I'm Liz and God designed me to be an encourager, a dreamer, a story teller and most importantly, a Kingdom builder.
Sometimes you might “hear a word” or “get a word” from the Lord. Other times perhaps you feel that small stirring inside of you giving direction. And sometimes (if you’re like me) you get what I refer to as the “Holy Spirt Woosh.” I’m pretty sure that “woosh” doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bible, but I’ve yet to find another word that better describes what it feels like. It’s this take the air out of you, fill you up all at the same time kind of feeling. It happened recently to me while sitting in church.
“Our relationship with God is based on perfection… His, not ours.”
– Pastor Stefen Lind, Siskiyou Christian Fellowship.
Being perfect doesn’t fall on me. God is not looking to me to be perfect. He already is. All of the perfection lands on Him. But don’t some of us spend a lot of time trying to “be perfect,” or at least to appear that way? In the past I tried to keep up a perfect appearance. But perfection is a high calling that in our fallen world is far from achievable. And the burden of working to appear perfect is an exhausting one to carry.
For years we struggled with mounting credit card debt, but no one knew. We didn’t talk about it publicly. We didn’t warn others not to fall into the same traps we had. From the outside our life probably looked “picture perfect.” But it wasn’t. It was a struggle. It was far from perfect. But no one’s life is perfect. Only Jesus Christ lived a perfect life.
Of course if we were to remove his name and simply examine the life and lifestyle of Jesus as only a man, not as God, we might struggle to say his life was perfect. His version of “perfect” is certainly not what our cultural standards of perfect are today. He was born in a barn. As an adult he was a transient. He had no personal worldly wealth and he commanded anyone who wanted to follow him (and his Father in Heaven) to drop what they were doing, drop what they owned and follow him immediately. (Luke 9:59)
By our standards we would call his birth place sad. We might call his transient lifestyle irresponsible, suggesting it would be better for him to put down some roots. Get a job. Buy a house. We’d likely say his call to drop everything and everyone was far over the line of unreasonable.
But he was in fact perfect. He led a perfect life. It is our definition of perfect that’s changed.
Yet, thankfully we are not called to be perfect. I’m not called to be perfect. You aren’t either. God knows every hair on our heads. Just as He knows every sin we’ve ever committed and every sin we will commit. He breathed us into existence, choosing the moment we were conceived and knowing the moment we will die. He is the perfect one. And because of His great love for us He sent Jesus to save us from our sins. To bear the weight of our faults. To remove the need for us to perfectly follow the law in order to have relationship with our Heavenly Father.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t put effort into being good. That doesn’t mean we aren’t called to high standards. But it means that when we fall short, we don’t have to fall out of relationship with God. God doesn’t need anything from us, but He deeply desires true and lasting relationship with us.
And that was the “woosh” moment for me. It was something I knew because as an Evangelical, born-again Christian I believe that it is by grace that I am saved. But it didn’t mean I couldn’t use a reminder in very simple terms. My relationship with God is in fact based on perfection. Only it isn’t mine, or my lack thereof. It is His. That reality. That realization. That reminder started with a “woosh” moment and ended with a “whew.”
Thank you God. Thank you that my relationship with You isn’t based upon something I can never achieve. Rather it is based on who You already are. Who You have always been. Who You will always be.