You are Made for More…of Jesus
It’s out there everywhere. You are made for more! It’s chanted aloud from stages, its tagged all over Instagram, its been quoted over and over again. It’s written to inspire and encourage women by women who have come through some very hard and dark things. So why does it strike me as off, as incomplete, as ‘almost right’ but not quite? And why is almost right so dangerous when obviously wrong feels so much bigger? Because ‘almost right’ leads and leaves us in the dark, desperatley grasping at something we thought was giving us hope.
Our message, my message as a christian woman, is to be different because we are called to be different. We are to be different from the world around us because Jesus’ message to us was and still is different. Jesus’s message is one of more, but not in the way its been shared. For Jesus’ messgae is one of denying ourselves, taking up our cross and following HIM—not ourselves, not what’s within us, not what the current theology or opinion of our time says to follow.
We are ‘made for more,’ but it’s for more of Him, not more of ourselves.
If someone is declaring this message of more without pointing you to Jesus as the reason, their message is wrong. We are not made for more selfishness, more ambition, more first class service to ourselves, we are made for more servanthood, more washing of feet, more loving of our neighbor greater than we love ourselves, more loving God first in every aspect of our lives.
How do we know this is the truth? “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will loose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” Matt 16: 24-28
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matt 22: 36-40
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this persons religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit the orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1: 26-27
Women, dear women, I know there are so many words out there about how you can do it, you are more than conquers, you are made for more, you owe yourself this, you deserve this, you are fierce, you are strong and brave and powerful, you are in charge of your own healing, you are not too much, you have to push through the negative, you have to stop listening to the voices telling you you can’t do it…but women, if these messages are pointing to either a person or to yourself as the one who can accomplish these things, it is not a message from Jesus. It is a lie meant to keep you from Jesus, and being far from him keeps you in bondage, it does not free you from it.
The most deceptive lies are the ones that are partially true. And the Father of Lies knows this…
You see, these messages of more are partially true, some of the words straight out of scripture, but if we aren’t seeing Jesus as the conquerer, as the healer, as the rescuer, as the strength giver, as the power filler, as the heart healer, as the example to follow, it’s not Jesus’ message, it’s another’s. If those speaking this message are not bridling their tongue in pointing to themselves or to your inner self, their claim of religion (in this area) is worthless. They are deceived and we should not be listening or promoting their message.
So why is Jesus’ message of more of Him good news, the kind that won’t leave us grasping for hope? Because the gospel and the creation account is clear. We are sinners. Our hearts fell at the first temptation, and our hearts are desperately wicked without Jesus. If we look within, we will find sin and every evil act that is out there to accomplish. As much as we’d like to be god, we are not. As much as we’d like to believe within us is purity and strength and courage and perfect understanding of ourselves, it’s not. Why? Because we are not god. We, the fallen creation, need a whole new heart from someone who is holy, courageous, and powerful, who never tires, or grows weary and whose love never stops. We cannot save ourselves, we cannot sanctify ourselves, we cannot change ourselves. We have never been able to and never will. But Jesus can and does. Thats why we need more of Him.
I KNOW this is the opposite of every “strong and powerful” woman’s message out there, but dear women this is such a message of grace because it’s a message of truth from our saving God who cannot lie and has not ever left us without a hope for salvation and change and healing. We not only can’t be our own saviours, but we don’t have to be! If we are His, we don’t need to earn or strive IN ANYTHING to get us back into right relationship with our Creator God, with our Image Bearer, with our Identity Giver, with our Gift Provider, with our Strength Giver. We are His, completely and wholly.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick, who can understand it?
I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds…A glorious throe set on high form the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. O Lord, the hope of Isreal, all who forsake you shall be put to shame; those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of Living water.”Jeremiah 17:7-13
Don’t you see dear ones where our life comes from? Do you see the promises of a God who pursues you with goodness and mercy? You are NOT left to wither and be weak and trampled on with more of Jesus.
- You will be blessed when you trust in him, not yourself.
- You will be strong when you are rooted in Jesus, not in your own knowledge or power or giftings.
- You will thrive in hardship and pain when you stretch your heart towards God, not when you dig deep within to discover more of yourself.
- You will know yourself when you seek God who searches your heart with perfect wisdom and love, not when you pour over every thought, feeling and choice you have ever made that you don’t like.
- When you remain drinking from the Living Water, your life will be abundant. You will know what choices to make. You will have your strength renewed. You will be bold. You will know when to speak and when to be silent. You will know when to serve, when to deny yourself.
Do you see the difference in the message? Do you see the whole truth, the hopeful truth?
Yes, Jesus’ kingdom is an upside down kingdom. While denial of ourselves is not a call to–HEAR ME WHEN I SAY THIS–it is not a call to self-destruction, self-abasement, abuse, or not loving ourselves. IT IS a call to not be gods ourselves, but to live for the One who is the only true God. IT IS a call to deny ourselves of the sinful desires that are still being worked out through our salvation. IT IS a call to surrender ourselves wholly to our Lover who is making us into christian women that look more and more like Jesus.
So yes, you may be a christian woman who owns a thriving business, you may be a chrisitan woman who raises children, you may be a christian woman who teaches many or a few, you may be a christian woman who leads others to safety, you may be a chrisitan woman who counsels, you may be a christian woman who writes, you may be a christian woman who is a wife, you may be a christian woman who has made some very hard decisions, but christian women know where their source for all of these gifts and callings come from. These women are the women who say, “If you see more of me than you see of Jesus, I’m doing something wrong.” These are the women whose voices you should be listening too. These are the women who may be sitting next to you at coffee, or on your living room floor, or at your desk at work, and are “simply” pointing you and reminding you to feed from Jesus, to take up your cross, to deny yourself and FOLLOW HIM because He is better.
FOLLOW HIM with me. He is worth it. He is your true answer.
FINAL, personal, NOTE: I have not, on purpose, called out any woman’s name here. You may recognize some of these statements, and that is my point. For I am not saying that any of the women’s statements you may recognize aren’t actually following Jesus, but they have strayed from the truth in these statements. While Jesus tells us we will know a tree by its fruits, he also tells us His throne is the only place for judgement. Mine is not a call to judge them, it’s a call to point out that we need to be careful what we are holding up as truth. Our call is to speak the truth in love to those Jesus has placed in our lives. We are to encourage, rebuke and exhort those we are in relationship with. Personally, I find it impossible to do that in an online forum to a woman I have never personally met. But I am called to be faithful to call out dangerous fruit to those I am walking towards Jesus with, whether they know him yet or not. So I am calling you. Walk with me towards Jesus. We can call out untruth, and bad fruit, without demonizing the one who is holding it up as good, for they are walking in an area of darkness. This should arouse our compassion for them not judgement, for we are all people who need the light of Jesus to guide us, we all need a fellow “light holder” to help us see where we have gone wrong. And we are called to grab back those who have strayed from the straight and narrow because they can’t see that they have strayed—to throw out a strong arm to keep others from following after them into darkness. Love well and be faithful my friends.