Deep breaths. That’s what I told myself after attending Elyse Fitzpatrick’s True Woman '12 breakout session titled, “Because He Loves Me: How God’s Love Transforms Our Identity.” Elyse got right down to business, telling it like it is, with a lovely sort of word flurry and demonstrative flair that made me feel wonderfully dowsed in truth.
I think what Elyse did was give our souls a little shake to awaken us from what she dubbed our spiritual amnesia. The truth is, we don’t know who we are. We are Christians, but we don’t know the depth of the Gospel. And in our forgetting, we live life as if God’s Kingdom depends on us—what we say, how we act, what we do, how spiritual we are, and so on. We get really busy getting our act together, making our lists, doing our devotions, and beating ourselves up on the inside for not being more. Why? Because we think God’s story is about us getting our act together. Elyse says, “We have forgotten that we’ve been forgiven.” We cannot get our act together—that’s why Jesus came.
What I loved about Elyse’s message is that she camped out on the reality of the Gospel: We are more sinful and flawed than we ever dared believe. We are more loved and welcomed than you ever dared hope. Living in that tension, we will find our true identity, in Christ. The Gospel is all about Jesus, living His perfect life in our place, and taking our punishment in our stead. God’s story is about Jesus and how His act is already together. For us. Applied to us. And when we know it, we have joy. We have the Gospel.
The truth is, the fullness of God’s story is based on God, not on us. God will accomplish His will—His glory magnified in us, through us, to the world. We are free—not so sin may abound, but so we may run to the cross, where we can fall once again on the mercy of God for all we are not on our own and all we are because of Christ.
That’s a lot to take in, isn’t it? But it’s so good. Take a deep breath when you see the fog of spiritual amnesia rolling in over your heart, then turn anew to the Gospel and remember. Remember Jesus. Remember His love, His life, His death, His resurrection. That’s what sets us free to live a life of joyful obedience. And then, as Elyse said, “Go! Fly free little birds!” Yes, go! Live lives of joyful obedience, knowing that Jesus has done it all, and it is finished.
Happy flying, dear sisters!