By Pam Otto
A couple weeks ago I started the Summer Study “Without Rival” by Lisa Bevere. While reading through a few chapters of the book, I was reminded of some things she shared when she was speaking at our Fearless Conference this past January. I didn’t have to read more than a few pages to be taken back once again by her phrase “God doesn’t love us equally; He loves us uniquely!”
What??? What do you mean He doesn’t love us equally? How could that be? Our God is a God who loves everyone, right? Why wouldn’t He love us the same? Lisa goes on to explain that God’s love can’t be measured and that His love for us is unique~ without equal or rival. She said that there is no rival for God’s affection for each of us! Wow! I believe that…mostly…usually…don’t I?
As our small group began to unpack this statement, we came across some truths that challenged us to walk out and possibly re-learn some things that we once knew. Here are a few nuggets to ponder:
- “God loves each of us as if there were one of us”
- “You are the only example of You”
- “No one can do you like you!”
- “You are His delight”
- “You don’t have to fight for your place at the table or win His love. No one can take you out or replace you.”
Yikes! If I deeply believe and own these truths, then I’m pretty sure I can do a better job of thinking, acting, walking and living like it. I know and believe that God truly loves me, but sometimes I get stuck with the thought that He just might occasionally prefer others a bit more. I mean, isn’t He more pleased with those who have more noticeable talents or gifts, or are more disciplined, or those who always seem to have the best answer or who make the right choices? Nope, that’s not the case!
Look what Romans 12: 5-6 says:
“So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other or trying to be something we aren’t.”
I love when it says, “Let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be!” What a great invitation! We get to be ourselves! God wants us to be the person that He intended for us to be!
I don’t know about you, but I can be a great cheerleader of everyone else, building them up with God’s truths and believing the best in them. I can declare God’s word over my family, I can pray over my friends, I can encourage those who need a timely word, but when it comes to my own identity, I can too easily get defeated by my persistent flaws and weaknesses. This study is a good reminder to be continually aware of the love that God has for me, the unique and unrivaled affection for who He made me to be.
My prayer is to allow God to step into those old, messy ways of thinking and replace my faulty thinking with His unique and complete love for me. How about you? Are you able to hear the words of life that God is speaking over you?