throneofgrace.jpg__700x320_q95Are your gentle with yourself?  OR do you have an inner dialogue of criticism, “shoula, woulda, coulda’s” that weighs you down-  heavy hearted and discouraged?

Unfortunately, I have a black belt in beating myself up. 

I wrote about it yesterday.  This morning in my quiet time,  I read these words in Jesus Calling:  “I am delighted by your deep desire to walk closely with Me through your life.”  My heart smiled.  and I knew I had to share them with you!

Honestly, I wanted to dive into my day, get started on my mile long ‘to-do’ list, but I paused and remembered my commitment to start the day with Jesus, even if it was a quick few minutes.  I am so grateful I did!!  I usually  am- aren’t you?  When we live and act from our commitments not our emotions… life just works better.

I read these words and thought- “Oh the gentle love of Jesus… He delights in our desire for Him even when we may fail in our follow though.”

My heart got  lighter, my burden lifted… because my desire is often far greater than my follow through.  I was reminded – God offers us- grace upon grace.  He delights on our desire to be with Him, not on our efforts or achievements.  He looks at our hearts and delights in our longing to please Him.

While we look at our results- and judge ourselves harshly.

I remember my grandmother saying “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” and I have often joked “then  my road is very wide!”  (joking often disguises our shame).  It is funny how the tapes of our youth become the loudest and often most damaging replays in our adult years.  Today I  am destroying this tape. Remember when a cassette tape would get struck in the tape player and you had to wind it back up with a pen?  Well today I am ripping the tape apart!  (for you  millennials – that means deleting the song from your playlist- but pressing delete  just isn’t as satisfying as the actually pulling the tape from the reels!)

Anyway, my new tape/song/playlist says:

“God delights in my desire to please Him!  Not in my results.”

Big huge sigh of relief!  Doesn’t that just make your shoulders lighter as you release the burden of getting it right?  God delights in your desire to please Him, to want to get it right… no if or when you get it right!!

I love this!!  It is freeing and restful!

Hebrews 4:14-16 says- “Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence!”  GRACE!  not condemnation, rules, get it right,  be perfect, harsh critic, or scorekeeper!

with CONFIDENCE:    Not fear and trembling that we blew it again, didn’t measure up, or our good intentions weren’t acted upon!

Confidence that our Gracious and Loving God delights in our desire to please Him!  And because He loves us, delights in us, desires relationship with us… He invites us to the throne of Grace- to receive His grace and help – not scolding, condemnation or try harder lectures… but His grace and help in our time of need.

I want to live here!  Pruney from soaking in God’s grace and delight in me-  because He loves me and delights in my desire for him-  no matter what!

Doesn’t that sound like a great place to live out each day.  Imagine the rest in your heart, mind and soul!    What a better place to live than in the harsh, stark, brutal world of condemning myself for – angry words,  missed goals, extra chocolate, or glass of wine, lack of discipline, ugly thoughts, failure to act, or acting to quickly, willful disobedience,  laziness, envy and just plain old ungratefulness and I’ll do it my way attitude I can adopt when things aren’t going my way!

I want a black belt in grace, not in beating myself up!

I want to remember all day-every day that God delights in my desire for Him and longs for me to rest in His love and delight in me.

 

Can you relate?  How do these words challenge you?  Bring rest to you?

What would it look like if  you had a black belt in grace?   How would it change your inner dialogue and confidence?  Share your thoughts and comments below. 

It would bless me if you would  share this with a friend who might read these words and begin her journey to a black belt in grace!

 

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