claiming glory beyond comparison.

When people treat us like dirt, we tend to feel like God is calling us dirt, too. We look in the mirror and see our horrified names in invisible ink, etched into our foreheads where beloved should be.

When people leave us out, we think that God’s invitation is only one of pity. We drive home discouraged. We sing with a void in our hearts.

That’s our first problem: taking every single man’s word into our heart as if it was God’s.

We compare God to hundreds of people throughout our lives.

But tonight, my message for you is simple:

Stop believing that God thinks as much of you as a millionaire thinks of a single penny.

He’s got muchness.  He has more than enough for every last one of us. When we don’t believe that, we’re underestimating His omnipresence. This is where we have to believe in what we’ve never seen and trust it’s true. We can’t get out of our own way and experience Him until we believe He exists.

This goes out to all my homeboys and gentlemen everywhere — God is not like the girls that can’t make up their minds. In this one relationship, you can take initiative, but you don’t have to be the leader here. You should read His Text over and over again, but you never have to doubt how He feels about you. He is not like the girls that text flirty phrases when they are, in actuality, unavailable. He might make you fall to your knees, but He’s not in the business of cruelly and unknowingly belittling His children. God pursues. He doesn’t tease away His love. Leaning on Him doesn’t make you weak. Obeying Him doesn’t make you whipped and hopeless. Christ won’t treat you like the guys in your life that try to slap you into soberness if you show too much compassion or if you cry. When you ask God, “If I got locked away, if I lost it all today, if I showed you my flaws, would you still love me the same?” (adapted from Locked Away by R. City and Adam Levine), His answer is always, “Yes.” It is always, always yes. He’s already died and come alive for you. He is sticking around. And I promise you – if the girl in your life is sincerely following Jesus too, in her eyes you will never seem stronger than when you acknowledge your weakness and surrender first to Him, and then to her. You will never be more manly and attractive than when you worship Him. When you show up for Him, even when you don’t want to and when you show up for her, even when you’re worn out. This is everything that the world says is not true. It’s the gospel economy, brother. It’s beyond us both. This is where you have to get out of your own way. This is where you have to trust that what you’ve never seen is truer than everything you have already seen. This is when you trust what the Bible says. 

This goes out to all my ladies and girls that have secretly always wanted to be called shawty by a tall, loving man — God is not a scared boy that isn’t ready for your need. He’s not going to run away when you get clingy. He doesn’t cringe when you wholeheartedly say you love Him. He is the farthest thing from being scared of commitment. He created the covenant out of the love that burns within Him. If you were to catch His eyes from across the room, He wouldn’t jerk His head away. He doesn’t think You’re too much to handle or not enough to keep inviting back to the dinner table. He’s got you covered with Christ’s blood and under the law of grace. He won’t treat you like mean girls that don’t let you sit with them. He doesn’t talk trash about you behind your back.  By all means, you’re allowed to sing Adele’s new single, Hello, as loudly as you please. But there is no need to sing it directly to Him. He is always home when you call. Go ahead — call a thousand times. But I’ll warn you, He will answer. Then your life will turn upside down and nothing will ever be the same. And trust me, when you’re gone, He doesn’t forget you. He grieves. And if the boy in your life is chasing after Jesus, too, He’ll see you under the light of grace. He will look at you and he will see beauty that is deeper than washable foundation. He will think you’re embraceable, but not just because your waist is minimal. He will miss the life you bring to the table if you’re not there. He won’t define you by numbers or with worldly measuring cups. This is where we have to get out of our own way. As Blake Odgers has described, this is where we go against our fleeting feelings, and claim our victory in what our minds know. This is where we trust that what the Bible says is true. 

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
—Hebrews 11:6

We make drawing near to God hard. We set limitations for ourselves. We build walls and tell Him where He is allowed to go. We automatically assume that if nobody else wants us, He is susceptible to the crowd. In all of our depravity, there are two things He requires of us. We must believe He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him. We must throw away the trash and string of lies we believe about ourselves. We go beyond what we’ve seen, and trust He is there. We don’t wait until we’re perfect before we let Him love us. We don’t wait until we feel it. This is where we get out of our own way and trust that what the Bible says is true. This is where we get out of our hearts for a minute, and into our well-trained minds that hunger for more knowledge of the living God. 

He thinks about you indescribably more than a millionaire worries about a penny. Go and get close to Him.

I dare you. 

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal –2 Corinthians 4:17-18, emphasis mine

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