There has been a song that I heard in 2020 that has ministered to me, and still does. Very few Christian artists are singing from a heart posture that is centered to God, and I am not trying to be judgmental, but its something that few are singing God’s heart, but their own. I absolutely adore Steffany Gretzinger. She has a heart for worship that’s undeniable, it’s beautiful. One of my favorite songs is, “no one ever cared for me like Jesus.” Morbidly enough, I’ve told many family members that I want this song played at my funeral one day.
No one has ever cared for me like Jesus. I say that with confidence, because I have seen the truth in it. I have a wonderful husband, four beautiful children, and a family that would answer if I called, regardless of the time. However, none of them can begin to hold a candle to the love my Savior has for me. Jesus is love. He isn’t a conditional love that only cares for me when I am doing exactly what he wants from me robotically, but a genuine love that cannot be neglected or abandoned. God is the husband to the widow, and the Father to the orphan. He is a light in the darkness, and a pathway for my feet to walk. I think sometimes I comprehend the love of the Father, only to realize how truly limited my own understanding really is.
The Word of God says, “God is patient, God is kind. He doesn’t envy, he doesn’t boast. He isn’t unrighteous, but he is the truth. He is the way, the truth, and the life. He doesn’t get angry, but he rejoices at our progress. He isn’t a man so he would lie, but truth. I can’t express truth enough. His words are yes and amen.”
I’ve been lied to a lot in my life, and the revelation that God will never lie is humbling to me. It takes a special place that I have to walk in to trust. God has been healing my heart from many years of lying. Few told flat out lies, many spoke lies about me, some shared intimate details while embellishing, and some neglected promises. BUT GOD is faithful. Despite the suffering, despite the pain, God always was there to pick me up and affirm my beloved identity.
Identity is something many think they understand, but few truly comprehend. I’ve been saved over 10 hears, and I am just now scratching the surface on understanding it. Many people mistake their identity in their attributes. Some will list their hobbies as their identity, they’ll list their accomplishments or works as a badge of honor. God doesn’t want your works, but your heart. Your identity isn’t just a mother, or a wife, or a real estate agent, or an author, but a child; specifically a child of God is who you are. I struggled with identity and purpose for many years. I believed I had to be competition to my husband to earn my place, specifically in a feministic culture and time we live in. I had two moods, striving for affirmation, or depressed and downtrodden. Both are a miserable place to be. I didn’t comprehend my identity, therefore I couldn’t be who I was meant to be. Identity is more than my calling, it’s whose I am, not what I am.
I am a child of God. I am redeemed. I am bought with something so precious that it cannot be sold. It cannot be replicated. It’s not something I can strive to earn or maintain. It’s something I cannot deserve, despite my works. It’s the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus came with a cost, yet it was freely given. Its something so beautiful, yet so misunderstood. You can’t market it in a faddish way, or it can’t be trendy. It’s sobering and it’s uneasy for many to swallow, like a giant pill. The message that every dream and desire you must leave at the alter, lay yourself down and die, pick up your cross, and follow Jesus. Many have a mistaken identity because they don’t comprehend the nature of their Savior. I didn’t for many years. Unfortunately Jesus has become nothing more than a self help book and a few cutesy affirmations on a t shirt, while people manifesting unclean spirits are yelling at people, instead of healing and helping others, they’re hurting themselves and everyone who witnesses it.
For many years I struggled with abandonment. I struggled with depression, and even suicide. I was a bound believer. I had enough of the cross to go to heaven, but I stayed in that place for 8 years. I didn’t realize what victorious life was, nor could I begin to comprehend it. There I was in my own jail cell, padded and comfy, until I wanted to escape. Then it felt like a thousand hooks were in me. I had crippling anxiety and fear. I had religion, my works were my accomplishments, and I was Martha. Always busy, yet very unfulfilled.
Religion is where many in the church stay. There is enough godliness, until they’re sitting around the table gossiping about the encounter someone had with God. I love the saying its not religion, but relationship that’s needed. This statement is accurate, yet I want to take you deeper. Relationship can be with a child, a parent, a friend, but intimacy only happens in places most aren’t welcome in. A husband and a wife have intimacy, and it brings them together like a puzzle piece. Perfectly fitting and in complete adoration and awe of each other. God wants our intimacy. He wants our hearts. David cries out for Gods heart continuously in Psalms. He understood the intimacy with the Father, and he didn’t want anything to cause him to lose that intimacy. Many believers unfortunately argue how far you can walk the line before its considered sin. I tell you, if you have to ask, you probably should stay away from it. The consecrated life where you want his face and his presence more than you want to breathe. It is exhausting, yet exhilarating. It’s taking that fleshly sin nature and praising when you want to scream, and giving something in obedience, when you want to buy yourself something. Its saying yes and looking like an absolute fool, only to weep in your car after obeying and watching God use you as a willing vessel to minister to someone. It isn’t about what people see in public, but its about what your Father sees in private. Im learning to not let my left hand know what any right hand is doing, and God is such a rewarder of those who seek him. He will openly reward you for your obedience, and you should only share to give glory and honor to the one who is worthy, not ourselves.
No person can love me like Jesus. My own husband has made me cry, he has wounded me deeply in the early years of our marriage, but yet he is a wonderful man of God now. He still isn’t perfect. He loves me deeply, and would give his life for me, yet he can’t begin to love me like the one who already has. My children have hurt my feelings. They’ve crushed my spirit at times. They have embarrassed, and humbled me in ways no one else could. My friends have mocked and ridiculed me. I have heard what others have reported back, and some of it is downright painful. I have experienced persecution in many forms from malicious bullying, to backstabbing.
Everyone can relate to this in someway or another, but Jesus has never said, “I don’t like you and I don’t want you anymore.” When everyone else disappears, he remains. He says, “I’ll never leave you or forsake you.” Even when you feel him silent at tines, he’s there. He’s holding his hand out, and waiting for you to either obey, or seek him more. He is a good good father, and he cannot be replicated. Money cannot change him. Status cannot change his opinion of you. You are his child if you’ve accepted him into your heart. If you haven’t, Romans 10:13 tells you that whoever shall call on the Lord shall be saved. It isn’t a recitement of a specific prayer in front of a pastor or priest with your eyes closed or a repeat after me. It’s about a heart posture that says, “I mess up all the time, but I want you God. I give my whole heart to you. I give my dreams and ambitions and I lay them down for a relationship with you. I want this intimacy and to experience this love. I accept Jesus as Lord, and simply enough, you are saved my friend. I did not grow up in a religious home. I accepted Jesus into my heart in the floor of my old apartment while on drugs. Don’t let people make you feel any way about how you came to him. I was messed up, and I realized it. I also knew that I couldn’t change my destiny, but only the one who made me could. I didn’t think it was official because I didn’t do it at church, But God was showing me otherwise. I called out to him on the floor of my apartment and he rescued me. It took a few years for me to clean up, then to lose religion, and walk in glory.
I wish I could say its easy, but it isn’t. However, it is absolutely worth it. Your identity is in Him, and Him alone. Works cannot save you, or make you more holy. Money donated doesn’t get you a better seat in heaven. Religion or societal placement doesn’t move God. What moves God is a heart posture that leans on him, and understands that without him, life isn’t worth anything. I’ve had money, I’ve lived in nice places on the beach. I’ve had the house, husband, children, and the dog. I’ve lived the American dream, and that doesn’t bring you happiness, or joy. Serving Jesus will not get you a mansion on earth, or instantaneous wealth. But it will fill that hole in your heart, that nothing else could. No one ever cared for me like Jesus and no one else ever can either.