Am I Worthy?
I recently saw this picture on Facebook with this woman looking out over a body of water, her arms stretched up to the sky, her bare feet touching the waves crashing against the shore. Over the picture were the words: "Invest in Yourself. Meditate. Read. Eat Healthy Food. Drink Water. Move Your Body. Spend Time in Nature. Rest Up. YOU ARE WORTHY."
The picture brought me to tears. I couldn't help being overwhelmed with how deceiving that picture and those words are. Yet, so many people believe them, live them, depend on them. Now none of those tasks mentioned are innately wrong. We certainly need to eat healthy and drink water. We certainly need to move our bodies and get plenty of rest. We also need to take time to think on things that are important and to meditate on the Word of God and what is true. But, the real kicker phrase here was, "You are worthy."
Worthy of what? Worthy of being healthy? Worthy of being invested in? Worthy of being what? And, in those three simple words, there lies so much room for deceit. Because the truth of that statement is going to look different for every person. After reading that "You are worthy", someone may say they were worthy to be accepted so they have to look a certain way or do a certain thing. Someone may believe they are then worthy to maintain a certain lifestyle. Someone may then believe they can buy things or indulge in certain pleasures because it makes them feel worthy.
Why is this idea wrong? This idea is wrong when you look back at the very first statement: "Invest in yourself". The whole crux of this idea lies in the belief that you must satisfy yourself. That until you are happy, you will not be worth anything. Until you do whatever it is that makes you "it", you will be unfulfilled. And, that "whatever it is" is going to change with any passing whim or age or hormonal change or time of the year or circumstance or person with whom you are spending time.
For example, if I am spending time with my husband, the invested thing with which we are spending time is going to look different that the thing I do with my kids or my mom or my friend. My husband and I enjoy hunting together or doing something outside. But, when I have ladies over or get together with my mom, what do we do? We chat. We drink coffee. We shop for clothes (maybe one day when I don't have small children who prefer not to browse candles and clothes....). We read books. We do crafts. We pick flowers. Totally different. Totally different investment strategy. Yet, the result of each of those things is in an effort to make me happy or satisfied.
So, then, the thought is there that I must do all the different things and experience as much material and experiential happiness as possible in order to feel of worth. Yet, one look at our world and the endless entertainment possibilities completely debunks this idea as having any ground on which to stand. Depression, suicide, anxiety, addiction, and so much more completely overshadow this truth- because investing in yourself only leads to greater dissatisfaction. Because your heart continually craves more. Your heart is continually discontent and dissatisfied. Your heart longs for something greater than anything this world and its multitude of pleasures can afford for you.
So, here's the truth. You are not worthy. But, you can be made worthy by Jesus Christ. Worthy of what? Worthy of heaven. Worthy of being God's child. Worthy of being filled with inexpressible joy and hope. Worthy of being changed to look less like the world's glittering trash and more like the image of God's beloved Son.
How? Not because of anything you or I have done to merit the favor and worthy of God's approval. No. Scripture tells us we are all worthless before God (See Isaiah 64:6
"We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away."
We have nothing good to offer him. (See Ephesians 2: 8 "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, (9) not a result of works, so that no one may boast." and Titus 3: 4 "But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, (5) he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, (6) whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, (7) so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.")
NOTHING we can do can make us worthy before him. EXCEPT the blood of his beloved Son who gave himself- this is the crux of living. Sacrifice. Servitude. Investing in others. Why? Not because I am worthy or I deserve it, but because HE (Jesus) is worthy of my service. I owe everything to him!
Do you recognize your worthlessness before our God? He alone is holy. He alone is good. He alone is truth. And, in that wretched sinfulness of my heart which craves multitudinous methods of fleeting satisfaction, I find satisfaction in nothing but him. Nothing except his grace has made me free. Nothing except his grace changing me and my perspective on life. Nothing except his mercy which granted me salvation and which continues to grant me forgiveness and strength to live for him. Nothing but his love which compels me to serve him and others. Nothing but his holiness which causes me to despise the cravings of my heart which long for anything other than him.
In the book of Revelation, we read about Jesus being the only one worthy to open the scroll and claim dominion over the earth and all justice and wrath and righteousness to be done on the earth. Why was he alone worthy? (See Revelation 5: 9-13:
"And they sang a new song, saying,
'Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.'
11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,
'Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!'
13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,
'To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!'"
He alone is worthy because he alone paid the price for you and I to be justified before God. He alone is worthy because he alone gives us worth before God. He alone is worthy because he alone is perfect hope, joy, and satisfaction. He alone is worthy because he alone is truth.
And in these truths, I find myself overwhelmed by the truth that because I have accepted him as my Lord and Savior, he calls me "worthy" of knowing him. "Worthy" of being accepted and loved and taught and changed by GOD HIMSELF.
Take these truths, dear ones. You are not worthy, but he is worthy. And because he is worthy, he has made you worthy. Worthy to serve. Worthy to be changed. Worthy to find true joy and true satisfaction.
May you seek him. May you meditate on him. May you read his word. May you devote your body to his service. May you revel in his creation. May you rejoice in his calling for you. May you love others as he has loved you. And in all this, may you declare him, "worthy" of all the blessing and honor and power and glory. Because he IS. HE IS WORTHY!
Additional Song for Meditation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrbykRFzggo