The true, down deep realization that we are nothing, yet infinitely loved by God causes us to want to drop to our knees and adore Him.
It is understanding this aspect of God’s Truth which elevates Him to the most high, superior place of our lives where He belongs, while we bow before Him and worship in unmitigated, never-ceasing thanksgiving and awe. The moment we begin to grasp the depths of His love in spite of our nothingness, we become worshippers and worshippers we will remain, so long as we never forget our place.
We will never be God. We will never be equal to Him. But we are always infinitely loved by Him. We do not have to go searching for value (to be valued) because He has already given our value to us. We merely have to recognize and embrace it.
What greater value could there be than to be made in the image of the one true God, simultaneously lacking His perfection, yet being His beloved with whom He seeks to be (and through whom He chooses to work) for eternity? When we begin to comprehend our value to Him and even a glimmer of His love for us, everything else fades in comparison and our heart attitude gains His right order. We are infinitely loved and valued by God as we are. We no longer need to seek to approval of others who are imperfect as well, for we are loved and valued by perfect God. To chase after the validations and affections from another human being in order to find our value loses its appeal. We recognize it as foolish and not very practical.
Envy and its siblings, resentment and bitterness, melt away because we become grounded in how God sees us. We no longer have anything to prove either to God or humanity. We rely on and are confident in His promise that we are each equally loved exactly as we are, thus we do not have to worry someone else will be loved (or valued) more. There is no competition for God’s affections! We are each equally loved and important because we are God’s beloved and His children. We find our self-worth that in our nothingness the supreme God of the universe loves us so much, He took our form, lived with us (not as a prominent, respected authority, but as one seen as “nothing” Himself) and then died for us. As we attempt to understand this our awe should increase and it should become more difficult to avert our gaze from Him.
Obviously He cannot be seen with the natural eye because He is beyond it and invisible to our limited natural senses. Sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch were given to us to function while we are in the temporary tent of our physical bodies. When we gaze at Jesus, we are contemplating the almost incomprehensible magnificence and beauty of His supernatural attributes and His way.
This comes through contemplation of His Word where He reveals Himself to us and through worship where we recount back to Him, who He is with the wonder of a child. In exchange for our homage, He writes this Truth of Who He Is on our hearts and engraves it on the palms of our hands with ever-deeper etchings so we can never forget.
We live in a world so different from His Way. We look and think it only has recently turned away from honoring Him as Lord God, and yes, perhaps it is worse now thank it once was. Perhaps… But if we truly reflect on how it has been throughout the generations described in the Bible – both Old and New Testaments – there has rarely, if ever, been a time in which an entire culture (let alone the whole world) reflected Christ-likeness.
From God’s perspective, though He wants all of us with Him for eternity, His focus has always been on the individual heart. God loves each of us and beckons for a response. Each individual has to make his or her own decision regarding God.
It is said in the Book of Esther that she was born “for such a time as this”, to complete her assignment for God. Yet for each of us it is the same. We were each born for such a time as this – for the generation in which He chose to place us.
We have two decisions to make in order to find out true purpose in being used by Him. First, we must decide if we will choose the eternal One True God as our King and then we must decide if we will follow Him and His Way (versus the way of living promulgated by the masses around us.) For if we say we want God as King (Lord), but do not seek to daily, moment by moment follow His way, we are fooling ourselves and are worse than those who reject Him as King outright.
But as we give Him our ‘yes’, we are back where we began and He has gifts for us, which enable us to follow Him, reflecting Him as His ambassador to the world. The first of these gifts is the realization of our own nothingness in the light of His unquenchable love. And upon His love in our nothingness all the rest is built.
Without the realization of our nothingness and His love poured out on us concurrently, we will never be able to worship Him authentically because the pre-requisite humble gratefulness will be missing. Without the revelation of how He values us – that He cannot love us more than He already does no matter what we might ‘do’ – we cannot rest in this love, stay in an attitude of worship, humbly seek and receive His strategy and then let let His love flow through us with gratefulness His way to touch the world.
It is the revelation of His love and our nothingness (which will never change no matter what we try), which enables us to love others with the kindness, mercy, forgiveness, generosity, (etc) of Christ. For once we grasp His love, we have no need to be loved back by those He places around us. His love is all we need, so we can focus on pouring out instead of sucking in.
Whether others value us does not matter in light of the revelation that He does. They cannot know us as He does. Only His opinion matters and it is always love manifesting in ongoing mercy and forgiveness when we ask. This is grace – the free, unmerited, unlimited love and mercy always – which we can never receive in the same measure from another person because like us they are incapable of it. Only He can.
Where does this leave us? We need to lean into God alone. We need to lay down all our expectations of others. We need to glory in our nothingness because God loves us infinitely where we are. We need to humbly go forward to serve where His Spirit leads for such a time as this, offering the Source of the love we have found to the world.
PHILIPPIANS 2:1-16a (NIV)
1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life.
Selah! [Pause, and calmly think of that!]
PLEASE view the music video for “RESTORE” (with choir) on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piQYnPY1vIA&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL (Made by upcoming, Holy Spirit-filled film director, Olivia Mowry.)
Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist. She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way.
For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.