Driving to church yesterday morning I said to my husband, “You know, it seems like the closer I get to Jesus the more wretched I realize I am”. From the outside it looks like my life is gift wrapped in a sweet white box with a pretty, red satin bow. This box is what stops an unbeliever, someone who doesn’t believe they can be used by God, from looking inside.
For an unbeliever it looks so easy for someone like me to believe and follow Jesus.
No, I don’t have any addictions that invaded my life and tried to destroy me.
My life looks like it’s been perfectly gift wrapped, and a gift wrapped life makes it much easier to believe that there’s a God who can use you than a life that’s scattered about with no direction.
Even I think this way about others.
Every morning I turn on my computer to blog posts and Facebook updates showing me a lot of gift wrapped lives. Then I think to myself, “Well of course she’s successful or has a perfect marriage and good kids and a flourishing ministry. Her parents were missionaries, she went to Bible college, and now her husband’s a pastor.”
I, too, am an unbeliever. I don’t believe that my life can ever resemble such “goodness” because it’s not gift wrapped as neatly as theirs.
This is what stops an unbeliever from moving forward.
But what we don’t see is what is on the inside. We don’t bother to lift the lid on that perfectly wrapped box and take a peak into the battles that take place deep inside.
They are the battles of the soul.
I think that when a woman’s heart gets pricked by Jesus for the first time the enemy’s first defense is to swoop in and persuade her to look around and compare herself to all the pretty, red satin bows she sees. Then he tells her that she could never be worthy enough of someone like Jesus because she used to do or still does x, y, and z.
What she doesn’t know is that once upon a time, before I was close to Jesus, I had my own set of x, y, and z’s. But those are the things that He changed first, and that’s why you no longer see them.
As a woman’s heart changes usually the outside behaviors are the first to change, too. You no longer cuss or party or go out with the bad boys. Your life gets put in a box, and the past becomes a secret for you to open to only those who you want to see inside.
But it’s the soul stuff that takes a lot longer to change. This is the stuff inside the box like pride and envy and laziness and malice. It’s the stuff that is easy to hide from most people. It’s the stuff that Jesus usually takes a lifetime to change so that we learn to rely on Him.
What stops an unbeliever is not believing that everyone has an inside to their box, and God uses them despite of it.
Today’s Challenge: See if you are looking around at everyone else’s “boxes” and believing that you can’t be used by God because yours isn’t as neatly packaged. Ask God to protect you from this lie and show you that you can be used by Him regardless of what your life has been like.
Have you ever struggled with thinking you cannot be used by God because of your past?
My new eBook, Fall for Him, was written from believing that I could be used by God. And not just the parts of me tied up nicely with a bow – all of me. The book will be released in October, so sign up for email updates so that you don’t miss any of the details! Also, download a chapter overview here and look for a free chapter coming soon!
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