I Am Nothing

I am nothing

There’s nothing like running across written word that speaks truth in such a way one can’t deny it was God-breathed. Yesterday I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, and someone’s words caught my attention. It was something I had never heard before, and I wasn’t sure if it was a song or a poem, so I immediately asked where it was from. Come to find out, this was an original poem written just a few days prior by the person who posted it.

I just couldn’t get it out of my mind, so today I went back to it and asked if I could share it with my readers. I just know it will touch some of you the same way it did me. It’s too good not to share, and I’m grateful to Lauren for allowing me to do so.

From the Author

The poem came from my quiet time a couple of days ago. For so long I have wrestled with being good enough and dealing with the shame of my past. But a breakthrough came as I wrote this. I was on my knees, desperately calling out to The Lord to cleanse me and forgive me.

He whispered to me that he saw me as pure, and he had never left. I realized at that point I had been wrapped up in pride and trying to fix myself when that’s not what I’ve been called to do.

The moment Christ died on the cross, he died knowing what I would do and who I would be and that I would turn my back on him time after time and hold onto my anger, my shame and my guilt as my god. YET he died for me still and pursues me and draws me to himself. Nothing more, nothing less than I am. He loves me at my worst and best all the same.

Before continuing on to this poem, I ask that you re-read what Lauren said. Wow! Even in those words my own eyes were opened. She said, “I realized I had been wrapped up in pride and trying to fix myself when that’s not what I was called to do.”

She’s so right. That’s already been done for her. God is the only one who can fix our brokenness, and when we spend most of our days trying to do that ourselves, we miss out on all of the opportunities God has placed in front of us.

Another friend of mine posted something very similar to this today. It’s from the book,Undaunted, by Christine Caine : The enemy would like us to feel such a depth of disappointment that we never find our way back to the plan God has for us. Some disappointments seem so big we will never overcome, and that is exactly what Satan wants to convince us of. If he can keep us stuck in a rut then we miss out on all the awesome appointments God has laid out for us!

I Am Nothing

I am nothing
I have nothing to bring
I can’t clean myself up enough
I don’t say the right things at the right time
Crap, I just judged. Dang it I just sinned.
I cannot be good enough. AND I don’t have to be……

He sent his ONLY son to die for me, the dirty, sinful, proud, angry me
I am everything in Him
I am fully clothed in his righteousness
I am made whole in Him
He takes my sin, my
Bumps, my bruises and sees me as pure, white as snow as he looks at the cross, his son and the dark crimson blood flowing down

There is no good apart from
Him and thank goodness

I come with filthy rags that are my good intentions, my best efforts
He comes with blood-stained hands and feet
He picks me up, holds me close and walks with me

His eyes never leaving me
His voice always whispering that “I am his”

I am nothing….apart from him
I have nothing to bring… yet that’s what he wants
I am not clean… yet he sees me as pure
I can’t say enough right… yet he speaks to me and through me
I fall and fail… yet he picks me up, fights for me & draws me near

I am not good enough…. Thank God

written by Lauren Barksdale of Ft. Worth, TX Lauren is the founder of Soul Fitness. She is a stay at home mom and loves to share AdvoCare and the opportunity for financial and time freedom. She has been married to Ben Barksdale for 6 years and has two children; Evie Grace who is 4 and Hudson who is 18 months old. Lauren has a passion for health and fitness and incorporating that into everyday life as a Christ follower

Related Posts:
Too Much of a Failure to Talk to God by Misty Gatlin
All the King’s Horses, All the Kings Men, and Other Broken Things by Rebekah Snyder

God Still Speaks

http://files.myopera.com/munish20/albums/3129031/heart-in-sand-christianphotosnet.jpg

It came in a dream, the way God speaks to me most often.  It’s funny how I knew it was from him but couldn’t quite figure out who it was for.  Was it for our purity retreat?  No.  Something didn’t quite work out there.  When I realized who this message was for, it was already too late.  The person to whom this message was given had already fallen into the trap, but I gave her the message anyway.  At first, she seemed to be in shock saying it was on point yet continued in her endeavors.  She chose not to heed the warning that was so clearly written out for her.

She knew that if everything else lined up with what she was seeing in her life, then soon she should expect heartache.  I still question why she continued anyway.  I wonder if it was because she thought what she was doing was worth it?  Then I wonder if she thought somehow the fall wouldn’t happen to her.  Regardless of her reasons, she didn’t listen.  Today this girl found herself at a place of destruction.  She knew this was what God warned her about.  She was prepared for something not as painful as what she found herself in, and she was angry at herself for not listening.

The dream came like a production of some sort.  Knelt on the floor with her head down was a girl.   A spotlight was on her and no other light was on.  She is unaware of anything going on around her as God is creating her.  We hear God talking to himself about his perfect creation, and then we hear Satan as he talks to himself about the same thing.

God: Look at how beautiful she is. I’m completely enthralled by the beauty I’ve created. Every strand of hair, every freckle, the color of her skin, she’s magnificent! My hands paid extra attention to the construction of her eyes. With them she will see pain carried by those around her.

Satan: Look at her. God thinks she’s so perfect. I’ll shove images in her face that say she’s not beautiful. I’ll tell her beauty is everything she’s not: blonde hair, blue eyes, no freckles, perfect skin. Let’s see how she feels then.

God: I created her mouth to hold power. It will bring truth and encouragement to millions. Her purpose will be fulfilled by the words that flow from it.

Satan: I know the plans God has for her. She’s meant to speak boldly to people. How easy will that be for her if she is overtaken by fear? I’ll give her an extra shot of fear and doubt when she speaks to others. She will be so consumed with it her courage to speak will be non-existent.

God: When I knitted her together in her mother’s womb, I gave her the most special, wonderful, important piece to her being. It’s something to be tightly guarded. The intricate design of her heart is filled with things mysterious to man, but I fully understand it in every way. Her heart will overflow with compassion for others in need. It is from her heart people’s lives will be drastically changed.

Satan: Ah, the most important piece God gave this girl – her heart. His plan is for compassion? I think I’ll send a young man her way. I’ll make sure he says and does all the things she wants to hear. I’ll find someone who appears to have the same beliefs as she does. She’ll find trust in him and give her heart away without even realizing it. At the right time he will crush her heart into pieces too small to repair. She won’t be capable of feeling compassion for others when her heart is destroyed.

The thing about this most amazing girl is that she knows who she is and who God created her to be.  She looked again at the words from this dream and said it wasn’t completely written.  I tried my hardest not to get defensive when asking her what she meant.

“Well, it ends with Satan saying she can no longer have compassion for others because her heart is destroyed so badly.  That’s not how my story ends.  My story ends with God speaking. ‘Behold I make all things new.  My perfect creation knows that in all things I work for the good of those who love me.  She may have fallen into the enemy’s trap, but I know she loves me, and what the enemy intended for evil, I intend for good.  I will sweep up the pieces of this broken heart and make it whole again.  This time it will be better than it was before, and her compassion for others will grow even stronger.  She will rise and walk out the destiny I planned for her.  She will know to speak my name in times of need, and the enemy will flee from her presence.'”

I was in awe of these words.  She finished by saying, “I was broken for a moment, but God didn’t waste any time putting me back together.”

Is Temptation a Sin?

Many times we think about the meaning of temptation and immediately think it’s a sin.  The bible says that God can never be tempted, right (James 1:13)?  Then again in Hebrews it says that Jesus was tempted in every way that any of us have or could ever be tempted (Hebrews 4:15).  How is it possible that he can’t be tempted but was tempted in every way? 

Being tempted and falling into temptation are two different things.  Let’s take a quick look at Adam and Even in the garden.  It all started with a tree, right?  They were both told they could have anything they wanted in the garden except that tree.  The enemy came and spoke lies (or a skewed view of the truth) to Eve causing her flesh to be curious about the fruit from that tree.  Tempted: She was tempted to try the fruit because it looked good. 

Was that a sin?

It wasn’t a sin that she looked at the fruit and was tempted because she wanted to see what it tasted like.  Sin:  The sin didn’t happen until she actually ate the fruit.  That’s when she fell into temptation.  She allowed her flesh to overrule what she knew was right.

When you read that Jesus was tempted in every way but that God can’t be tempted (and Jesus and God are one in the same), then you might wonder why it’s contradictory.  It really isn’t contradicting itself, though.  We are being told that Satan brought every temptation known to man in front of Jesus, but Jesus never allowed his flesh to take control.  He never fell into that temptation.

Because we aren’t Jesus, as I’m sure you’re already aware, we let our flesh take control too many times to even want to name.  Paul talked about this type of spiritual warfare in Romans.  Spiritual warfare is a fancy word for knowing what’s right but still desiring to do what’s wrong.  It’s like on TV where the angel is on one shoulder telling the person what to do while the devil is on the other shoulder trying to get the person to do opposite.  Have you ever felt like that?  You know you’re supposed to turn away from something, but you do it anyway, and then you’re just mad at yourself for doing it.  Then, you still decide to do it again sometimes.  It’s a horrible feeling, but we’ve all been guilty of it at one time or another.  Let’s look at what Paul said:

So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin.  I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.  But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  I want to do what is right, but I can’t.  I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.  But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.  I love God’s law with all my heart.  But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.  Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?  Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.  So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
Romans 7:14-25

Does this sound familiar?  I remember the first time I had ever read this scripture, I was going through this exact same thing.  I was at a point in my life where I knew God and had a close relationship with him but wanted to do some things that I knew was wrong — and did them.  I read this scripture and was shocked that Paul had the exact same thoughts that I had been having!

If you find that you are tempted often by the same things, then you know that particular thing is a real struggle for you, and you shouldn’t face it alone.  God places people in your life for this very purpose.  Try to look around for strong, Godly leaders who have crossed your path at some time or another, and hold them close to you.  Find one or two who you feel comfortable talking with about personal struggles and allow them to hold you accountable.  That means that you explain to them your deepest struggles and temptations.  Go to them when you are tempted to do those things and go to them during those times that you went ahead and did whatever it was that tempted you.  They aren’t there to judge you.  They are there to help get you through those times, and really they are there to make you stronger and help you avoid hurt that they know is ahead in certain situations.  

Most importantly, don’t allow the enemy to tell you that God no longer loves you after you’ve made mistakes.  That is absolutely not true.  God loves you, and nothing can ever separate you from his love.