Sunday, January 22, 2012

Godspotting with Sheila Guest Post

I've come to realize: in blogging--as otherwise, in my life--I derive most of my satisfaction from authentic relationships. To that end, I am blessed in having jumped down the right rabbit hole and met Sheila Seiler Lagrand in the blogging world. Sheila's warm and witty; she writes beautifully; and--as the title of her blog suggests--she's on the lookout for God everywhere she goes. She's finding Him, too, and often in unusual places and ways. If you've never visited Godspotting with Sheila, you're in for a real treat!

In an attempt to learn my friend better, I asked Sheila if she might share something of her testimony here, in my space. She shared something better, and I know her words will touch you as they did me. Please enjoy:

Today’s Testimony 

When I’m asked to share my testimony, I cringe. The road that carried me to this place is rutted, narrow, and littered with bloody wreckage. It’s not a scenic cruise, and the beautiful part is all at the end of the line. 
So let’s start now, rather than back then, shall we? Instead of my painful and lurid tale of arriving at a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, today I’ll tell you what that salvation means to me while I am yet alive on this earth. Four key points come to mind:
1. God has forgiven me.  Before I was born, God knew every cutting word that would pass from my lips, every bruising decision I would make.  Before I was born, Christ came down and paid for my ugly nature. All I had to do was acknowledge my sin and His sacrifice, and bam! Clean slate. My soul labored under the burden of this huge sin debt. Christ covered the tab, restoring my bankrupt spirit. Yes, I still sin. And yes, I still ask forgiveness. But I know that forgiveness is mine. 
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9 (NASB) 

2. God values me. God created me so He and I could love each other. Then He adopted me into His family, not because I’m good enough, but because He is. God values me so much that He sent His only Son to pay for my errant ways. The Creator of the Universe saved a place for me at His table. If I devalue myself, I devalue His creation.

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. Galatians 4:4-7 (NASB) 

3. God is with me. The Spirit of Christ dwells within me. When I depend on God, trust Him with my life, surrender my will to Him, He provides. I don’t have any special powers, but He does. And I need nothing more.

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27 (NASB) 

4. I have nothing to fear. It’s a pretty wild story, isn’t it? The omnipotent God, who created time, yet stands outside it, knew I’d make a mess and He forgave me for it. And He didn’t absolve me with some cheap trinket—no, He sent His only Son to clear the slate for me.  Then He adopted me into His family. Finally, He sent the Holy Ghost to set up housekeeping in my shrunken, hard, human heart. He’s busy refurbishing that hovel even as I write these words.

Nothing that I can do, nothing that can happen to me on this earth, can wrench me from His love and care.  So long as I remember that I walk in His light, fear disappears like a mist at midday. Then my real task, glorifying God, comes naturally.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (NASB)

Now, I don’t mean to say that this walk with Him is easy. Too often I focus on my plans, not His. I want to be in control. I want everything my way. And almost all the time, my way is not His way. Sometimes I swallow back fear a dozen times before I’ve left the house in the morning.

But without Him, I’d be afraid to get out of bed.

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