Yesterday, as I was driving back to DC from my weekend in WV, God showed me something amazing. I was listening to some music on the radio and singing, when I felt like I should turn off the radio and just be still for awhile. As I was driving along thinking about my next blog, God gave me this awesome vision. I hope I am able to explain it properly..I'll try my best. So here goes...
He showed me a vision of houses. Some of them were small, some of them were mansions. Some were neat and tidy on the outside and some were messy. As these houses are going through my mind, God tells me that these houses represent the lives that we build for ourselves...apart from God....on our own.
We pick out the land, draw up our own blueprints, lay our own foundation, hammer up our own walls, and decorate. Some of the houses are big, and some of the houses are small, but the point is...they were designed by us...built by human hands. With some of these houses, if you were to just drive by or take a quick look, you would think that that everything was fine with the house. The outside looks fine. The yard is mowed. The windows are washed. The siding is new. But if you were to take a closer look you would see that the foundation is cracked, the basement floods, there is mold growing under the floors, the walls are scratched, the padding under the carpet has stains, and there is a short in the wiring. We keep repairing the problems, but they don't go away. We try and stop the leaks, but the water finds a way in anyways. We Spackle the walls, but they keep getting dented and scratched. We try and cover up all of the problems so that no one will notice. We are in a constant state of repair, but don't want to call in the expert.
We can't hide our dents, mold, and leaks from God. He sees through the Spackle, through the paint, through the pretty rose bushes we planted outside. He knows. He knows our hearts. He watches as we try day after to day to make our houses into homes, but for some reason they still feel empty. A home is a place where your soul rests. A home is a place were you find peace. If home is where the heart is...then what is in your heart? Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Mat. 6:21)
Then God showed me what He wants to do with the houses we've built for ourselves.
He wants to take a wrecking ball to them, dig up the foundations, and bulldoze the land. He is done with the Spackle. He wants us to be able to come to Him with our cracked and broken places and He wants to be our Repairman. He is done with the paint. He wants us to stop trying to cover over all of our sins. He wants us to come to Him with them and let Him forgive us and heal us. No amount of money can buy the peace that comes with the Spirit of God. No amount of money or "do-gooding" can buy Jesus' love. God wants to give us a solid foundation that can withstand anything. Without a solid foundation the water will keep searching until it finds a way in and then it will begin to destroy your whole house. Without a good support system holding your walls, they will crumble and fall.
Think about sky scrapers for a minute. When the first sky scrapers were built they didn't take earth quakes and hurricanes into consideration. They were built too rigidly. When the earth started to shake under them...they crumbled. When the winds would beat on them they would turn to rubble. All the hard work that went into building them...gone in a matter of seconds. In more recent years they discovered that in order to make a sky scraper more able to withstand the unpredictability of nature they had to make sure they had a solid foundation and also make them more flexible. Check out this excerpt from the NASA website:
Skyscrapers need special construction to make them earthquake-resistant. They must be anchored deeply and securely into the ground. They need a reinforced framework with stronger joints than an ordinary skyscraper has. Such a framework makes the skyscraper strong enough and yet flexible enough to withstand an earthquake.
As you can see, a solid foundation and the ability to be flexible allow for a more resistant and resilient structure. When we become rigid and think that by following some laws we will be safe....we are no longer able to resist the storm. We will crumble when we come up against something that we weren't prepared for...something that doesn't follow the rules. Humans like laws and rules. We make them all the time. We like to know what is expected of us. But when we think that by following a legalistic code of rules we will be able to find God, we are most certainly going to be disappointed. God's laws are written on our hearts. When life's storms come beating down on us, we aren't going to find the answer and strength to get through it by following a bunch of "thou shalls" and "thou shall nots". I'm sorry if you thought it would. When life gets tough, you need to draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Rigidity stops us from getting down on our knees and praying to God. Rigidity makes us think that if we follow the rules then life will be easy. Rigidity makes us think that we have all the answers. Rigidity can make us like the Pharisees.
We try so hard to figure it all out on our own. We do our best to make ourselves presentable. We try so hard to make our souls feel peaceful. But why isn't it working? Why do we still feel empty when the lights are off and we are alone with our thoughts? It's because we can't fill that empty space in us with anything other than God. We can't fill that space with fancy parties. We can't fill the space with awesome jobs. We can't fill the space with people. We can't fill the space with gourmet food. We can't fill the space with sports.
We can't fill the space with anything other than God. I've tried, trust me. All my life I tried everything I could in order to stop feeling like something was missing. But you know what, now that I have God filling that space, no matter how big the earthquake or how powerful the winds....I NEVER feel empty. I may feel scared. I may feel tired. I may even feel alone sometimes....but I never feel empty anymore. I remember trying for years to make sure that I didn't ever have to stop long enough to realize that I was missing something. I numbed my pain. I depended on other people to fill that void, and when they couldn't I would blame them for my emptiness. I depended on other people to validate me and make me feel fun, pretty, and smart....but guess what....none of it was ever enough. In fact, I chose people that would only prove to me the worthlessness that I felt about myself. That emptiness in me...that space where God belongs....is so big and wide that no one and nothing on Earth could have ever been able to fill it. And even after I started to believe that Jesus just really might be the answer, it was so hard to let go. I felt like I had to get my life together first. I couldn't just show up in church on Sunday after I just got out of bed with the boyfriend I was living with. I couldn't talk to God after a night of partying. I told myself that once I finally was able to get my life together I would start praying or going to Church. But you know what...I had it all wrong. Completely wrong. Because I don't have the power in me to get my life together without God. Just look at Jesus for a minute here. He is the one that we are supposed to follow, right....aren't we supposed to look to Him to be our guide? Well, did you know that Jesus was all the gossip wherever He went...not just because of the miracles and all that, but because He hung out with the people that everyone called "the sinners". Jesus would show up in bars and brothels. He would come to the people that society had deemed as "bad" and He would hang out with them. He didn't tell them that once they got their act together and get into church then they would be deemed worthy of His presence. No. He went to them right where they were. I don't have the power to stop sinning. I couldn't stop. I was known as the girl that couldn't make a right decision to save her life....literally. But, I finally did save my life. I made the decision to come to Jesus just as I was. Do you know how many years I told myself that I could get it together? Do you know how many years that I let my poor little heart and soul get crushed over and over again...leaving no time to heal? I didn't think that I could change, and I bet there were a lot of people out there that agreed with me....but I did. I am not strong enough to resist the devil. I am not strong enough to resist temptation. But you know who is? Jesus. He already defeated the devil. He already resisted every temptation known to man. We are all sinners. Every single last one of us. And no amount of Spackle or paint can cover it. Only the blood of Jesus can. It's by the power of God only that my life has changed. The only credit I can take is for the one decision I made all on my own....the decision to accept Jesus. And even though I have free will, Jesus is the one that built my new house. He is the rock that my foundation is laid. He has built me into a sky scraper that reaches ever higher toward Heaven. He had made me flexible and strong at the same time. I am shrewd as a serpent and yet innocent as a dove (Mat 10:16). My house is now a home. Wherever I am, there God will be, because He lives in my heart. I don't pretend that everything is fine and perfect anymore. I don't cover over my flaws. I don't try and find comfort in anyone or anything other than God. I'm done trying to please people...talk about an impossible task. I'm not scared of people seeing who I really am....because who I really am...is a unique, beautiful child of God...and that is something you can't hide.