It’s quiet around my house right now. It 8:30am and everyone’s sleeping in on the holiday morning.
I woke up early and started laundry, started to clean the kitchen, started to organize the pantry… and then the coffee was done and was beckoning me to sit with it…
So, for the last few minutes, I’ve been reflecting on yesterday’s sermon.
For the past few weeks, Pastor John has been talking about the DNA of our church body. The first week it was “invitational”. The second week it was “Bibliocentric”….although, I’m pretty sure that’s not a real word….but it makes it’s point. This week it was “consistently authentic”.
Pastor John did a fabulous job of unwrapping two things from the Word. First, we have to be authentic in our relationship with God. He used the verse from Malachi 1:6-8 where basically the people were cheating God. They were saying one thing and doing another. As if God wouldn’t notice. God notices. He knows. So, in my mind, I thought really…. when you aren’t authentic with God, it’s really that you aren’t honest and authentic with yourself. Be real. Be who you are. Take off your mask.
And second, he said we have to be authentic in relationships with people. Here he used the verse in Mark 14:32-41 and pointed out that even Jesus wanted his three friends to watch and pray. Jesus had some pretty authentic relationships.
This is the hard stuff. I haven’t been super open on my blog for a couple of years. Our family has been through a lot in the last two years. And to be truthful, this sermon on authenticity was good for me. It was a heart check.
I’ve been authentic with God…in my relationship with God. I’ve questioned God and I’ve asked God why certain things have been allowed and I’ve told Him in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t sure He knew what He was doing. Believe me…my relationship with God has been authentic. And when the tears and the words, and the sorrow momentarily stop, I know that I can trust Him. That His word is true. That He loves me. And that ultimately, the things He allows or chooses for me in my life are for my good, and His glory.
And for a long time, I felt like I hadn’t been authentic in my relationships with people. But, this sermon has helped me with that. Jesus didn’t invite all 12 of his disciples to watch and pray. He went with three.
And yes, every single person I know doesn’t know me. They don’t know my heart, my pain, my sorrow, my fears. And for me, it’s difficult at times. Because I am a person who desires to be understood. To be heard. To be validated.
I find great comfort in the fact that the Lord knows. He knows my heart. He knows me. I’ve not been fake with Him or myself or my close friends. He knows.
The last thing Pastor John talked about is that in order to be authentic, we have to sometimes agree with the devil.
Yes, devil, you are right. I don’t have what it takes to succeed in life. You are right. I am not smart enough, nice enough, good enough.
But Christ does.
You are right devil. I can’t work hard enough to save myself or my family. Jesus did it.
You’re right. I can’t do it alone. I can’t live my life to please God all the time. And you know what else? I don’t have to.
I’ll let you in on a little secret…a mystery. Christ is in me. He is my hope in glory. (Col 1)