While looking through some of Martha’s devotions, I came across the following passage by Kierkegaard called “The Sword of Christ:”
“Christianity does not join people together. No, it separates them—in order to unite every single individual with God. And when a person has become such that he can belong to God and to God alone, he has died away from that which usually joins people together.
Every call from God is always addressed to one person, the single individual. Precisely in this lies the difficulty and the examination, that the one who is called must stand alone, walk alone, alone with God. Hence, everything that makes its appearance statistically is not from above. If anyone construes this as a call, you can be sure it is from below.”
It’s not the first time that I’ve read this, but this time it really landed. To be a disciple means that the core of your life is just you and God; that is the heart of it all. And when my core is compromised, everything goes crooked. That’s yet another reason that I not impede the Spirit’s work to reconcile all things Jennifer to God.
And God purposed that through (by the service, the intervention of) Him [the Son] all things should be completely reconciled back to Himself, whether on earth or in heaven, as through Him, [the Father] made peace by means of the blood of His cross.
Col. 1:20 AMP
It’s not a deal-breaker to God that I don’t love myself as He loves me—it’s a given! This is the walk, my daily Cross. Every correction and revelation and surrender and repentance and forgiveness and acceptance all serves to reconcile me to the Father through the Son. One relationship matters more than any other ever will, and it makes every other relationship possible. Without the work to “be completely reconciled back to” God, my core relationship falls apart. And that’s no good, because in the end I am to belong to God and to Him alone. That’s impossible without complete reconciliation.
Right now He’s doing a deep work in my heart to expose new ground in need of the Blood of Christ and the Love of the Father, namely how I hate myself. Next week He may be on to something else, but regardless of what that is, every day I have a chance to learn more about God – and me, too. That’s what strengthens the core.
My self-loathing hurts my relationship with God, because to hate me is to hate the One who dreamed me. And so the Spirit is moving in, relentlessly exposing that hate to the Light, and I grieve and repent “until every hindrance is removed and the broken fellowship is restored” (Joel 2:12 AMP). And it’s in that reconciliation that I look up into the pink and gold glow of a sunset and laugh, because the same Hand that painted the sky also formed my snaggletooth, and I’m mystified as to why. I love that I can’t figure God out, and I love that I never run out of things to tell Him and ask Him. I love that He shows me something new in the Bible, no matter how many times I’ve read it before. I love His heart and I love His love.
I WILL belong to God alone. I will! He’s worth the suffering that is inevitable in any life that embraces the Cross and the Sword. Martha always says that we can get off this train any time we choose, but I’ve found that it gets harder to even contemplate when you start to truly love the Conductor.
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ…
Philippians 3:8 NASB