbs 3:5-6

In a nutshell, it's when I stopped trying to run from Jesus that my life finally began to make sense. When I stopped trying to make my own path and turned to follow Him, that's when everything fell into place. Now, I'm not saying that suddenly my life became easy and I didn't face any struggles. Au contraire. But since I decided to follow Jesus, I have discovered a peace that He reserves for those who believe and trust in Him. The less I rely on my own reasoning and thought process, the more room I give Him to move in my life, and the more freedom I experience. When I stop trying to fight my battles of loneliness, sadness, frustration, anger, fear, and hurt, and let Him into my heart so He can fight those battles for me, then I can experience the healing and peace that only Jesus can offer.

There is no life, no fulfillment to be found in living for oneself. It is only in the continuous process of letting go, in the constant relinquishing of living life my way and choosing to live His way that I can find and experience true freedom and live life as He intended.

If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. ~Luke 18:33

As I sat down to write this, I didn't know why I was doing it. I didn't even know what I was going to say. I just opened up the laptop and began typing. As I typed things were revealed to me and I was given revelation (a clearer understanding from the Holy Spirit) of scriptures that I'd read many times before but never understood until now.

I can't escape Him.

You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. ~Matthew 7:13-14

If while reading this you've felt a gentle but persistent tugging at your heart, then that's Jesus waiting at the door and He wants to come in. He wants to give you life. Let Him.

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