We often speak, as Christians, of a relationship with the LORD. I've spent most of my adult life trying to understand that phrase. For so many years I tried to make my relationship with Jesus something earned. Daily striving to be good enough; trying to catch Jesus' eye and obtain His favor with something I was accomplishing. This was my norm.
So I guess I spent many years wanting to be Jesus' pet disciplee, but never feeling I could quite measure up. "Probably pet status had already been conferred upon some of my spiritually superior girlfriends," I wrongly told myself with slumping shoulders.
What I've only begun to understood this last decade, Jesus has always loved me as much as He could ever love me - 100%. His love is perfect and is based on His character, and nothing of myself.
It's taken some pretty significant shake ups involving family relationships, life choices, health and jobs/finances for me to come to the end of myself - my thinking that somehow I can hold everything together and achieve all the right answers by doing all the right things.
God, my Father, who loves me best has allowed me to bounce through the sifter, and He's allowed some pretty significant pruning to rid me of harmful dead branches.
In this most recent season, I've had a major growth spurt; similar to the physical six inch growth spurt I experienced during my junior high years, this one spiritual in nature. My insufficiency highlighted by trials and failure, I finally collapsed at the feet of Jesus stating the obvious, "I can't do it! It's all too hard for me."
I didn't have any answers. I had no more great ideas or advice to offer God about every aspect of my life and how He could fix it all. No more did I have the energy to run and hide or even stay and ask for help. And so I sat, and for the first time in a long time, I just listened in the silence.
I listened for evidence of God. Had He walked away, shaking His head in disgust? Would He be silent now for a long time? No, not at all. In this season Father spoke clearly to my broken heart; He is not like us.
Rather than the silent treatment, He spoke in tender tones - not condemning, not sarcastic. Gently, Father invited me to allow Him to do heart surgery. It was my choice, of course. I knew my heart was hardened and damaged, but this type of spiritual transplant surgery would be painful, wouldn't it?
Father was honest, "Yes, it will be painful, however, with a renewed heart you'll be able to understand and enjoy true relationship with Me." As much as I didn't want to go through the painful process of spiritual heart surgery, more than anything I wanted a new heart. I wanted real relationship with the One who gave me life! So, I submitted myself, choosing to "do it scared".
Revelation 2:17, And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.
One day pondering this Scripture, I asked Father, "What will be written on my white stone? What new name do You have for me?" In the stillness, not really expecting to hear a name, I heard, "Pioneer, Passionate, Peace. I call you Passionate Pioneer of Peace."
This name is precious to me. It makes me laugh with an enjoyment of Father's humor. Pioneers are not afraid, and I had been afraid of pretty much everything for as long as I could remember. However, fear is of the devil himself, for I was not given a spirit of fear by my Father. Father calls me up into my true identity in Christ, a pioneer, and I have embraced and received the call.
So, when I heard the song, Pioneer by Beckah Shae, my heart sang as if it were specifically written for me. It's my theme song. "Don't ever be afraid to go where you know that you should be....Go to the unknown, you're a pioneer, you're a PIONEER!"
Thank You, Father, my feet are dancing and my heart is singing! I wonder what trails we'll blaze together...I'm ready!
I wonder...have you asked Father for your new name? I wonder...the name by which your Father calls to you...what is it? Will you share?
Blessings of GREAT JOY on your amazing adventure journey with Jesus!