Your worth has never been about what you have to offer the world, even though that’s so counterintuitive and so against everything you were told just today, in conversation and in scrolling and in your inner dialogue.
So why don’t you take that off and sink into your own skin for just a few minutes, even if you don’t want to be there, you know, in your own skin? Our stories are intersecting for a purpose in this very moment, and I want you to be present. So sip your coffee a little slower and don’t move on to the next thing yet. Take the deepest breath you’ve taken all day. Okay? Great, let’s go.
I’ve spent more time in the Word of God in the past week than I have maybe in the past few months, and that’s a crappy thing to admit, that I dismissed my dependence on God for so long. But I don’t feel shame, which is the most beautiful part, knowing that when we come running back, we’re fully embraced. We never stepped out of what God says to be true about us when we run away for a while, we just forgot to live out of that truth. He is always going to be who He has promised and who He has claimed to be. He is always going to love us so deeply and so fully, even knowing our darkest parts. That’s the greatest part about the intimacy with Him. The compassion doesn’t leave and the mercy is still coursing through our veins.
I just know that my deepest prayer lately has been for a renewed desire and dependence on God and in His Word, and His Word does not return void. When we ask for more of Him, He gives Himself to us freely. He does not play games with us. He does not manipulate. He does not deceive. His love has never been contingent on what we have to offer Him.
You think your worth somehow has something to do with what you could do and what you have to offer the world. And I actually just had to go back and fix a typo because instead of “worth,” I typed out “work,” so that’s a little ironic. You think your worth is tied up in people wanting you or being able to prove yourself to people when your worth has never been about other people wanting you. Your worth has always been in Jesus, and Jesus has always wanted you and he’s always chased you down when you ran far, when you drew near, and everything in between. Your worth has always been about what Jesus did on the Cross, not anything you could prove to the world, and that frees us up to stop striving to prove ourselves and just fix our eyes on God, free from distraction and focused on being used to bring His Kingdom closer to earth. So settle down a little. You’re allowed to keep your feet planted firmly where they’re are.
Your worth has actually never been about you. It’s never been about what you could do, how much other people wanted and desired and needed you, or about what you could produce. And sometimes we produce really good things. Just this week, I produced more graphics, videos, and content than I can begin to list, but none of that holds a candle to what Jesus has already done for us. If we create beautiful and empowering things, think about how much more beautiful the things are that our Creator creates. Take a deep breath. The pressure is off.
And a very sobering thing that hit me within the last week is that I have access to the Word of God at all hours of the day (you do too), whenever I want it or don’t want it, and there are people all over the world that do not have that. There are people who have never heard the Gospel, who have to secretly seek it out, who risk their lives for a relationship with Jesus, who don’t even have access to the Gospel, or who don’t even know it exists. But here I am, many different Bibles at my fingertips instantly. Literally, we have it on our phones and we spend hours scrolling through social media to prove ourselves to people who will never call us enough when we have a God who has spoken over us every word we will ever long to hear. And I’m saying that to me too, but I know you felt that conviction just then. Hey God, it’s me. Thanks.
Something I had also been lacking in and praying for was remembering the power of the Gospel, and I got to hear a powerful message from Christine Caine where she talked about how familiarity breeds spectactular unbelief. And that hit me hard, but one of the final things she said (read: shouted in an Australian accent) before she closed her message was that the same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives on the inside of you and me. That. Right there.
Did you feel it?
Did you remember it?
Did you go back to the moment when you believed for the first time?
Because I did. It woke something up in me that I didn’t know was sleeping. The same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is living on the inside of us. Power. Victory. Anointing. That’s what that means for you and me, as children of God.
And another prayer: that the Word of God would wake me up, that it wouldn’t feel tasteless because I just read it to go through the motions. The Word of God is living and breathing and active. I want to act like it. I want to believe that. I want to believe that God is who He says He is.
So in case you wanted a recap:
God’s love has never been contingent on what we have to offer Him.
God is always going to be who He has promised to be and who He claims to be.
His Word does not return void.
We have access to the Word of God 24/7. What are you doing with that?
The same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is living on the inside of you and of me.
So today I want you to ask yourself if you are using your words for good, if you’re digging deep into the Word of God, and if you’re seeking after God with everything in you.
And I’m still feeling pretty reflective, so I found myself back on an old post about the deep fear I was entrenched in and the wide place I dreamed of walking in.
“He is near. He is with us. He is gentle, fierce, and all-encompassing when it comes to dealing with our hearts. But He also manifests His goodness into our physical lives, and that is something that changes everything.
And you know what, right now I might be super freakin afraid of wide places, small spaces, parking lots, and big, empty chapels, but I will keep walking. I will never let it get so far as to paralyze me, so I will keep walking, and I’m hoping that one day I’ll look up to realize that I’m standing in the wide place, and God’s freedom was actually never too far from me. That is the hope that I cling to.”
And NOW, I AM WALKING IN THAT WIDE PLACE. I couldn’t have imagined this in my wildest dreams, people. If you would have told 19-year-old Jenna she would be walking in a wide place, I would’ve shut it down. I would have never believed you.
My favorite part of God’s character right now, in this moment, is that He SEES US. Like you are completely seen and known and loved by the King of the universe, and that is intimate, right? God knew I dreamed of walking with Him in a wide place. You know how good that feels? To be fully seen, when someone pauses their busyness and takes the time to see you as a person where you are, in all your messiness and brokenness and hurt and joy and crying tears of gratitude. So are you seeing people today? Are you truly leaning in and SEEING the people you get to interact with today?
SO here’s a song for this Friday. You’ve got it in you to keep moving forward. You’re allowed to slow down, and you’re allowed to rest in the Holy Spirit and love the people around you fiercely. You can see people if you stop long enough. I believe in you. I am cheering for you. I’m standing in your corner with you. And the same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is living and breathing and moving inside of you.