Do you ever worry about letting God down?
I used to fall into despair often. I could never be perfect, therefore I constantly felt I was disappointing God. One time I was wallowing in defeat, ashamed and confessing my short-comings once again before the Lord.
Then the Lord whispered to my heart, “Did you really think I didn’t know you were going to fail, Paula? Do you really think I’m surprised, shocked, or appalled?”
Through His questions I came to understand the meaning of that Psalm, the one that says that He knows we are “but dust.” (he knows we’re not invincible . . .And a greater understanding of the cross came as well. He didn’t save me once from hell. He did that, but so much more. He saves me not only from my past sins and failures, but from my present and future ones as well.
God knew we couldn’t be perfect. He knew we needed Jesus. And even once we’ve chosen to follow after Him, we won’t do it perfectly. And when we fall the Lord lifts us gently to our feet and helps us walk forward again. He isn’t upset or surprised. He doesn’t feel let down. He just remains as He has always been. Committed to our growth, our success, the remaking of us to become more like Christ.
While I think He aches with us in our failings, perhaps most of us because of the pain we bring ourselves, He confidently points us to Christ, to full forgiveness, and to the Holy Spirit who He sent to indwell us, teach us, and help us change.
Of course all of this applies to all of life. Weight loss is simply one thing in a long list of things where we struggle and fail and try again. And like everything else in life that hurts us, our Lord is on our side, empowering us to genuine and real change. Not only our biggest cheerleader, but the very One who does the transforming work, changing us from the inside out.
I’m reminded of a verse I clung to as I was breaking old patterns of living in fear. “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.”
I’ve had fear starting this weight loss journey. Fear of letting others down. Fear of failing. Fear of people knowing about my journey. But that fear wasn’t from Him and He gave me (and all of us) the promise that He empowers us, gives us us love, and give us sound thinking.
I love what Lysa’s Terkeurst wrote. Her pastor said, “How can you let God down when you weren’t ever holding Him up?”
I give to You my fears of failure, of letting You down, of letting my family down. You have not given me fear, but power, love, and sound thinking. I give You permission to break down strongholds in the area of healthy living, and I ask You to give me lasting change and victory in the area of my body. I know I won’t be perfect on this journey, but I purpose to accept your forgiveness and offer forgiveness to myself, then to return to the path of health and healing. Please give me the strength for this, confront any wrong thinking that holds me back, and set me free to walk in victory.
Thank you, Jesus. I pray in your name.
For that last few weeks I’ve been writing daily responses to Lysa Terkeurst’s Made to Crave devotional, based on her best-selling book by the same title. It occurred to me I could share them with you. Since I’ve been taking Sunday’s off from the blog, I’m plugging them in here. I hope my processing encourages your own. If you are interested in Lysa’s devotional you can get it on Kindle for $2.99.