Wednesday, October 21, 2015

whose you are

Shame and guilt.
Ugh… the worst!
The hardest things to get over and give over to our Savior is shame and guilt.

These are the most difficult depths of the old sinful nature to overcome.

Many of us have repeatedly tried to leave our shame and guilt at the feet of the Master but have returned to snatch them back up again and wear them as soiled rags over our souls. Shame and guilt are old habits of self-induced worthlessness that many of us cannot seem to let go. In fact, in my opinion, Satan uses shame and guilt as probably two of his biggest strongholds for manipulating people away from God... away from flourishing in His holy, healthy grace.

Fortunately, the Bible provides us with some great examples of people overcoming the worst of shame and guilt. For example, put yourself in the shoes of Adam and Eve after the tragic fall of mankind. How does a couple move on and work together in faith after making such a catastrophic mistake? With God... they did. Think of the apostle Peter after he denied knowing Jesus - not once, but three times. This occurred the same evening he had enjoyed a blessed Passover meal with his Master. How can someone rebound from such a horrible decision and then progress and grow in his spiritual walk? It seems impossible... But God made it possible and used his life to advance the message of Jesus.

So, how can we advance beyond our past?
How can we overcome these feelings of defeat and view ourselves as worthy women... women who can receive and extend God's love to others all the while trusting that He will stay faithful to us and mold us to be more like Jesus?
How can we believe that we are that important...?
How can we accept that we are most precious in the eyes of The Almighty God, Creator of the universe?
How and why on earth would such a tremendous, perfect God bother to love and accept me?
Because, honestly... I wouldn't.

Thankfully, God says so many things about our worth that we should stop and take notice...

  • Genesis 1:26-27 says we were made in the very image of God.... His holy image! That is unimaginable and overwhelming!
  • Psalm 139:13-16 says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made… that all the days of our lives were written in God’s book before we were ever born. This confirms that from the beginning God took the time to not only create us, but planned out our lives for a deliberate and specific purpose. 
  • In Ephesians 1:4, we read that God chose His children before the foundations of the earth were ever formed. 
  • Later in verses 13-14 we are told that we are God’s own possession… chosen for the praise of His glory. He states that those who believe in Jesus have an inheritance in heaven with Him.  We are His.  We belong to the Savior!

The important thing to remember when reading these scriptures is that each truth that talks about “who” we are always points us back to God and what He has done for us... not the other way around. It is probably better understood as "whose" we are... being created in His image, being fearfully and wonderfully made, having a planned purpose, gaining an inheritance as His children.  These are all matters that we have not and cannot earn on our own, nor do we deserve. Therefore, our worth and value is something that He determined in advance of our birth.  WOW!  By sending Jesus to die on the cross on our behalf, God decreed and proved His love for us with supreme finality and security. Nothing can change our identity and worth to Him.... Nothing!

Hallelujah to the King of kings!

Christ knew our sins before we ever drew breath. Yet, He still sacrificed Himself for us in love. That really puts our value and worth to Him into a whole new perspective, doesn't it? God considers us important enough to send His perfect Son to die on the cross for us. Because of this, we can be recipients of every spiritual blessing offered in Jesus’ trustworthy, unchanging, everlasting Name! No matter how we feel about ourselves, God deems us worthy of His blessings in Jesus Name!

WOO HOO!

Many women I meet have tremendous difficulty accepting their inestimable value in God's eyes. I frequently hear that they must be the exception to the rule… for God could never, ever love them if He really knew them. So, they remain stuck in their pity pool party and continue to swim in the deep end of shame and guilt. What these women fail to realize is that their denial to accept their identity in Jesus is, in fact, a back-handed way of calling God a liar. Why?... Because they are rejecting His Word and accepting their own. They are trusting their opinion rather than believing in His absolute power and unchanging promise. They invite in their own defeat instead of accepting His merciful, unending grace. It is a form of selfish pride that redirects the focus back toward the "hopeless" person rather than forward toward the Redeeming Prince of Peace. Ladies, I promise you - this is an inaccurate and dangerous road to take as it is a decision to accept a direct lie promoted by Satan!

Christ died for us "while we were yet sinners" - not after we somehow got it together. It is absurd to think that we would be able to remove our sin and ugliness without His help. We must realize that our guilty and shameful ways did not, for one second, cause Jesus to pause from going to the cross to save us. No, God loved us so much that He imputed to us His own righteousness - not because we were worthy of it, but because we were unworthy. He loved us in spite of our mistakes and worldly conditions. He made a way for us to remain in Him despite our sinfulness. This is what gives us hope. This is the miracle of His grace.

As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, hanging onto guilt and shame is invalid and selfish. Whenever such feelings arise and the enemy attempts to redirect our focus off of God's glory and back onto our "worthless" self, we must confess this stronghold to our Redeemer immediately and believe that He has made us a new creature. We are indeed redeemed. The old has passed away and the new has come to stay. The safest place for us to be is close and in agreement with God... believing that our worth is based on His decision to redeem us, thus making us worthy in Jesus Name.

John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us from our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we focus on how much God loves us and the price He paid to redeem us, we will come to see ourselves as God sees us, and that will help us understand just how worthy we are as His children.

We cannot be measured by what other people tell us about ourselves. We cannot even believe what we think personally about ourselves. The only true authority who can speak about our worth, is the God who made us and the Messiah who saves us. Our sins are washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. With Jesus, all shame and guilt is removed... as far as the east is from the west.

This is the best news ever!

So, what are you waiting for?
Get out there and live without worry, defeat, shame!
Drink in His abundant grace.
Stretch out your arms and embrace others with His unfailing love.
We are cleansed from all our unrighteousness!
We are forgiven!
Our salvation is eternally secure!
So, let’s allow Him do great things with our lives and trust that His ways are perfect!

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20)


Praise God that we are free!
We have liberty to live joyfully in His presence!
Again, praise God that we are free... free indeed!!!

Blessings!

~ Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

2 comments:

  1. we r free indeed. whoooH, feeling so relaxed. whilst we were still sinners Christ died for us. thank u God for Ur redeeming power!!!!!!! i will praise Him everyday of my life!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah Lord, refreshing words those....how often I drink from the muddy pool of shame amd worthlessness - yet you have provided living watertl cleanse, refresh and bring joy and peace. Thank you My Father!!!

    ReplyDelete

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