Every person on Earth was created for a world of beauty that we can't completely understand or see with our own eyes. Our soul longs for it. Our Spirit searches for it in everything that we do; in everything we see.

After spending countless times looking for fullness in empty places, I have learned through the more difficult path of return. However, time after time I am utterly astounded that Jesus truly is the only way. He is the world of beauty we are desperately wanting to know, experience, and be called within.

Whether your life reflects devotion and love to Him or not, it is incredibly easy to find purpose in progress, career, family, friendship, lifestyle, culture, etc. However, nothing can give you purpose or identity apart from the perfect love you were created to receive from Jesus and give to His people. It's not about being "good" or even pure. Our goodness is so limited. Our purity is so limited. We will never make it if that is the mandate.

Instead it's about us being in love with Him and in love with everything He made for good, following Him into exactly what He is saying and what He is doing; even if that means speaking Truth in love against what He has established as harmful and evil.

Understanding the pressure that is deeply present when living under a yoke of searching and performing for love, no wonder so many walk away from a religion that tells them they can't make mistakes or be human. It's impossible to be perfect. Many wake up to the reality that they can never be perfect and relieve themselves of the bondage they were living under previously in order to "live free."

But this kind of freedom actually leads to more shackles. Empty nights, empty bottles, empty bank accounts, empty relationships, and empty souls.

Then, there are others feel like they can't even call on God in the first place, because they feel too dirty and don't believe that any kind of God, let alone Jesus would have mercy on them.

And for the ones trying to do every good work to make up for past mistakes or feel that God doesn't notice them, life can feel like empty worship, empty prayers, empty actions, and empty obedience.

What if both extremes are both a misrepresentation of a full life? What if we could look into these extreme ways of living with a magnifying glass and see that there is actually a depth of common ground between the people in the darkest places of a city and the people in the pulpit?

Both are searching for true freedom and life. Both are seeing Jesus with a foggy lens. Both are dried up souls.

Instead of seeing Jesus walking in the bar and getting angry at the drunkenness and lust, I actually see Him coming to people and weeping over them. I see Him pulling the drunk girl off of the ground and speaking life into her soul, telling her that there is so much better. I see Him sitting down with the guy in the corner of the room and fathering Him into a new perspective of seeing women as lovely, pure, and creations to love well and respect with honor. I see Him laughing with the bar tender about inside jokes that the boy used to have with Him as a teenager before He was calloused to the idea of a good God.
Jesus sat down at a table in front of sinners. He called them to work with Him. 
Instead of seeing Jesus shake His head at a Teacher who feels like He can't find freedom in His calling, or is wondering if He is actually equipped to lead people, I see Jesus coming close and whispering identity into His Spirit. I see Him coming alongside of the ones who feel deep weight from continual sacrifice for the sake of others to experience the freedom that is within Himself. I see Him pouring out His presence in the most tangible ways and showering over the burned out and the weary in complete strength and love. I see Him calling on angels to lift His soldiers up, over and over again. 
Jesus filled those that loved Him continuously with encouragement and He spoke to their souls. He called them His friends. 
What if Jesus is so different than we think or know? 
What if everyone in their own way has misperceived His true character? What if the people of God have misperceived Him?
I think in each of us, the Lord is desiring to heal what we don't understand about Him, or what we have put on Him that is simply not true. 
Where in your life do you think you have misunderstood Jesus, God, or the Holy Spirit? 
Ask Him and let Him show you who He really is. He will show Himself as you draw near to Him; that's just simply the kind of God He is. 
Author  |  Emily Helton
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