All I had ever wanted growing up was just to be loved for who I was not for what I had done, was doing, or for anything that I was ever going to do. Instead, I only felt I received attention for the things I did. I felt like I had to earn love, like I had to do something to be recognized. This created in me an obsession with trying to be perfect because I was desperate to be loved. This also led me to feel like God expected perfection, and then I began to wonder if that’s why He gave us the Bible.
Why was I trying to be perfect?
It wasn’t until I learned how to study the Bible that God showed me that I was running to work, sports, grades, ministry, working out, etc. thinking that He, along with others, would love me because of them. God showed me that in reality these things had become idols in my life. It’s not that any of these things were bad, in fact most of them were really good but, God was wanting to deal with the reason why I was doing those things. Why was I trying to be perfect?
It was through studying His Word that God showed me that I wasn’t loved for what I had done, was doing, or was going to do, but because of what He had done for me on the cross. I was loved because of what He did. Did I deserve it? No. But that is the unfathomable mystery and beauty of grace.
If the details of your life are important to you, they are infinitely more important to Me.
A couple of months ago (after a long process of God bringing healing to how I viewed myself), I felt like God told me to start working out again. This time, though, it wouldn’t be because I had to prove something, but so that I can be healthy, safe, capable, and sure… look good for my future wife! Now, you might be thinking: “why would God care if this guy works out or not? Surely God doesn’t care about such trivial matters. Isn’t God only interested in ministry and religious stuff?” Believe me I’ve wondered that too. One day I decided to ask Him about it and here’s what I feel like He said… “Caleb, if the details of your life are important to you, they are infinitely more important to Me. You were worth dying for so that I could be with you and you could be with Me from now, unto every second of eternity.”
So, when God told me to start working out again I decided to ask Him to be a part of that too. The first day I started working out I asked Him, “how many pushups do you want me to do?” He said “15”. So I did 15, took a minute break, and then I asked again. He said “10.” So I did 10, took another minute break, and I asked again. It went on like this until I was so sore and tired that I could barely finish the number of pushups. I got up thinking I was done and felt like God said, “What are you doing? I didn’t tell you that you were done.” I said, “God I’m super tired and sore. There is no way that I can do another set.” He said, “Caleb, you are capable of far more than you know or realize when you let Me help you. I’m not saying it will always be easy, or that it won’t hurt sometimes, but if you trust Me, I will empower you to grow stronger and healthier in all aspects of your life, especially with Me.”
He will be with me in the seemingly insignificant details of my life.
I got down on my hands and knees, and then on my hands and toes… and I finished my last set of pushups. It hurt, I didn’t think I could do it, but with my arms shaking God met me. He reminded me, even during that last set that He is with me, and that if I trust Him He will empower me to do all that He has asked me to do and even more. He will be with me every day, all the time, loving me and even being with me in the seemingly insignificant details of my life… like doing pushups.
What areas of your life do you need to invite God into, even if it doesn’t seem important? Will you allow God to love you for who you are and not for what you do?