It first happened when I read a book entitled “Ragamuffin Gospel” by Brennan Manning. I highly recommend this book. In it, I read a line that changed my prayer life. I can’t quote it exactly because I gave away the book with all my highlights, but it was something about instead of praying for wisdom and guidence, pray for trust.
As I have mentioned I’m working my way through Rob Bell’s book “Velvet Elvis.” In my second or third reading of these particular pages, it really stuck. I knew there was something buried in here so I kept reading it. It’s about this issue of trust and how it can transform our lives:
The remaking of this world is why Jesus’ first messages began with “T’shuva, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matt 4:17)
The hebrew word t’shuva means “to return”. Return to the people we were orignally create to be. The people God is remaking us into.
God makes us in his image. We reflect the beauty and creativity and wonder of the God who made us. And Jesus calls us to return to our true selves. The pure, whole people God originally intended us to be, before we veered off course.
Somewhere in you is the you whom you were made to be.
We need you to be you.
We don’t need a second anyody. We need the first you.
The problem is that the image of God is deeply scarred in each of us, and we lose trust in God’s version of our story. It seems too good to be true. And so we go searching for identity. We achieve and we push and we perform and we shop and we work out and we accomplishy great things, longing to repair the image. Longing to find an identity that feels right.
Longing to be comfortable in our own skin.
But the thing we are searching for is not somewhere else. It is right here. And we can only find it when we give up the search, when we surrender, when we trust. Trust that God is already putting us back together.
Trust that through dying to the old, the new can give birth.
Trust that Jesus can repair the scarred and broken image.
It is trusting that I am loved. That I always have been. That I always will be. I don’t have to do anything. I don’t have to prove anything or achieve anything or accomplish one more thing. That exactly as I am, I am totally accepted, forgiven, and there is nothing I could ever do to lose this acceptance. (see Romans 8:37-39)
God knew exactly what he was doing when he made you. There are no accidents. We need you to embrace your true identity, who you are in Christ, letting this new awarness transform your life.
That is what Jesus has in mind
That is what brings heaven to earth.
One of the things I love about my church (BridgePoint Church in St. Petersburg, FL) is how we emphasize being and not doing. We have a saying on posters, bulletins, on stage, everywhere you turn. It says, “It’s never too late to become who you were meant to be.”
The encouragement today is pray for God to increase your trust. Trust that he has come to be near you – just like you are with your flaws and shortcomings, your talents and your strengths. Let this sink in and transform you.