“So I’m laying down all my religion
I’m laying down
I want to know You, Lord . . .
I will rejoice in the simple gospel
I will rejoice in You, Lord”
Take away all the rules, the music, the “right environment” and you have Him. Jesus, simply Jesus.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” | John 1:1-5 |
Story time up ahead! Woot woot!
As many of you know, my dad has been a pastor since I have been born (only taking a break for a few years in Missouri). I have loved being a pastor’s kid and all the things that come along with it! I love growing up in the church with Veggie Tales, Hillsong United, and lots of Bible reading. My parents have raised me with a strong love for Jesus (I got saved at age 3, and baptized at 7). Just a few years ago, I started feeling content. Content with my relationship with Jesus. Content with the fact that I got rocked at youth camp and came home on fire only for that fire to dwindle. Content with only praying when I needed Him and only reading the Word when I felt like it. But, this contentment turned to an ongoing cycle of running to Jesus when I needed Him; then living my own life that I was in control of when I didn’t need Him. I went to church and sang to worship feeling frustrated and not feeling Jesus anymore. I listened to my dad’s wonderful preaching while I was distracted over what I would eat for lunch (#foodaholicprobs). I heard my parents and sisters talk about God in a way that felt pretty foreign and weird to me. Just a few months ago, it started to change. It started at the beginning of my Junior year of high school. I started wanting to change my relationship with Jesus. I listened to a podcast about friendship with Jesus. I thought, I want that so bad! I don’t even feel like I know God. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Jesus with all my heat. But, that love was from growing up with my amazing God fearing parents. The love I had for God was not my own, it was theirs. This has changed immensely and I have started to form my own friendship with Him. I have started to learn about Him in my own time and in my own way. I have grown so much in Him and will continue to grow!
It’s all about Him, not about what I can get from Him or not about pleasing my family. I have learned to just go after Jesus, simply Jesus and nothing else. These past few months I have been reading so many blogs and listening to so many podcasts about the Christian lifestyle. I loved it at first, I got so much advice and so many opinions on subjects I had questions on. I loved learning about Jesus and spending time listening to other inspiring Christians. But then I started listening to too many voices and not the one important voice. I got so stressed and overwhelmed with being a good Christian and put my focus on how I was doing instead of who Jesus is. My focus was no longer on Him, but on how I lived and what is right or wrong. I’m still working through this. I have started digging into the Bible even more, and searching for answers through His Word and prayer instead of other people. Advice from other people is good! But when you focus on being a good Christian instead of focusing on Jesus you’re doing it all wrong. Jesus cares about our heart; He does not care about how we dress or what we listen to or anything else. Yes, being a Christian does change these things for a better and set apart life. But, God’s focus is to have a relationship with us without all the rules. He wants us to run after Him full speed with no fears and no pressure.
God is the definition of freedom & love.
Philippians 3:8-9 | More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.
God’s son died for us to have abundant, full life! Not life that was filled with worries about laws. Do not put God in a box. He is not human, He is our savior. Don’t put Him in the box of legalism, but let Him out and let Him amaze you with His love. He came to have a relationship with us and to be glorified. I am by no means saying that you can do anything, wear anything, or say anything. All of these things have power. But, by walking with Jesus and focusing on only Him these things will change to glorify Him as well. We have to be willing to give our whole heart to Him; we have to serve and honor Him in everything.
God wants a personal relationship with us.
Revelation 3:20 | Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
God wants friendship. He wants us to form our own relationship with Him. Remember how I didn’t even do this until recently? Get to know Jesus in your own way. Yes, listen to what has been taught to you, but explore for yourself! Explore what you believe and why. Every person has a different kind of relationship with Him because of how they have grown up and who they are. We all grow differently and learn different things. Explore who Jesus is apart from what you have learned in church. Seek His word and seek Him through prayer and Godly wisdom.
It is all about Jesus. He deserves the glory and praise.
2 Samuel 22:50 | For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations, and sing praises to your name.
I have a really hard time sometimes giving Jesus the glory. I’m going to be honest, sometimes I’m prideful. I am prideful in my mind, but no one can tell. People think I’m humble on the outside, but sometimes I slip and become prideful. I give myself the praise, but really it’s Jesus who deserves the glory. It also not about how we feel or what He can give us, it’s about how we can love, serve, and praise Him. Our whole life should be a humble reflection of God. We need to humble ourselves before Him and just praise Him (even if we don’t “feel” like it).
Well that is all friends! Sorry for the late post, but Easter such a busy, fun day for me. I hope this encourages you to always serve Jesus and remember it’s all about Him. I love you all dearly and have a great week and an amazing day. 🙂