I felt down. Sometimes my emotions move with the wind, with the circumstances.
Certainly, I know God says not to be like one tossed to and fro like the doubting waves (Ja. 1:6). I've got this. I understand this. But, I still do this.
I don't want to, but I do.
And then I hate myself for doing it - for being a doubting Thomas, demanding to see God's purposes for the surrounding injuries.
Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Jo. 20:27
You arrogant girl, God doesn't bless girls like that! He hates that.
Good "Jesus girls" don't have to witness the details of the wounds to trust there is a better plan. So why do I?
I don't have to see the holes to know that God put them there for a good reason. Can't I trust? Can't I just see that the pain of today is there because God has a plan in tomorrow?
Many times I can. Other times I can't.
And, when I can't, shame becomes the holding cell that distances me from God.
Certainly, grace keeps the jail cell doors wide open, unlocked and unobstructed, but shame holds me in, telling me this is where I belong - contained and convicted. It bars my mentality to a purposeless state. It makes me feel like a life-sentenced prisoner doomed to isolation for my bad behavior as a Christian mess-up.
Girls who act like that never get out. They can't be used without faith.
The bars of this cell open and close like clockwork:
1. Emotions of fear lead to...
2. Doubts about God which lead to...
3. Shame about my doubts, which leads to...
4. Distance (due to: embarrassment, worthlessness, anxiety) from God
But, I am tired, dead tired of being trapped in a cell - a cell that doesn't have to be literal to trap you. I am tired of breathing in the anxiety of God's wrath and the fear of my worthlessness.
Because the truth is, this cell is dingy, old and full of fear; it's not helping me much anyway.
I have the bounty of grace right before me, and it's about time I seize it.
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free" Lu. 4:18
And I did something different and it worked! I was astonished.
Let me explain:
1. Know your past. Where you were hurt in the past is likely where you will feel damaged in the future. Old dog, same tricks. The devil knows our sore spots and he loves to reopen them.
2. Identify in God's word the truths that hit your past and current pain points.
3. Speak these truths over yourself. Proclaim them. Speak them. Preach them. Teach them. I don't care, just get up and walk around and own them. Rather than sitting like a prisoner waiting to be someone's fresh bait, step up and realize Jesus was already the (perfect and complete) bait for you. He won and you will win too - come the day of Christ Jesus.
4. Believe in the words you say. Receive the full authority that Christ has placed in you, by the power of his Spirit, when you believed. Don't half heartedly pray or meekly say, "I trust." Make your words your anthem, your pledge of allegiance, your covenant. Let them be binding truth and declarative words.
(Please note: I am not talking about declaring riches or blessings over yourself, I am talking about declaring truth about who God says you are and what he has done.)
Here is what it looked like for me:
(Imagine: Standing Kelly, walking Kelly, powerful Kelly, vocal Kelly, speaking aloud)
Lord, you reign. There is none beside you. There is none more powerful. You don't hold doubts against me, as I confess, you forgive me. You free me to your purpose. There is absolutely no condemnation in Christ Jesus. I am loved, entirely, fully, completely. You bring all truth to light and you set captives free, you will set me free. You have a plan and you will see it through...(and you get the point).
But, the point is, the more I spoke, the more I believed, and the more I believed, the more I felt relieved.
His active Word cut sharply through the sludge of my mind to unveil the new creation that I am – to myself. As the junk moved, the truth shined.
Christ’s power, mixed with the illuminating light of the Spirit, always uncovers truth.
Yesterday, I came doubtful, afraid and as spazzed as a kid on sugar, but through belief and ownership of his Word, I seized God’s renewing power for myself. I didn't see the enemy near. I didn't see my problems. I didn’t see trepidation. I didn’t see my regrets. I realized that the enemy cannot stand against one standing up.
I am a warrior for Jesus - and he doesn't need wimps, he needs fearless children unafraid to speak truth.
Who run to the tomb no matter the cost.
Who see a mission during their long wait for the Promised Land.
Who see the dead things around them and speak life into them.
We are these warriors.
Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
who trains my hands for war,
and my fingers for battle;
he is my steadfast love and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield and he in whom I take refuge,
who subdues peoples under me.
How can we be warriors when we sit downtrodden in cells of worthlessness and shame?
God has life-altering power ready to be poured out over us. Do we speak it like we believe it?
Lets us live in the purpose that Christ has already won for us.
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