His Banner Over Me is Love

We all have a past, a history with God. At one point, you received salvation and entered into relationship with God. Growing up in church, I didn’t think I had a story. I had known about God since I could talk. I didn’t have this “rebellious” season of rejecting God, living in sin, and then, having a “come to Jesus” moment. For a long time, I didn’t think that God thought that much about me because I had never had what I considered to be a radical salvation moment. I didn’t have a testimony that said, “and then at my darkest, Jesus showed up.”

My understanding of having a story or testimony wasn’t rooted in relationship, but rather, it was rooted in how much I sinned or how much shame I was experiencing. As long as I wasn’t on drugs or having sex, I didn’t think God had much to say about me. I didn’t need saving because from my perspective, I was doing pretty good. God was either saving or condemning.
 
Now if you ask me if I have a story, I would tell you “big time.” My college years were filled with a lot of trying to do things my way. But that’s not why I have a testimony. It’s because at one point I was living in fear of God, and then, I started living in relationship. When I decided that I wanted my life to look different, I thought I would simply repent and everything would change. So that’s what I did...but nothing changed. The biggest misconception I had about "turning my life around" was that once I did, I thought I would no longer crave the former things. I thought that if I truly loved Jesus, I wouldn't want to sin the way I had been. The problem with that mentality was that every time I did fall short, which was a lot, I felt like something was wrong with me. I saw God as an angry judge, keeping a record of all my wrongs, instead of a kind and loving father.

Living in fear of God did nothing but drive me further into the things I was trying to be free from. It’s a vicious cycle that we were never made to live in. Jesus didn’t come to reveal that God cares about our actions. The Jewish people already knew that. The religious leaders of the day were expert rule followers, but there wasn’t deep, intimate relationship with God. Jesus revealed that God is our Father, one who lovingly corrects, not ruthlessly condemns. And that changes everything. We are no longer held to a standard of perfection, but a standard of grace.

As I write this, I simply want to offer an invitation to anyone who has ever felt like God only cares about your performance. You are not the exception to God’s loving kindness and mercy. Maybe it’s time you stop trying to save yourself by performing your way into God’s grace. Maybe it’s time that you start believing that God loves you for you, that he has something to say about your life whether you’re struggling with sin or living in freedom.

Instead of striving for perfection, strive for authenticity. God doesn’t want us to hide the worst parts of ourselves from him. When we share our hearts - our struggles, the lies we’re believing, the thoughts we dare not say out loud - we get to grow in intimacy with our Father. He has something to say about those things, but it’s better than you think. It’s not a record of all the times you’ve messed up, it’s an invitation to know him more, thus leading you into freedom.
 
"I belong to my beloved and his desire is for me." - Song of Solomon 7:10

God’s desire is for you. He wants your heart. That means that your story is not the sin or shame you’ve experienced. Your story is all the times you have experienced freedom that comes from knowing God. It’s all the times you’ve stepped into intimacy with Jesus, all the times He has offered you truth for the lies you were believing, and all the times He has delighted in your presence. His banner over you is love - that is your story.

Author | Emily Baker

Recent

Archive

 2021

Categories

no categories

Tags

1 Corinthians 1 Kings 1 Peter 2 Corinthians 2 Peter Aaron Vickroy Abba Abiding Abigail Bradley Abundance Accountability Actions Adam Salway Addiction Adoration Adventure Alafia Adeleke Alex Hinton Alignment Andrew Elder Andrew Smith Anger Anna DiCosty Anna Goellner Anointing Ansley Davenport Anxiety Armor of God Ashlyn Williams Ashton Brantley Asian American and Pacific Islander Month Aubrey Gold Authority Autumn Pressley Awakening Bailey Meyne Balance Beauty Becca Johnstone Becca Morgan Being Uncomfortable Being mortal Beloved Benji Johnston Bentley Clark Bethel Black History Month Blessing Body Image Body of Christ Boldness Boundaries Brad Schiebel Bravery Breakthrough Brittany Futch Brokenness Brooke DeLoach Brooklyn Holloway COVID-19 Caitlin Cooper Calling Calvary Cam Pace Caroline Barnes Caroline Beasley Caroline Newton Carolyn McLain Celebration Change Charlie Knox Child-like Chloe Glass Chosen Christina Hensley Christlikeness Christmas Survival Guide Christmas Claire Jordan Clarity Colorado Comfort Commitment Communion Community Comparison Compassion Complacency Confidence Connection Consistency Contentment Control Conviction Correction Counseling Courage Covenants Creativity Cristina Rosiles Dating Decisions Dependency Depth Desperation Devon Radford Disappointment Discernment Discipleship Leadership Blog Discipleship Discipline Distraction Diversity Division Doubt Dreams Dutch Williams Easter Eat the Book El Roi El Shaddai Elders Elijah Elizabeth Sprinkle Ellie Knight Ellyzsa Valencia Emily Baker Emily Goldin Emily Helton Emily Summers Emma Kate Shelton Emma Whitmer Emmanuel Fortuchang Emotions Empathy Emptiness Encountering God Encounter Encouragement Rooms Endurance Enough Environment Envy Erin Gilleland Eternity Evan Correa Evangelism Exodus Expectation Faithfulness Faith Family Fear of the Lord Fear Feeling Lost Feeling Safe Fernanda Lima Forgiveness Fredom Freedom Freely Given Freshley Friendship Fruits of the Spirit Fun Future Garner Gay Generosity Genesis Gentleness Gift Giving Giving Glory of God God as a Father God is Smart God is with us God's Character God's Heart God's Names God's Plans God's Plan God's Power God's Presence God's Promises God's Timing God's Voice God's Will God\'s Character God\'s Heart God\'s Names God\'s Plans God\'s Plan God\'s Power God\'s Presence God\'s Promises God\'s Timing God\'s Voice God\'s Will God\\\'s Character God\\\'s Heart God\\\'s Names God\\\'s Plans God\\\'s Plan God\\\'s Power God\\\'s Presence God\\\'s Promises God\\\'s Voice God\\\'s Will God\\\\\\\'s Character God\\\\\\\'s Presence God\\\\\\\'s Voice Government Grace Gratitude Guatemala Guidance Haley Blanchard Haley Hall Hallie Turner Hannah Cole Healing Heart Posture Heaven Hinds Feet on High Places Hispanic Heritage Month History of Prayer History of Revival History of Wesley Holidays Holiness Holly Avera Holy Spirit Holy Week Home Honor Hope Hospitality Humility Hunger Hunter MacInnis I Am Ian Burkes Identity Idols Image of God Imagination Influence Inheritance Intention Intercession Interning Intimacy Isolation Jake Stephens Jamaica Jamie Cherf Jealousy Jennifer Daniel Jessie Thomas Jesus John Wesley John Joseph Josh DeRamus Journaling Joy Judgment Julia Baughn Justice Justin Patton Kalli Drake Karla Sanchez Tavera Katherine Burnette Katie Courson Katie Pilson Katie Pitner Katy Smith Kelley Losinger Kelly Losinger Kelsey Parham Kennedy Browning Kimberly Klaer Kindness Kingdom Knowing God Knowledge Known Kourtney Axelberg Kristen Fikse Kyle Pickett Language Latinx Heritage Month Lauren Forbes Leadership Legacy Lia Herrera Life Light Lindsey Conway Listening Living Water Living with God Logic Loneliness Longing Los Angeles Loss Love Languages Love Luvlan Lee Mackenzie Wells Maddie Marsh Madeline Current Madelyn Livingston Madison Davis Makinizi Hoover Mariah Foote Mariah Taylor Marlena Sculac Marriage Martin Luther King Jr. Matthew Maturity Melissa Merrick Mental Health Mercy Meredith Ashburn Messiah Michael Weidner Miracles Missions Morgan Attebery Mourning Names Narnia Nashville Natalie Mata Nathan DeYoung New Covenant New Year Obedience Old Covenant Olivia Beals Olivia Ellis Openness Outreach Pain Partnership Passover Past Paul Peace Perfection Perseverance Perspective Peter Pharisees Philippians Power Praise Prayer Guide Prayer Meetings Prayer Pride Processing Prophecy Protection Provision Psalm 23 Psalms Purity Purpose Rachel Dow Rachel Erin Taylor Rachel Henderson Rachel Jones Racial Healing Racial Reconciliation Rebecca Mejia Recipes Reconciliation Red Rising Redemption Refinement Reflection Reform Refreshing Relationship Remedy Repentance Resolutions Resources Responsibility Restoration Rest Resurrection Reverence Revival Rhythm Righteousness Riley Orr Risk Romance Romans 8 Romans Rosalie Vendrell Ruth Sabbath Sacrifice Salvation Sam Adams Sam Carroll Sam Darby Samantha Forbes Samantha Richey Sanctification Sarah Savoie Savannah Shaw Savannah Ugan Scripture Seasons Secrets of the Secret Place Seeking God Selah Self-love Sermon on the Mount Serving Shaking Shame Sidney Counsell Singleness Sin Slowing Solitude Sorrow Sovereignty Spiritual Disciplines Spiritual Gifts Spiritual Health Spiritual Themes Spiritual Warfare Status Steadfastness Stephanie Seda Stephanie Stewart Strength Stress Struggles Suffering Summer Survival Guide Summer of Psalms Summer Surrender Temple Temptation Tenderness Tension Testimony Thankfulness The Beatitudes The Church The Cross The Gospel The Law The Lord's Prayer The Lord\'s Prayer The Lord\\\'s Prayer The Prodigal Son The Road to Life The Secret Place The Shack The Ten Commandments The Trinity The Word of God Therapy Tori Kramer Transformation Transition Trust Truth Uncertainty Unity Urgency Values Victory Vision Vulnerability Wandering Wednesday Night Recap Who Am I Wilderness Wisdom Wonder Word for the Year Words Worship Worth