God has been speaking to me so much this week. Actually, God speaks to me always, but it’s difficult for me to recognize His voice sometimes. I get distracted by so many other things, and I miss His whispers to my heart.
Since I’ve given up one of the biggest idols in my life, I’ve felt so … full of the Holy Spirit. I’ve felt His presence in my life so much more than I have in the past few months. It’s been kind of a spiritual high, like the kind you get while on a mission trip. It feels like God’s “closer,” except that He’s always near and always has been, no matter what. Maybe I’m just recognizing it more.
I want to describe this feeling, but it’s indescribable. It feels like I’ve been freed from bondage. As much as I still want to get married, it’s no longer something I think about daily, strive towards, and look for in my relationships with my Brothers in Christ… or guys in general, really. It’s not an idol in my life anymore. Such a weight has been lifted off of my chest, and I keep thinking about a specific time in my life, I can’t remember when or what the circumstances were, when I told God flat-out that I would never give up my grip on marriage; I wasn’t going to leave it to God, because there’s a chance that God doesn’t have marriage planned for me. As I said in my previous post, I still want to get married, but it’s not controlling my life anymore. I think about how far I’ve come, and how much God had to break me down to get me to this point.
I read a metaphor once about how God clears the “junk” away from our lives after we become Christians. “God loves us just as we are, but too much to leave us that way,” is a quote that helps explain this metaphor.
God is like a sculptor, think Michelangelo, and we are the blocks of rock. Once we become a Christian and accept Christ into our lives, we allow God to chip away at us. It’s painful, but He needs to git rid of the outer shell of who we are to get to the beauty of who He created us to be. There are things He gets rid of that are easy to chip off: cursing, cheating, stealing. Then there are things He chips away that are more painful: bitterness, the need for acceptance, emotional scars. Then there are things that are so imbedded in who we are, we cry out to Him as He chips them away, begging Him not to take them from us: the need to get married, our money, our reputations. These last things aren’t inherently bad things, but when they’re placed above God, they’re idols. God loves us too much to leave us the way we are. God loves me too much to leave me the way I am.
This process is not an easy one. It took Michelangelo three years of painstaking work to create David, and Michelangelo is a flawed human. Think about how much longer and how much more precise God is with us. He’s infallible, and He creates perfect masterpieces. We aren’t perfect, because we’re human, but everything He does is perfect, and He has a perfect plan for each of us.
When God chips away at our bad habits, our scars, and our deepest-set idols, it hurts. James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” God has to chip away at us so that our faith is refined, even when that means chipping away something we hold on to with all of our might.
All of that was to explain how I feel right now. My need to get married was a deep-set idol. It took a long time for me to let go and let God chip away at that, and if you know me, you know how much I wanted to get married. You know.
Since Sunday night, when I had my mini-revelation about what an idol it was, I’ve felt like I can fully trust God with my future now. There’s a wonderful song, we actually just sang it during CRU tonight, called “In Christ Alone.” One line, one very powerful line, says, “No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me. From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.” And Jesus does totally command my destiny. What a powerful realization, that God commands everything that happens to me. There is no “chance,” there is no “coincidence;” God has everything planned. And He has something amazing planned for me, I can feel it.