I want to share with everyone what God has been doing in my life, and the truth that He has been showing me. I have been reading a book by Andrew Farley, The Naked Gospel, that is the clearest, simplest presentation of truth that I think I have ever seen. God had been showing me the truths in this book for a long time, and He has used it to nail everything down.
On Tuesday of last week I saw a commercial for Oprah, and I knew that I had to see that program. I forgot about it and missed almost the whole show, but I did get to see the last 15 minutes, and as soon as it was over I called Barnes & Noble and reserved the book that they had discussed on the show. It was Women, Food, and God by Geneen Roth, and I could see that I really, really needed this book. I finished reading Farley's book on Friday, and Saturday I got the Roth book. At the end of The Naked Gospel he says to just be yourself, and I wondered, who in the world is that? When I began reading Women, Food, and God He began showing me who I am. It took at least one-and-a-half hours to get through the Prologue and first 2 pages of the first chapter, because I was constantly stopping, thinking, talking to God, and writing, and I want to share the insights that God gave me.
Over the last few weeks, God has been nailing down the truth that the old man is dead and the new man, created perfect by God, is who I am now. As I read I realized that when we are born a bar is set for us by our parents, then teachers, and then the church. That bar is expectations, perfection, etc., and we spend our lives jumping, trying to reach that bar. Most of the pain I had experienced over the years, and there was a lot of pain, was from killing myself trying to reach that bar. Then I saw that it was like a dog in front of a refrigerator, and on top of that refrigerator is something that he desperately wants. So he jumps, and jumps, and jumps, and jumps, and will go on jumping for a long time to get it, but he can jump forever and never, ever reach it because it is impossinble for his little legs to propel him that far. He will never reach it, but he keeps jumping. Then I saw God reach out and take that thing off the refrigerator, come to me with it, and say,"Sit down. Rest. Stop jumping. I already did it for you. Here, take it, rest in what I have done. I made you whole, perfect. I did away with the bar. Quit jumping." What a wonderful, beautiful God we have! He does it all, and He wants us to rest in Him, not kill ourselves trying to do what He has already done. So now I can look you in the eye and say something that to most people is quite heretical: I am not broken. I am perfect. Walking in the Spirit is walking in truth, and this is the truth that I intend to walk in, leaving behind the guilt and shame of never being good enough, being broken and never able to fix myself. Give it up, people, God has already done it!
PS: If you read these books, please read The Naked Gospel first. Roth does not seem to be a Christian, and the truth in the Farley book is foundational to what she has to say.