continue as you began

wood pile

someone told me i was disobedient and just not simple enough.  why can’t i take god at his word and believe?

great.  just great.

okay, it wasn’t actually a person who said this.  it was a book.

alright, it was a theologian from 1916 yelling across time.

fine.  it was oswald chambers.

i really like oswald chambers.  i affectionately call him ozzy c – which i think he’d appreciate.  he was a gifted artist and musician trained at london’s royal academy of art. he wanted to bring jesus into the world of art and aesthetics.  he eventually left his studies and entered ministry full-time.

it makes his voice unique.  his thinking is vigorous and creative – he reaches me on the page and he has for years.

but lately, even ozzy sounds preachy.

and i know it’s me.  it’s not ozzy.

roof tops

sanctification is a hell of a weight to carry and working out your own salvation is exhausting.  trying to turn yourself into a mini-christ doesn’t really work for a few reasons:

a) we aren’t meant to.

b) we have no ability to.

c) turns out even when i try hard to, i suck at it anyway.


when my life in jesus becomes about the seemingly endless work of looking at myself, seeing where i lack, figuring out how to squash it and having varying degrees of success or failure and then finding the next area of my black heart to work on scrubbing clean – guess what happens oswald?!

very little.

very little actual heart changing is going on during the self-imposed sanctification process.  it can feel like holy work, but it’s little more than rule following and looking for loop holes.  what i’ve found out is that i’m just a bonafide pharisaical version of my former heathen self.


just great.


it’s been an odd thing when the voices i’ve trusted for a long time started to sound different in my ears.  it’s even odder when the voice coming out of my own head starting sounding different, too.

but it’s good.

my voice sounds free of the weight of sanctification.  a strain has been lifted off my vocal cords because i’m finally letting god be god.  i’ll just be me.

and it’s better.  as it turns out, i actually need god when i’m just me.

2 replies on “ continue as you began ”
  1. Amen. What a scary journey the beginning of that one is. It’s taken 10 years to probably take 2 steps. The rug was pulled out from under all of the ways my identity and self-worth were propped on desiring and pursuing holiness vs. on Christ (they can really seem like the same thing sometimes). I was pretty mad and stiff-necked and self-pitying and blaming about it – didn’t handle it in a “holy” way at all. Possibly a handful of real fruit, but the point is, it’s not my job to sort all that out and measure myself anyway. Love your heart and words Zena and ache and pray as I imagine how I would feel handling myself and my own spiritual life.

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