A few days ago I saw a facebook posting by Annie, one of my dearest friends. Annie just happened to be the lady responsible for me picking up a Bible five years ago, an event that helped change the course of my life, to be sure.
It’s also worth mentioning here that Annie also just happens to be the wife of a Nazarene Pastor in Molalla, Oregon! That being said, here was Annie’s post:
Once again the Pastor has invited me to speak during the Sunday morning service in which we will be honoring and praising DADS. The sermon title is "God Wants to Love You Through Me." Any ways that your Dad expressed love to you and words of wisdom your dad has given you may be inserted into the message!
At first I dismissed the notion of responding to Annie’s invitation. Then I had a change of heart.
Before I continue, I want to tell you and my Dad (who I believe without a doubt is in heaven) that this is in no way a sign of disrespect to him. My Dad was an amazing man with a heart for people and an even bigger heart for God. Before his sudden and untimely death at the age of seventy-four, my Dad had imparted many words of wisdom to me, expressed that he loved me in many ways, and though it was late coming, was the first to let me see what a man-to-man friendship really looked like. I have since his death, and always will, miss my Dad’s physical presence in my life.
Having had a change of heart, I did indeed respond to Annie’s invitation. What I had to share with Annie is what I want to share with you today, and it’s about my other Dad: my heavenly Father.
God has laid a lot of things on my heart since I got hungry for Him back in 2006. He has revealed so much of Himself to me, because I’ve asked Him to. In the process, He has also revealed a ton of stuff about me to me! He still does to this day. In fact what I want share with you now was something that I truly just realized last Tuesday night as I was driving to a men’s small group that I’ve been attending at church. I had been invited to share my testimony with the other men in the group, and I was asking God to give me a “nugget” for the guys.
This is what I got…
When you were born, Sam, you were PERFECT. You came into this world exactly the way that I wanted you to be, because I don’t make mistakes. You looked exactly the way that I wanted you to look, and you had the heart and mind that I wanted you to have. You were perfect in every way.
And then the world and the enemy polluted your mind and robbed you of the perfectness that I created in you. You were still perfect in My eyes, but you lost sight of it in yours. You forgot. It’s time to remember who you are, how you were made, and to begin walking out the plans that I have for you.
I’ll tell you…I’ve kinda known for a while what God downloaded into my heart and mind on Tuesday night. In fact, my friend Brooke and I were talking about this very thing, this remembering, just a couple of months ago. There have been many occasions during the past several years when I’ve had “epiphanies” about God and me. The majority of them were true revelations; things revealed to me that I’d never known. But some of them felt like something that I already knew but had forgotten. I don’t know if any of this makes any sense to you, but I don’t know that I could offer a better explanation to you than the one that I just did. Sorry.
That being said, I was taken aback when I got the “message” on Tuesday night. Why so?
There are things in life that you just know, like your name, or your hometown, or what you do for a living. There are things in life that you know that carries some emotion with them, such as your favorite song, or a favorite movie, or a hobby that you truly enjoy. There are things in life that you know that are affairs of the heart, and are purely emotional, such as your feelings for your spouse or your family, or perhaps a best friend.
Then there are epiphanies. Webster defines an epiphany as “a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something” and “an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure.” For me, an epiphany is like taking all of the aforementioned things that I know and combining them with God’s touch to create something akin to a supernova! Again, I find myself groping for the right words to convey what I’m trying to share not only my thoughts, but the feelings that accompany them, and right now I feel as if I’m falling woefully short of doing that. Sorry.
All that being said, here’s where I am with this:
I believe that I was perfect when God created me. No, I’m not saying that I’m perfect, as in flawless. I’m saying that He was perfect in His intentions; He made me just the way that He wanted me to be.
Look, I’m not saying that I’m close to being perfect. In fact, I’m far from it. But that doesn’t keep me from trying to live up to the man that God created me to be each and every day. If I’m giving all I have to being the best me that I can be and giving my best to God, then I’m really liking the guy that’s looking back in the mirror.
If you’re not there already, I’m asking you to open your mind and your heart to the fact that God made you just the way that He wanted you to be. If you commit to doing this, I’ll go ahead and give you a heads-up based on my own personal experience: It won’t be easy. There are layers and layers of lies, and hurts, and guilt, and unworthiness, and insecurity, and regrets that have to come off for you to see the real you, the child of God that was “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Don’t know where to start?
It’s hard to change the view that we’ve had of ourselves for years and years. We get so accustomed to who we’ve become that it’s almost impossible to “remember” who and what we were when we were born.
Perhaps you should start by taking a good look at God before you try to see yourself in a different light. We have an amazing Father who doesn’t make mistakes. He doesn’t get “do-overs” because He doesn’t need them. “Oops” is NOT in His vocabulary! He made you exactly the way He wanted you to be. Everything about you: your looks, your mind, and your heart were based on the blueprint that He drew up just for you.
My prayer for you is that in reading this you’ve had an epiphany. That you’ve come to realize something that you may have suspected, but not known. That you’re beginning accept God’s perfection in you. That you’ve had a supernova!
One question remains?
Now that you know this, what are you gonna do about it?