Are you at a place in your life where you are living between tough tensions that threaten to pull you limb from limb? Well, I am here to encourage you. God is in the tension with you.
I have been living between some very tough tensions in my faithwalk. They have pushed and pulled me around for years, tearing at my emotions, leaving the fabric of my life stretched out, with seams that have burst wide open. These tensions have left me undone.
For instance, I know what God has promised me. I know the things He has said to me as sure as I know I am alive. I have seen His vision for my life, and it is grand and beautiful and unique.
The only trouble is that the other side of that knowledge of things to come is the reality of what now is. I know what He said, but I live in a reality that does not lend to His rendition.
Like Abraham, God has been asking me to believe the promises He has made to me without trying to bring them to fruition myself. “Put your faith on it, but take your hands off it,” He keeps whispering to me. The knowledge of what He has promised has changed me, but I am still expected to live in a reality that has not yet changed to match my metamorphosis. Tension.
Another tension comes in knowing who am I, what I am capable of, and what God has poured into me. I know my giftings, and as I watch others function in theirs (sometimes similar to mine), I wonder, when will God let me out? When will he allow me to use EVERYTHING in my arsenal? Why can’t others see I am fit for this? When will I be given opportunities based on the merit of my talent and gifting? Am I invisible, I wonder.
Today, God spoke, and His words both chin-checked me and placed me in yet another tough tension.
I have struggled a long time to believe in myself, to acknowledge the things I am really good at, to minister in the unique way it comes out of me, to ignore the whispers of fear that would halt any forward motion, to accept a “Great job, Shari,” without hanging my head, stammering over my words, and finding ways to deflect the affirmation. I finally got to the place where I refuse to downplay, downgrade, or dim my light for anyone or anything. That is what all the self-help and life coaches have been sharing, right?
But God is asking me to decrease so that He might increase (John 3:30-31). I have no problem with that because I believe He alone is worthy of praise. The only trouble is that I live in extremes. I don’t do middle well. It is usually either or for me. And there’s the tension.
How do I believe in myself and have a healthy sense of pride, but decrease at the same time? How do I dim my light for Christ, but not for anyone else? How can I be confident in who I am and what I have to offer, but still be a plain, cracked jar that carries the very power of God ? (2 Cor. 4:7)
I don’t want to go in my own power. I can’t do the things God has envisioned for my life without Him, and I want to do them. I want to live on purpose, and I need His power to do that, so I need to learn how to be a clay jar. I need to learn how to live in the tension and allow the opposing ideas to pull me to the center, rather than pull me apart.
God is in the tension. He is there in that space where two opposing ideas could either cause you to self-destruct or hit a stride you’ve never experienced before. If managed well, these tensions can upgrade your operating system, and teach you balance that will make you the type of jar that is irresistible to God’s miraculous hand.
The final thing God asked me this week was, “Are you with Me for the vision or the relationship?” Chin check! Man, that one-two punch of His is sneaky!
“If your dreams never come true, will you be satisfied with Me? Is it Me you want or the promise?” Abraham proved he wanted God more than he wanted the promise when he took the promise up a mountain and was about to sacrifice him.
The only way to live in the tension between what is and what will be, between who you are and who God is making you, between the life you have and the life you know God has promised you is to live with Him.
He is waiting for you in the tension. He created the tension so that you could be with Him there. He wants to talk with you and walk with you. He wants to comfort you when disappointment over the difference between your present and future threatens to break you. He wants to wait with you and teach you His patience. He wants you to want Him more than you want anything else. The tension is meant to stretch you for growth, not destruction. Will you live in the tension with Him?
Check out the Walls Group’s song Satisfied