"God can't bless who you pretend to be."
This quote has shaken me to my core over the last year. As the new year begins I thought it would be appropriate to share what I learned in 2016 (which was a lot, but I'll try keep it short).
All my life I've tried to be someone besides me. I always had this thought that everyone else was cooler than me and if I wanted to be cool I needed to be like them. This started as a child and never really stopped, it then transferred over into my spiritual life. I was always jealous of people who seemed to have a better relationship with Christ. People who found it easy to open up their bible and pray everyday. I wanted that, but I wasn't willing to put in the effort. I had the appearance that I was close to Christ, but in reality I was searching for Him. I realized that I wasn't who people thought I was. I began to try to live up to what others thought/expected of me and only ended up failing.
Over the past year God has moved radically in my youth group. People who were once very timid are now boldly declaring the name of Jesus in front of their friends. I noticed that God wasn't moving like this in my life. I prayed and prayed asking Him to do something incredible in me, but nothing changed. One night after praying I heard the quote from Steven Furtick, "God can't bless who you pretend to be."
Pastor Furtick was referencing Jacob and his constant desire to be like his brother Esau. He mentioned that Jacob never received his full blessing from God until he stopped trying to be who he was not.
God showed me I was trying to be like everyone else, but that's not the type of life He wanted me to live. I realized God wasn't moving in my life because I wasn't me. I was trying so hard to be someone else that I didn't stop to think that there was a reason God created me the way He did. I had forgotten about the talents He had given me to reach people. I forgot about the influence he had given me among my friends. I didn't see God moving because I wasn't moving! I'm still learning what it means to live an authentic life. I have found rest and joy knowing that He fully knows the real me and still loves me. I pray that in 2017 you would discover that God is deeply in love with who you are, so you can take the mask off and live authentically.