Spiritual Growth

Remembering who you are

LionMirror4

I’m not sure about you, but I have days when I am confident, hopeful and rocking and rolling in a groove and then I have days where, well, I am not confident, hopeful or rocking and rolling yet alone in a groove.  I find on the not so good days I have forgotten who I am!  See, I am a Child of the Most High God.  I am blessed and highly favored and my God is with me, empowering me, guiding me and protecting me.  That is the truth, so I’m working on more consistently operating from this truth.  I was combing through my “God” articles file and I found the writing below from 2009.  I cleaned it up a bit and I’m posting it now to help myself and you remember our true identity in Jesus Christ!

The apostle Paul wrote a huge portion of the New Testament. In nearly every single book that he wrote Paul’s opening verses state with clarity and authority who he is.  Check out a few verses from a book he wrote called Galatians.

 Galatians1:1 This letter is from Paul, an apostle.  I was not appointed by any group of people or any human authority, but by Jesus Christ himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead.

 Galatians 1:10 Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God.  If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

 Galatians 1:15 But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace.  Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good news about Jesus to the Gentiles.

 Do you hear Paul’s clarity?  Paul is clear about who he is and why.  He is clear about who God is and who his Son is.  Nothing grey here.  Paul has amazing clarity of who he is despite his own dark past. Paul really knew how to be a good Jew! He was a Priest and very highly educated. Perhaps because of his knowledge, Paul knew only too well how difficult following the law was and how easy sin is! Paul, prior to God divinely showing him that Jesus was the messiah was a persecutor of Christians. He was one of the prime influences for the stoning of Stephen. Paul says this about himself:

 Galatians 1:13…I violently persecuted God’s church.  I did my best to destroy it.

Paul sees both who he was and who he now is! Recently I read the following statement:“We see ourselves through our past and God sees us through our future”.  Does Paul seem guilt ridden or hindered by his past?  Does he sound like he’s nervous about how people will see him or accept him in his new role as an apostle because of his past? Absolutely not.  Does Paul place his identity in his past or in his present and future? Paul has clarity and knows he has a past but he sees himself as God sees him – through his future!!  Why? Because Paul lives in the truth of who he is and whose he is.  He is a child of the one true God, saved by Jesus, his sins are forgiven, eternal life guaranteed, Holy Spirit received.

 Gods’ word is full of promises for us, and statements about who we are because of Jesus.  God’s word is our truth and our reality. God’s word tells us our future. If we would just begin to ask God to help us comprehend this we could begin to know who we are with the same kind of clarity that Paul demonstrates in the verses mentioned above!

“Now with God’s help, I shall become myself.”  Soren Kierkegaard

 My prayer is that God will keep showing us through His word, who He is, and who we are in Him. I pray that the Holy Spirit will lead us and teach us God’s word so we can know whose we are and who we are at all times! Not just intellectually, but into the very DNA of our being. I pray that we can let go of our past identity and fully embrace the new identity that Jesus purchased on the cross for us.  I pray that in each moment of our life, we will have the same confidence and clarity that Paul expresses in Galatians as we move ever forward into the marvelous future God has planned for us since before we were born.

Spiritual Growth, Uncategorized

Winning over discouragement

Discouragement.  Not one of the more fun human emotions is it?

Joshua 1:9 says, “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged.  For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Boy, that verse makes it sound easy huh?

We become discouraged when we begin to lose hope.  Discouragement leads to fear (false evidence appearing real) and to doubt ( in self, in others, in God).  Discouragement, fear and doubt are created when we color in options and outcomes for situations and circumstances that have not yet happened.

Discouragement is when we start to believe that God’s purposes and ways are too difficult or don’t make sense to us, His promises seem too late and His power seems to weak.

Discouragement is when we begin to doubt who God is, what He is capable of and how powerful He really is.  Discouragement is when we begin to count on self more than God. Discouragement is when we don’t remember what God has done for us in the passt.

So, how do we win over discouragement?

1.  Remember – remember what God has done for you in the past.  Remember the circumstances or condition you were in and what God did in His power on your behalf.

2.  Read and accept and pound into your brain the Truth in God’s Word. (Yes, I have to pound things into my brain sometimes and I’m thinking and hoping you are a bit like me!)

3.  Remember that discouragement, fear and doubt are all emotions that are not grounded in truth, but are grounded in lies.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (msg)

Trust God from the bottom of your heart.  Don’t try to figure everything out on your own.  Listen for God’s voice in everything you do and everywhere you go.  He’s the one who will keep you on track.

Psalms 18:30 (nlt)

God’s way is perfect.  All the Lords’ promises prove true.  He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection.

Isaiah 26:2 (nlt)

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You.