Over the years no matter how much I've grown in my walk with God, I've always doubted myself. I doubted the call, I doubted the vision, I doubted if I was being led by God. All this fear played a big part in me not going for all that God had for me. I realized I was living, but I was living in bondage of fear and shame.
Fearing that I could be wrong, feeling shame from all the wrong I’d done previously, and just the daily shortcomings always had me feeling like God didn’t love me or that I continued to fail Him.
However, with time I realized that this was religion. Religion had me trying to be the perfect Christian, and everyday that I missed the mark, the more I felt defeated and unloved by God.
Then I experienced the relationship with Jesus. This is Grace, restoration and freedom. I realized that it was time to go from just doing the acts to actually having a relationship with God.
So, here are five ways that I got right with God and built a relationship instead of religion.
First, I stopped looking at God as distant or in heaven. I began to embrace that the Holy Spirit is inside of me, helping me, guiding me, protecting me, and preparing me.
Second, I had to start pouring out my Heart to God. This meant I quit coming to God as the perfect Christian, but instead as the real, raw, hurt, lost, scared, confused me. This allowed me to release the shame and guilt. I got to be real about my sin, my doubts and my hardships. This is when I quit playing like the perfect Christian and just started pouring out the depths of my heart to God.
Third, I began to digest God’s Word. I did this without the pressure of having to be perfect, but with a feeling I should study. I then would read a chapter in the Bible and would jot down the scripture that ministered to me the most and why. That simple.
Fourth, I began to Speak in Faith. This meant I spoke back to myself what the Word said to me. If I read a scripture that said God will rescue me from deep waters, then I’d repeat that to myself when I felt deep in fear, anxiety, or depression.
Fifth, I got Freedom in God. This rest in God came from no longer attempting to be the perfect Christian or choosing to suffer just so I could look more holy than others. This came from liberty in Jesus. The liberty to just live and trust that He is with me, guiding me, protecting me, securing each step I take, preparing me for what’s to come and strengthening me to overcome every battle. I realized if I just trusted God, I took the pressure off and actually lived again.
So, my advice to the Christian girl trying to play perfect is to stop and just be real. The realness of each of us is what God gets the most joy out of because we are being what He created us to be. Not the perfect christian, but the imperfect one!
Be You and Be Free!
"...He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.."