The first week off school was cool… after that the situation became precipitously less cute. I’d lost a huge distraction and sense of normalcy – school, seeing as we were closed indefinitely. (We’re going back on the 28th of July but in April no one had a clue.) My mental health was in shambles and I went back to God’s word – the Bible.
I knew the verses about how if we believe with our heart and confess with our mouth we will be saved, I knew them off by heart but did I believe with all my heart?
The thing about the really low times in our lives is that they show us who we really are and where we stand, the same way surveying for boreholes only happens during the dryest months of the year, when the water table is at its lowest and farthest. In the rainy months when water can be found at 13m deep… that’s not a true reflection of the water table and if you only drill down to 13m, in October when the water table is at 48m you will go without water.
For a while I thought I believed with all my heart but as the (metaphorical) rain became more sporadic with the arrival of this pandemic, my behavior was not that of a person who believed because I was not at a depth that could sustain me, my well wasn’t deep enough. I found myself trying a lot of things to get God’s attention, some real gymnastics, basically trying to earn my stripes through works – and obviously I would get sad because I’d fall short and think I’d lost favour and feel barred from God. Wow, trying to “earn my stripes” when Jesus was wounded for our transgressions and BY HIS STRIPES we are healed. Madness.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.Isaiah 53:5 NIV
I was living under the deception that I needed to come up with some elaborate plan to impress God and I was continually failing to get the result of feeling like I belong to Him because I was going about it all wrong.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
I got very fearful and anxious. I couldn’t do anything without panicking, I’d open my books and guilt and shame would press on me, I would dread waking up to face the day because my mistakes and the consequences of my mistakes were on my mind 24/7. Falling asleep was hard to do but the hours I was asleep and away from my thoughts were bliss.
I spoke to a couple of people about my anxiety and one person said “You have to believe sis” and I thought “What? I do believe” without realizing that sis (me) had some doubts.
Eventually I realized that I’d been living by works and that I needed to truly yield and surrender.
Now when my thoughts wage war about my past and how “I’m not enough” for God
I cast my mind to Calvary where Jesus bled and died for me – I cast my mind to the fact that I am loved so much that God sent His only son to do the hard yards – we weren’t there when it happened but just think about how someone has already done the complex part for us.
I cast my mind to Calvary
Where Jesus bled and died for me.
I see His wounds, His hands, His feet.
My Savior on that cursed tree
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.Galatians 3:13-14 NIV
Then on the third at break of dawn
The son of heaven rose again
Oh trampled death where is your sting
The angels roar for Christ the king
The battle didn’t end in the grave, so rest assured your debt has been paid.
This my friends is “Anástasis” and it is also a song by Hillsong Worship called “O Praise The Name”
Anastasis is of Greek origin and it refers to how Jesus was raised from the tomb and defeated death, it’s also an obsolete medical term for “recovery from a debilitating condition”
I was suffering from a debilitating condition when I was operating from a place of works and not faith and when I cast my mind to Jesus I recovered from that debilitating condition.
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.Romans 8:11 NIV
Its not the song or the musicians that got me out of the rut, DEFINITELY NOT my works either, we are saved when we believe with all our hearts that Jesus paid the price for us.
From 4:10 to about 8 minutes the point about how its not about WORKS was highlighted so perfectly.