Friday, April 29, 2011

Replacing the Trash, Part 3: Identity

This is my identity. This is the well that my very longing for life is drawn from. In this post, you'll read about the real LoVizzle, a.k.a. Logan Vaughan. Who am I? I'm someone passionaley loved by a Lover who is way out of my league. I'm loved by the Guy who breathes stars and holds the universe in His hands. I'm cherished by the One who created the universe. I'm obsessed over by I AM, who's resume is too long, too great, too powerful for me to even deserve to know. And this same God bled and died for me. I am now His, purchased by the pure blood of the Lamb. This is who I am. This is my identity. Welcome to the real me.


I'm trapped. I'm torn in my mind between a love for fun and a hyper-active conscience that pushes, beats, and shoves the life out of me. I feel trapped in my own mind. Allow me to explain how this started. This school year, in many aspects, has been my favorite year of high school. But in just as many aspects, it's been either a letdown or forgettable. I'm glad it's at an end. I almost wish to forget it completely. School is either very boring or very stressful, never in between; things at youth at church have been rather sluggish and frustratingly slow spiritually; my friendship with my bestfriend has seemed to grow cold and not the thriving, open friendship it was last summer.

There's a new FM Static song that says, "I'm not one to grow cold in the winter." But that's exactly what I've done. Hindsight shows this whole school year has been mostly routine, perfunctory. Last summer was the last time I was hot for God, and not just regular hot, super steaming piping hot. I was on fire for God last summer. It was the result of a year-long growth period, and everything blossomed at the right time and life was excellent. I don't know how, but around September, life got dry and gray. It's been that way ever since. Compared to last summer, life stinks.

And the result is a dissatisfied mind torn between freedom and captivity. I want freedom. But I keep crawling back to the gutter. I can't help but sin and it's killing me! "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing " I relate to you, Paul. I feel so sick, so guilty, so undeserving of the grace and love and forgiveness and redemption Christ gave me! I lie, sometimes, if it helps me. I lust more than I thought possible, simply to please myself. I use sarcasm out of fear of being nice. I get angry because that's easier than being patient and holding my tongue. I cuss in my head because I let go of my morals in anger. "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."

I don't understand how a God so perfect, so wholly, so righteous, so magnificent, so beautiful, so wise, so awesome, so feared, so full of love can love a pitiful, wretched, sick, twisted, nasty, deceitful, conceited, lewd, worthless, broken, imperfect, sinful man as me. There's a theological name for it, but I call it grace. I call it true love. I call it ultimate forgiveness. I don't understand it. I can't wrap my head around it or ponder the ramificiations of a grace this pure. I just know there's this really awesome God and He loves me. I  can't imagine how or why, but He does. That's the simple, beautiful truth. I don't deserve it, but He doesn't consider that. He looks at me and doesn't see the sin. He doesn't see my lust, my impurity, my pride, my mistakes. He only sees His child. He sees me as one of His beloved children, a child He would do anything for. A child He died for. I didn't ask for this grace, didn't even know it existed, but He still died for me while I was still a sinner. I'm so grateful He didn't come for perfect people. Christ came to heal the sick and lame, not the healthy. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm sick. I'm in need of help. I need a Doctor! "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Do you realize what this means? No?! Okay, here's the kicker: If God loved us that much while we were still sinners, how much more so through our reconciliation and redemption! If He loved us enough to die for us while we were sinners, then I can't imagine the love He has for us as His forgiven, His purchased, His beloved children! He paid the price with His own blood. That was while we were sinners. Just try to imagine the expansive, the extreme, the joyous love He has for us now. I am a child loved by God. I'm His. Nothing can ever change that. If His love for me was strong enough to lead Him to be crucified before I was His, then how great His love for me now that I am His, purchased by His blood! I may fail my own standards, but God's love transcends all. I find my identity, my value, my worth in Him; any other identity will self destruct.


Daniel G said...

wow... that’s all i have to say, that was amazing. I’ve always heard, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us, and i thought wow, that’s amazing love, but i have never even thought about how much more he must love us now that we are his children... WOW. Also i want to encourage you to keep it up. through reading you blog and Ashley’s blog, and my bible study, and a new habit of actually praying and reading my bible as a habit, God has helped me through some really tough addictions, so thank you for continuing to serve God even when you feel "dried up"

Ashley said...

*tears up*

I regret in getting to this post for so long. That was absolutely touching Logan! I cannot even begin to explain how touching that was. I agree with Daniel, praise the Lord that you are still trying to follow Him and are still in awe at His awesomeness when you feel dried up. What an excellent reminder. Don't get discouraged man! Hang in there! I love the verse in Psalm 30 that says, "For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." What an awesome promise. Keep seeking the Lord! This dark time will only last a night and He has purposes.

Thanks for being so so open about yourself and for reminding me where my identity is. I think this is one of your best posts.