Written by: Dawn Stewart
A Message of Freedom:
I need to confess something to you. Last week as I sat down to write, nothing came to me. I walked away from the computer, to give myself some space, but as I sat down the second time, nothing came to me again. But because I was afraid of the blank page, I started writing something for you that I know a thing or two about – the process of change.
However, as I spent some quiet time with God, a song by Casting Crowns called “All You’ve Ever Wanted” started playing. As I was listening, it was as though these words jumped at me from my earbuds: All you’ve ever wanted was my heart.
Something in those words sparked a feeling of freedom in me like I haven’t felt in quite some time. Something in those words made me forget all the little things I am constantly striving to change. Something in those words put this entire journey with God into perspective.
I immediately knew what I had to do. This was not just a word for me. It was a word for you too:
All God wants from us is our heart. Not our efforts. Not our ceaseless striving. Not our false humility or vain attempts at self-sufficiency. He doesn’t want our performance or our perfectionistic mindset. He wants our heart. That’s it.
The story of the sinful woman in Luke 7 gives us a very clear picture of someone giving their heart to the Lord with abandon.
“When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown.” (Luke 7:36-42, emphasis mine)
See, the woman didn’t worry about looking her best. She didn’t act based on what others would think of her. She just stooped down to the ground, got her hair dirty, and wiped His feet. All she cared about was displaying her great love for Jesus and resting in His saving grace.
May you experience that kind of freedom as you understand that God doesn’t demand anything of you right now. He simply and yet, quite profoundly, wants you to give your heart to Him, nothing else.
In Jesus name, be free from striving. Be free from performing. Be free from overachieving, underachieving, and outcome-driven living. Be free from the shackles of ‘too much’ or ‘not enough’. Be free from living under the expectations of self and others. Be free from trying harder, from fixing, from managing, from controlling. Be free and just give God your heart today. Hallelujah and Amen.
I just looked up today
And realized how far away I am from where You are
You gave me life worth dying for
But between the altar and the door
I bought the lies that promised more
And here I go again
Lord, I know I let You down
But somehow, I will make You proud
I’ll turn this sinking ship around
And make it back to You
But all my deeds and my good name
Are just dirty rags that tear and strain
To cover all my guilty stains
That You already washed away
(‘Cause) All You’ve ever wanted, all You’ve ever wanted
All You’ve ever wanted was my heart
Freedom’s arms are open, my chains have all been broken
Relentless love has called me from the start
And all You wanted was my heart
I was chasing healing when I’d been made well
I was fighting battles when You conquered hell
Living free but from a prison cell
Lord, I lay it down today
So I’ll stop living off of how I feel
And start standing on Your truth revealed
Jesus is my strength, my shield
And He will never fail me
No more chains, I’ve been set free
No more fighting battles You’ve won for me
Now in Christ, I stand complete