Wednesday, February 19, 2014

All in All

You are my strength when I am weak.
You are the treasure that I seek.
You are my all in all.
Seeking You as a precious jewel,
Lord to give up I’d be a fool.
You are my all in all.

Taking my sin, my cross, my shame;
Rising again, I bless Your name.
You are my all in all.
When I fall down You pick me up.
When I am dry You fill my cup.
You are my all in all.

Jesus, Lamb of God, worthy is Your name.
Jesus, Lamb of God, worthy is Your name.

This is currently one of my favorite songs. I keep going back to it this semester. Every semester/year, God has given me a song that He uses to remind me of something I need to learn. Freshman year, it was “God is There”. Sophomore year, it was “Press On”. Junior year and last semester (first semester senior year), it was “Blessings”. Now, it’s “You are my All in All” (words above).

I apologize in advance for the potential length of this thing. Also, if you don’t want to know what God has been teaching me or if you don’t like personal (like, personal about me), I have a suggestion for you. In the top right hand corner of your screen, there should be a little red x. Click it. You don’t want to read this post. This isn’t just a challenge to my generation.

This is God’s challenge to me.

That I want to share with you.

When I was in youth group, (which feels like so many years ago), we did an in-depth study on the book of Colossians. I want to say that study lasted for about 2 years. I could be wrong on that. We memorized chapter 1 and chapter 3, and I can still quote “most” of it. We studied a lot of different things, but our main focus was on how we are complete in Christ. Our theme song for youth group was “Complete in Thee”, which we sang almost every week.

I am so thankful for the time our youth pastor invested in us through this study. So often, teens struggle with their identity. With “who they are” and “finding themselves” and all that. They want to have some sense of worth, to think that they have value. I remember thinking as a teenager that if I could do ____________ and accomplish _________, then people would appreciate me, or notice me. I would finally be worth something to people. I didn’t ever completely grow out of this idea. It’s something I still struggle with at times. But this study in Colossians helped me a lot. I knew that because of what Christ had done for me, God views me as perfect. Yes, I sin. But God looks at me through the lens of Christ’s sacrifice. He has claimed me as His own. And He loves me—not for what I have done, but in spite of what I have done. As a teen, this was huge. And now, as a young adult, this is huge. It isn’t what I have done or can do for God. I am complete in Him. It isn’t what I think I am as a person—what I think should define me. It’s what God has done for me.

This sounds great. But so often I forget. WAY too often. More often than not, actually. The life I live suggests that God is not enough. That what He has done for me is not enough. Am I the only one who struggles with this?

I was saved when I was 6 years old. I was quite willing to say that Christ’s sacrifice was enough for me. I didn’t need to add any good works. That faith thing? I did that just fine. Christ’s work on the cross made salvation complete, if you will. I didn’t even suggest that I might need to do something extra. I knew better.

So why do I live differently today? Why was Christ’s work enough to save me from hell and give me an eternal home, but not enough to satisfy me daily? Why do I feel like I have to do something to earn God’s favor? When I stop and think about it, it sounds ludicrous. I can trust God with my eternal destiny, but not enough to love me for who I am or what I do.

Something needs to change.

I invite you, everyone reading this, to join me in finding our satisfaction in Christ. To realize that we are complete in Him.

God doesn’t love me based on my GPA.

I am not rewarded based on what extracurricular activities I did.

What I do with friends doesn’t matter.

My relationship status doesn’t affect how God views me.

My grades don’t guarantee me a better standing before God.

My talents don’t give me eternal security.

What I do with my life doesn’t change how I am loved by the everlasting God.

So if I never have friends, live my life on the streets because I fail college, and am completely alone with nothing, God will still love me. He will still be there for me. And He will still view me as a created being—made in His image. Perfect.

Loved.

Do I want to live alone with no friends? No. Do I want to fail college and work at Subway forever? That’s about the worst thing I can imagine.

Actually, worse would be living without God for all eternity.

Or having my worth based on what I do, instead of what He has done for me.

So, friends, next time you here me complaining, tell me to shut up. Please. Tell me to get my eyes off of myself and back on God. Remind me that my satisfaction should not be found in a grade or a meal in the dining common, or in friends. Ultimately, I need to find my satisfaction in Christ. Because of His work, alone, I am complete. Complete in Christ.

And if I can help you with that, or be an encouragement for you to do the same, please let me know. Comment. Message me. Email. Let’s do a meal. Something.

I want to build “iron sharpening iron” relationships.

“Complete in Thee, NO WORK OF MINE
Could take, dear Lord, the place of thine.
Thy blood hath pardon bought for me,
And I am now Complete in Thee.

Complete in Thee, each want supplied,
And no good thing to me denied
Since thou my portion Lord wilt be,
I ask no more, Complete in Thee.

Complete in Thee, no more shall sin.
Thy grace hath conquered—reign within.
Thy voice shall bid the tempter flee,
And I shall stand Complete in Thee.

Dear Saviour, when, before Thy Bar
All Tribes and Tongues assembled are,
Among the Chosen will I be,
At Thy right hand, Complete in Thee.

Yeah Justified, oh blessed thought!
And Sanctified, salvation wrought.
Thy blood hath pardon bought for me,
And glorified I too shall be.”


Again, I’m sorry about the length. I’m also apologizing for the randomness of this. This is why I don’t normally write after 1:30 in the morning . . .