Fully Loved, Fully Known: An Encounter With a Personal Savior
“I died for you.” -Jesus Christ
It was late afternoon on a Sunday when I heard those words. I found myself face down on the floor—nose running and skin soaked with tears as I let the love of God pierce through the pain of my past and fill my heart.
It’s amazing, the things I found when I let the walls I unconsciously built around my heart get broken down. I realized I was seeing through a dim glass. The mirror on the other side of my reflection was shattered and I was broken. I realized what I once believed about who God was and who I am was wrong.
God is marvelous and mysterious and majestic in all His ways (Ps 8:1). He is faithful to break us down when we need breaking down. He is faithful to humble us when we need humbling. And He is faithful to wipe our tears when we are weeping.
That moment, when God was so faithful to touch me with His healing hand and fill me with His rich love, I knew that it was necessary. I knew that I would never be the same. You see, I grew up worshiping a creator who I believed was present but apathetic. A God who didn’t think good thoughts towards me. Who preferred others over me. The abandonment I experienced from both my biological father and stepfather so tainted my view of fatherly love that I didn’t know how to receive pure love from my Father in Heaven.
In that moment, I realized that this heart of mine that my earthly fathers didn’t know how to care for was the one thing my heavenly Father cared most about. I spent so much time stuck on a never ending rollercoaster of trying to prove that I was worthy of love and believing I was worthless. The truth is, my worth was proven when God clothed himself in human flesh, lived a sinless life, and died a sinner’s death so I could be free. New identity is the gospel message and it’s the inheritance of those who receive the gift of salvation in Christ Jesus. For ‘you were bought with a price;” (1 Corinthians 7:23a). “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19).
Our identity is found where our heart resides. We must be willing to allow our hearts to encounter the power and love of the cross for our identity to be firmly rooted in Christ. What does that look like for you? For me, this looked like facing childhood wounds, breaking down demonic strongholds, humbling myself in the Potter’s hands, and delighting in His love.
It wasn’t easy — in fact, it’s been an ongoing dance with the Lord as I follow His lead into the areas of my heart that need mending and tending to. But, I am encouraged knowing that He who is faithful to begin a work in us is faithful to complete it (Phil 1:6).
After my encounter with Jesus that Sunday afternoon, I was left with this revelation: our truest identity is rooted in the cross. This is no new revelation. It is simply the gospel message, but it is revolutionary to the one who is invited into its simplicity. The Savior not only died for all mankind, but He also died for Me.
I walked away that Sunday afternoon feeling lighter. My understanding of Matthew 11:30 was deepened as I was filled with deep humility that Abba Father would be so kind to take the burden of my past from me. I was overflowing with love as He began to show me that He was with me from the start. He never left me nor forsook me but cherished me as His daughter.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether… For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:1-4, 13-16)
God doesn’t want us existing in undealt with pain, rather He calls us to leave it at the cross and enter into new life.
But what is this new life?
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20). This new life looks like Christ in us the hope of glory (Col 1:27).
So, to the beautiful daughter of the King reading this, here is my prayer for you…
Heavenly Father, I pray that Christ may dwell in her heart through faith—that she, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that she may be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph 3:17-19). I pray that she would see and know that the Lord her God is in her midst, a mighty one who will save. Open her ears to hear you rejoicing over her with gladness and quiet her by Your love (Zep 3:17 ESV).
Lord, I thank you that you exult over her with loud singing and I pray that her identity would be rooted and grounded in Your love and truth Jesus, knowing that You call her chosen, royalty, holy, Your delight, Your possession, and Your daughter of light (1Pe 2:9-10). Though she was once not a people, now she is God’s people—Your people—and once she had not received mercy, but now she has received mercy and has been brought near to you Abba Father by the blood of Christ (Eph 2:13). Thank you, Jesus, for dying on the cross for her sins. Thank you for setting her free and restoring her identity in You. I ask to fill her heart with your love now, Lord, and pour your oil of gladness over her head, that she would be full of fresh joy of salvation. In Jesus mighty and precious name. Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ireana works as an engineer at a structural engineering consulting firm by day and is a writer and creative by night. She is passionate about ministering to the Lord and is currently working on launching a blog to encourage the millennial generation to forsake all for Christ. In her free time, you can find her somewhere in nature, playing guitar, feasting on dried mango, and knee-deep in the Scriptures.