When you’ve been deceived, it’s crucial you find your way back to truth.
Little did I know, revelation was about to kick in because of the words on that pen.
20 months ago, I stood in line at the Women of Faith conference in Iowa, waiting to meet Ann Voskamp, my favorite blogger. They counted us off; there was time for 35 of us to meet Ann. I was 31st in line. There were only two or three people in front of me when the security guard told us it was time to shut down the line. The conference was about to resume. Those of us remaining in line wouldn’t be able to meet Ann.
I didn’t get the opportunity to greet Ann that day, but I learned something important from her, something really important. She showed me a bit of Jesus. Before she left, she looked at each one of us in line, cupped her hands in gratitude, and graciously and lovingly waved good-bye. She noticed we were there. She hadn’t forgotten us, even in the hurry, even when she was being pulled in another direction. I saw her heart, and I saw His heart for me.
After Ann left, the woman who accompanied her gave us a pen. While I could’ve chosen to view that pen as a consolation prize and thrown it in the junk drawer, I’ve treasured it for 20 months. Printed on it, One Thousand Gifts and the verse Ephesians 5:20.
It wasn’t until this Good Friday that I sat on my bed, with my laptop, Bible AND pen in hand, and read Ephesians 5:20.
As I read more of Ephesians 5, it dawned on me. This is the book, this is the chapter I’ve been living this Holy Week. This is the battle I’ve been fighting. This is the truth I’ve been trying to believe, live.
On Monday, in the first post of this series, Too Much, I stated the following…
“If we bring these lies into the light, we’ll expose them for what they are – flat out lies, false beliefs we’ve held about ourselves for way too long, for no good reason. And truth is? We’ve got to release these lies. Or the enemy will keep us right where he wants us. Flat on the ground, no good for anything, and certainly not up to fulfilling the awesome plans God has in store for us.”
And on Good Friday, there with my Bible and pen in hand, I read this…
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth, and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Ephesians 5:8-17
The fruitless deeds of darkness…I’m too much, not enough. I exposed and explored those lies all week. It felt good to let it all out, and my decision to do so was intentional, purposeful. Because I’m desperate for you to know you’re not alone, desperate to rid myself of the lies and live in the light.
But putting all those lies out there with no response, no resolution, no hope, no promise, have left me, for the most part, feeling shameful, empty, purposeless. I’m pretty sure that’s right where the enemy wants each and every one of us – stuck in the den of lies.
So it’s time to live in the truth of Ephesians. It’s time to wake up, rise from the dead, live wise, make the most of every opportunity, and understand the Lord’s will. Because I want to live in the light, not in the darkness.
I proceeded to review truths that came to mind throughout Holy Week…
For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. Romans 6:5
Perhaps it’s true. We aren’t enough, we are too much – if we live without Him.
Perhaps it’s grace I haven’t understood. What is this grace anyway?
Perhaps in all these feelings of inadequacy, I need to believe, more fully, the truths about grace.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10
Grace. It’s key to the freedom, peace and joy we’re all seeking.
And faith? It’s about our believing – in Him. It’s about us trusting – He has us in the palm of His hand – even when this great big world seems like it’s falling apart.
So how do we live as children of light?
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12: 21
And we must not forget to put on the armor of God. Because this believing everything about us is too much, not enough? It’s proof we’re in battle. The enemy’s plotting and scheming, struggling to find his way in to our souls, into our everyday lives.
Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:13-17
And remember, before Jesus bowed his head and gave up his spirit on the cross, He uttered these last words…
“It is finished.” John 19:30
So live in the truth.
It. is. finished.
He paid the price for me. He paid the price for you. It’s His gift, for us.
So live, knowing it’s not your good works that save you, but faith.
Live, knowing it’s not about your performance. It’s about your growing understanding of grace, God’s free and unmerited favor.
Live, knowing you’re ENOUGH, with Him.
Wake up sleeper, rise from the dead.
You’re ENOUGH, with Him.
*This is the final post in a 4-part Holy Week series titled “I’m Too Much, Not Enough.” If you missed the first three posts, check them out at the following links…