Dear Jesus, I know you love me, but do you like me?
I messed up again yesterday. No matter how long I’m in this fight, this sin still has a hold on me. I know you still love me, but do you like me?"
I’m not where I thought I would be in this journey this far along. 8 years of knowing You and it sometimes still feels like everyone around me goes deeper with You. I know you still love me, but are you pleased with me?"
I haven’t read Your Word in a week. Sometimes I fear everything I know about you hasn’t come from walking with You, but from the experiences of others. I know you still love me, but are you proud of me? "
I rarely doubt God’s love for me. I find great comfort in the knowledge that His deep sacrificial type of love for me is unwavering. Like a parent towards their child, He loves me.
But, like a parent towards their child, what else does He feel? Do parents not feel disappointment? dislike? frustration? It’s the idea of life long sanctification that I so often struggle with. (spoiler alert: frustration insinuates impatience, and my Jesus is a patient God).
“Am I as spiritually mature as I am supposed to be at this point? Does my walk with Jesus look like that of those around me who have known Jesus as long as I have?”
With a muddled head, my focus starts to shift. I start to see my walk with the Lord as a competition. I see the Lord's approval as something I must earn. Being absorbed in the comparison game starts to blur the line between justification and sanctification in my heart. "Am I really saved if I can't articulate well what the Lord is doing in my life?"
Taking a step back, I can hear every ounce of absurdity ringing in those kinds of questions. It's the soft whisper of the Holy Spirit that tells me to recenter. You are who I say you are. When I look at you, I see my son.
In grappling through this, I heard the best analogy for walking with Jesus:
"Imagine two people living in the same house - one a hearing man, the other a deaf man. One day, the hearing man puts on headphones, turns on the music, and begins dancing in the living room to the music.
The deaf person walks in, sees the hearing and says, "that looks like fun". He finds some headphones and begins to mimic the hearing man. With time, he becomes frustrated and discouraged because it isn't nearly as fun as it looks like.
Too many of us live the Christian life simply trying to mimic dance steps, instead of moving to the music. The gospel, as the music, moves our feet to its rhythm. It's not that we don't seek to apply the Scriptures to our lives. Rather, the gospel enables us to apply the Scriptures to our lives."
It's about time to pay attention to the music He's playing for me, and dance to that rhythm.
For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. - Hebrews 10:14
Yeah, it's a process. Yeah, I still mess up. Perhaps it's when I don't think so hard about it and just spend time with Him that I see Him work the most.