Heart pounding, mind racing…I made my way toward the altar. My mind tried to talk me out of it, but compelled by the Holy Spirit, my body just WENT.
It was one of those AWKWARD altar calls. Not the ones where like half the congregation comes forward, so you don’t feel so alone. NO, the ones where like NO ONE comes forward for the first minute or two, THEN a few people start to trickle forward, and the entire congregation remains seated. And you are ONE of those few people. And you can’t help but feel EVERY eyeball on you, all 300 of them!
So, there I was. And to be honest, I felt…a little ashamed. Embarassed. Like, “I shouldn’t need prayer for this, right? I should be PAST this point. This is something a NEW believer might need. But not ME. I’ve known Jesus for YEARS. I’m a STRONG believer. A worship leader even. I shouldn’t need prayer for THIS. Right?”
The pit in my stomach told me otherwise.
As I stood there, waiting for an available prayer minister, I contemplated what I would even SAY. My mind had been a constant battlefield over the past few weeks, and I could barely see through the smoke and fog. The only thing I KNEW, was that I belonged there, at the altar, right then.
“Do you LOVE yourself?”
That was the question that the Pastor had asked. The question that led me to the altar that Sunday morning. The question that forced me to confront a painful reality about the state of my heart.
Because, you see, I couldn’t say “YES.” I couldn’t say that I LOVED MYSELF. And it HURT to come to that realization. It felt like an old wound had just been ripped open. A MASSIVE wound. A wound that I had totally forgotten about, because, I thought it was healed, over and done with the moment I accepted Jesus into my life.
I nervously waited, hands fidgeting, scanning the prayer ministers to see which one might have an opening next.
And then I felt it. A hand on my right shoulder. There was a gentleness about it. A comforting factor. It felt like the hand of Jesus.
I turned around to see a young man, whom I recognized, but had never met. Hi, I’m Mike,” he said. “And I’m Lisa,” the young woman next to him chimed in. Mike went on, “I saw you this morning and I felt that the Lord wanted me to tell you some things. He wants you to know that He loves you SO much. And you may feel like you don’t measure up, but that is not how He sees you…”
Matt continued on with a word from the Lord that just broke open the floodgates of my heart…and my tear ducts! He couldn’t get more than two sentences out before the waterworks began. The words he spoke were everything I needed to hear from the Lord, and more. And the Lord left no room for doubt, as this couple began praying and speaking about things they did not know about me by their natural knowledge.
Before ending our prayer session, Matt had another word for me. “I feel that the Lord wants you to know that He SEES you. And He’s going to meet you where you are at.”
BOOM. I left that Sunday morning church service, a wreck…but in an amazingly good way! The Lord can speak to us in so many ways, but the timing and way by which He delivered this message was unforgettable and life-altering.
You see, I realized that the God who made the Universe sees ME. He loves ME. He is a God who goes out of His way to tell two strangers what He thinks of ME, and to pray for ME, just so I can truly know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, how much He loves ME. He is a God that goes out of His way to tell me that I AM ENOUGH. This is how deeply He cares for ME. And this is how deeply He cares for every single one of His children. Yes, I mean YOU!
Do you love yourself?
If you CAN’T honestly answer that question with a resounding “YES,” than you don’t TRULY know HOW MUCH you are LOVED. Because loving ourselves starts with knowing, not just in our MINDS, but in the depths of our HEART, how incredibly loved we are by the God of the Universe. Our worth comes from HIM.
So, do you know it? That’s the better question. Do you know HOW MUCH you are LOVED?
I started the Abounding in Him clothing line because I know that there are so many believers who need this revelation. Or they need MORE of it. They know it with their HEADS, but they don’t know it in their HEARTS.
We are called to WALK in LOVE. To LOVE our neighbors, as OURSELVES. Which means…we better LOVE OURSELVES… a LOT. Which means…we better KNOW how much God LOVES us, FIRST! It’s the revelation we all need to have in order to walk in the fullness of Christ.
He SEES you. He LOVES you. AND, He wants you to KNOW IT. If you don’t, I encourage you to ask Him for a greater revelation of His love, and a greater capacity to receive His love. God will be happy to lavish His love upon you. I PROMISE.
1 John 4:7 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for loves comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”
1 John 3:1 “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”