It's been occurring to me lately how many things that I said I believed as a Christian, but as it turns out, wasn't actually taking very seriously.
It seems to me that we've been given some of the most mind blowing promises and identities the world could ever imagine, but speaking for myself, instead of walking around dizzy with the glory of it, I neatly packaged it all up and put it away for later.
For some reason, I used to have this mindset that God wanted us to "muddle through somehow", as the song goes. As though, essentially, it's just us chickens down here.
I persisted in only reading the Bible, as though I didn't have the Author standing right beside me, available for questions and an actual, living, growing, personal relationship.
If a single verse "spoke" to me, I was all excited- I felt like God spoke to me. I did not expect or look for anything more from Him than that.
I had heard, so much, all my life about how Jesus is a personal Savior, and about my Christian walk, and how Jesus is my friend, etc.
Was I taking that seriously before? No, not really- or only sporadically. It turns out I was believing more in the slogans than the living Truth behind it.
I didn't really believe Jesus was my friend. Who was I kidding? He was my Judge! A judge can't be a friend. God can't be a friend- that's craziness.
I had difficulty with this idea of relationship because, as it turns out, He's not so much standing beside us, as He is in our hearts. And I distrusted and was suspicious of my heart.
When I shut my heart down- out of fear or shame or distrust, or all three- I closed off the channel by which Jesus most often speaks, and as I was not in open communication, it was hard to be in a growing and authentic relationship.
What complicated things further is that I was so worried about getting some thing wrong, as though that would be devastating, as opposed to merely inevitable. Of course I got stuff wrong! That's not the point. I think the point is to allow Christ to grow us deeper into Him and into knowledge of Him.
I used to focus on everything in the Bible that told me what to do. I liked that. That seemed pretty cut and dry to me- fairly easy to understand. I liked being told what to do and then trying like heck to do it, even if it left me exhausted, burned out and lonely.
The parts of the Bible that talked about who I was in Christ- I largely skipped over those. I wasn't quite sure what to do with all that. I packaged it away; I put it into the back of my mind and gave up considering it.
And so, for a long time, I ended up glossing over or missing the heart of the matter.
Now that I've opened up my heart, everything else has opened up as well- my ability to understand, slowly, more and more of what Jesus said in the Scriptures, my ability to love others, my ability to love myself and my ability to love and hear Him.
I guess, when all is said and done, I would rather be dizzy with the reality of Him, than safe in my neatly packaged box.