I have fallen into the trap of believing that whatever I write a blog post about, I have to have already perfected. This is such a lie, and it struck me as I read part of Lysa TerKeurst’s Uninvited this morning. We humans are a work in progress and it’s so important for us to admit that we aren’t perfect. More importantly, it’s important for me to admit that I do not have it all together, and I never want this to stop my ability to let God use my words through my imperfect heart. I do not have to master everything I discuss. And while God does a work in my heart with the things I post, He is ultimately the one who speaks through me. And sometimes, I am blown away at the things that come from the pen to paper because He is in control of the thoughts and words coming through my mind when I shut out distractions. I know I’m not the only one (pause to serenade Sam Smith for everyone) who feels this pressure from either myself or any other outside factor to have it together as a Christian. The danger is when we regard our appearance for people over what God sees (Galatians 1:10).
I can think of a couple people who made a mess and tried to look perfect on the outside: Adam and Eve. In Genesis 3, they both hid from God because they were afraid of honesty and being exposed. But I’ve learned that being exposed and vulnerable actually medicates the addiction of looking perfect on the outside. Let us face the reality that looking at our sin or shortcoming in the face is not pretty. But like Adam and Eve, healing comes after we face the ugly. When we realize we are messy, that we have poison on our flesh, and we have created a tangle of lies, God can redeem and restore. And He is really good at it.
Leading from a place of vulnerability is not a matter of complaining about your struggles in order that others can fill the gap for you; rather, it is about sharing the brokenness we all experience, and giving God the glory in the ways He is walking alongside you.
So, what are we supposed to do with this? How can we become vulnerable?
We admit that we cannot be perfect (1 John 1:8-9), and we accept God’s invitation to come close. Sometimes you might not have to look or listen too much in order to hear God. This is not the case for me in this season. I am in a place of being silent because God’s voice is a whisper. I am fine-tuning my ears because God is leading me in less obvious ways than I have been used to in the past year. Regardless of where you find yourself, we need to choose to accept the invitation to His presence in every single day. He invites us to come close (James 4:8). He is already here, but when we choose to come, it changes everything.
The very name of Jesus is Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23). What a fitting name for the God that lives inside our hearts and walks alongside our imperfections even when we mask them as perfections.
There are distinct moments when people in the Bible chose to accept the invitation of God to come near and He met them there. The common thread for each one: faith to show up and vulnerability to be seen through mistakes. God is showing me that vulnerability present tense; it is not vulnerability only after I have cleaned up my mess (or so I think). In order to expose my faults, it requires the faith to believe God’s grace loves me through this, and if you allow Him, He will meet you right in that mess and restore your soul.
But enough about my words. Try it for yourself.