‘Cause what stood before was never yours…
This is the unmaking; beauty in the breaking. Had to loose myself to find out who you are. Before each beginning there must be an ending. Sitting in the rubble I can see the stars. –The Unmaking | Nichole Nordeman
I read it: That my desire to use my gifts for God’s Glory wasn’t enough.
That desire alone isn’t enough, but for years I believed it was.
According to Andrew Murray, in “Abiding in Christ,” in and of itself, our gifts (and our life) are dominated by the flesh; they are steered by our sinful motives. The only way for them to be used for pure good- His good – is for them to be surrendered to him and given back. To lay them down for a time, for God to take back and claim them as his own.
If indeed God designed for us to use them, he’ll gift them back in his time and in his way, when our faith is more mature; when we’ve become painfully aware of our ever constant need to abide in Christ and be lead by the Holy Spirit; when our grieving of being self-led is stronger than our desire for do our things, our way and in our own strength.
I thought about it.
There have been countless things I’ve felt God call me to put down; good things even. Things I believe he gave me or wired me for and ways in which I thought I was worshiping and glorifying him!
… things like my work, my writing, social media, speaking out, running and working out, my weight, appearance, food, friendships, my marriage, my desire to have another child, even reading my bible!
Each of these things he’s called me to surrender over the years- to lay down, give up or let go of.
At the time, I thought for forever, but in reality, it was a season.
In an act of trust I obeyed, largely without understanding why. That’s no coincidence though. It’s the way of wisdom:
We must first experience and live out truths before we acquire the knowledge and understanding of it.
And I’m beginning to see it now.
While yes, before God asked me to lay those things down there was much good coming from them. But the truth is, they were still vastly being operated by my selfish motives and vain conceit, even though I didn’t see it.
Sure I invited God into them, but they weren’t his. They were mine.
I hadn’t yet given them to him to be claimed and cleansed.
In his mercy, God saved me from myself. He knew my heart was for him- to be like him and closer to him. And through obedience, he’s taught me things I never knew. And he’s transformed me because of it!
Slowly but surely he’s given me back the things I laid down but they hold entirely new meaning. I see them differently. And if I’m honest, they somewhat scare me now, because I see how easily it is for my flesh to creep back in and get in the way!
But it’s that fear that keeps me close to The Lord, constantly seeking him and asking for wisdom and discernment; intentionally choosing to stay tethered to Jesus and asking Holy Spirit to lead and guide me in everything I do, say and choose to engage in.
I pray that my spirit will be grieved each time I steer off course or do something that offends him. I want to run back into his loving arms asking for forgiveness and thanking him that he’ll finish the work he’s started in me.
Because repentance is sweet, friend and conviction is oh, so gentle. It’s like a loving remark that makes you want to do better and be a better person; to correct your wrong immediately! There is no shame in it, nor is there guilt. And when there is, I know it’s not from God.
But it’s only in my surrender and embracing my flailing, that I’ve discovered that. I can only say that having walked through it and out the other side- the other side of obedience and laying down the things he’s called me to.
And it’s not something anyone can convince you of, so I won’t even try.
But I can pray
Father, you are a good God who relentlessly pursues us with your love, patience, goodness, gentleness, kindness and discipline. But I confess our eyes are blinded and our hearts hardened. Would you do what only you can do by the power of your Holy Spirit: prepare us and or hearts to receive whatever it is you have for us today. Tune our eyes to see you, our ears to hear you and or hearts to trust you in and out of obedience. Reveal yourself and your will in the ways you know we can’t deny you. Don’t let us miss it and give us the courage to respond! Let your will be done on earth, in our lives, as it is in heaven.
All the toil
All in vain
Every image of ourselves that we create
Built on sand
Let not any passion be for kingdoms we have fashioned in our own name
For our own fame
Let us not be fooled
And let us not be disillusioned
Let our eyes see You clearly
Not to us
But to Your name be glory
-Not to Us | Nichole Nordeman