No More "Good Church Girl"

 
 

 About 5 years ago Jesus asked me to do something that only a few people know about.  

He asked me to give a gift to a friend of mine. Getting together kept falling through, but she worked 5 minutes from where I worked and finally the Lord asked me to go to her job and give her the gift.  The thing is, she worked at a strip club.  Recently a blog post has been circulating about a similar instance and I felt compelled in my heart to share this story for those who feel that only special people get asked to do "special" and "crazy" things. 
You can read this post HERE.

God told me to go to a certain place and buy a certain item for a dear friend of mine. So I did.  
I took my little gift and I put it in a pretty gift bag.  The gift itself in the longeun was pretty insignificant compared to the way it was supposed to be given.  The instructions were clear and what I didn't realize was, an invitation was being made.

"Sarah - are you willing to put aside what the church has deemed 'acceptable behavior' to show My love to those I love?"

There it was.  I was offered a choice: obey or... be good.

'Obey' meant no more "Good Church Girl".  'Obey' meant I could be judged by church folks. 
'Obey' meant, I could be called a fraud by others.  

There is a scripture in Philipians which in some Bible versions says that Jesus "made himself of no reputation".  Now - that scripture is out of context for this particular thought but still, the idea sits in my mind:  Jesus was a mixed bag, having a good reputation with some folks, a bad reputation with others, but in the big picture of things, no one could really pin Him down, least of all for sin.  

So what does it look like to follow Jesus when He says, "come, follow Me," and leads you into a strip club?

Well... You either say, "yes Lord," and allow Jesus to be Jesus or you say, "EXCUSE me?" And fold up your idol of the ideal Jesus and fit him right back into your pocket.

to say yes is to have faith that God is still good and that He is our righteousness.  To say no is to choose no faith - and it is absolutely impossible to please God without it.  In the moment of "no" when God asks us to obey, we are choosing idolatry because in that moment, God is challenging the box we've placed Him into and we refuse to accept it.

So yeah.  I visited my friend in a strip club.  It was there that I handed her the gift God chose and said what He instructed me to say.

"God wants you to know that no matter where you are, and no matter how dark a place, He is there waiting for you because He loves you.  This gift He asked me to get for you is His way of letting you know that He's thinking of you today."

I walked away that night a different girl.  The God I loved was a God I didn't understand.  Yet I understood more about purity that night than I ever had before, and that was the purity of God's love shining bright in a dark, dark world.  I wrote about little moves.  My little, nervous "yes" changed the level of freedom I would have to know God's heart more for several years to come.  I'm not who I want to be just yet, but I was in that moment.  Will you risk your "reputation" to be set free? 
It's all just one "yes" at a time. 

Treasure

 


What dictates our moods?  That is our treasure.   
I started to count on one hand - my husband, my job, my family, my life seasons.
No God?  The reality hit me full force.

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matt. 6:21 

Jesus said the greatest commandment of all is to, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind." Matt. 22:37 

Why? 
Because God is the Treasure. 

"It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search it out."  Proverbs 25:2

A pirate takes what is not his to essentially store it up for someone else to find.  Yet a simple man can stumble upon a treasure in a field and sell all he has to buy that field to gain the treasure. (Matt. 13:44).  

The major thing here is cost: you cannot steal the heart of God.  Nor can He be bought.  
But WE can pay a price to buy time to search Him out and follow Him.  The price is our life given to the soul mission of seeking and finding with our whole hearts. There is no counterfeit way.  

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!" Matt. 6:22-23

You cannot see God if you don't have eyes to see.  You will never know if what you have is treasure or scum when you can only see darkness. You will always see darkness unless you are truly seeking what is light. You can only truly seek light if you have ears to hear, have heard the word of God and have in one way or another received it by faith.  You can only receive it by faith if another true treasure hunter has spoken about the true good news.  And that good news can't be spoken of unless a treasure has been uncovered to speak of.  Otherwise it is false.  And all is in darkness.  

Don't let someone tell you that the favor of God is revealed in earthy possessions.  In every way, Jesus' call was to leave it all behind - and to set our hearts on things that cannot be seen.  No matter whether we live with plenty or with few, our favor is not defined by wealth that can be destroyed by moths and elements.  And Jesus had no place to lay His head.  Yet He is anointed with the oil of gladness more than all of His companions (Psalm 45:7) - because HIS treasure wasn't stored up in this world.  And his body was broken for the world to see. 

Move

So I've been thinking about a song which was popular back when I was in high school, "Dare You to Move" by Switchfoot. 
I know our little moves aren't as big as they used to be, when taking a step was supposed to have "changed the course of our lives" as we graduated into the real world.  
I think now though, it's the smaller moves that are changing our lives the most. 
For me, it wasn't getting married that changed me as much as going to India did - it was just the permanent sealing of a whole season that changed who I would be forever, moving forward.  And it all shifted when I gave that half-hearted yes to a trip to Asia instead of Africa.  I would have never known...
 I'm not saying the big things don't change us.  I'm saying the small things change us just as much - if not more.  And we ARE daring to move every time we dare to admit our true loves and our deepest hopes.  It's when you choose to admit you feel ugly or unlovable.  It's when you choose to pick up that small piece of paper on the floor when God tells you to.  It's when you choose finish what you start when no one will see if you give up.  Like Strider chose to escort Frodo to safety instead of slipping off into the wilderness again -all of the little choices bring us to that one defining moment where our only option is to choose our destiny or die. And we wouldn't have it any other way. 

It's the little moves to being real and to dreaming big and to risking deep pain to hope for the impossible things we hold dear in our hearts.

  The tension is here: between who we are and who we could be. So I dare you to move - are you who you want to be?