Bragging on the wonderous works of my God

Posts tagged ‘shame’

Beauty from Ashes

Don’t you wish that we could go through life and have it all together?  No mistakes, everything perfect?  Oh, yes…then we could walk around proud of ourselves and our accomplishments. We could hold our head high and in judgment of others who couldn’t do the same.

There’s a problem with that scenario.  It fills us with pride. God hates pride (Prov 8:13) We can do nothing without Christ. (John 15:5)  Nothing.

But what about our mistakes? Our blatant fall into sin?  Do you realize that Satan, our mortal enemy, has come to “kill, steal and destroy” (John 10:10) our lives?  So he’s tempted you into sinning over and over and over. You find yourself in the same pit.

Is God shocked? No. The wonderful thing about God is that He can take the most messed up life, redeem it and transform it into something beautiful.

He has redeemed my life. Oh, I have some epic failures that I am not proud of at all. I could walk around in shame.  That is exactly what Satan wants us to do.  He wants to cripple us.  If you are wounded and disabled, you are no threat to him. But, if you allow God to take that failure and make you a walking testimony of forgiveness and love beyond measure, you are then a threat to Satan. He will try to discredit you. He will try to knock you down. He won’t quit.

BUT…

My strength comes from the Lord. (Ps. 121:2). 

…My strength is made perfect in weakness…. (II Cor 12:9)

…for when I am weak, then I am strong… (II Cor 2:10)

Because I am weak, I am made strong in Christ. I don’t avoid things in my life because I am strong, it is because I know my weaknesses.

From man’s perspective, “on paper”…my life is an epic “fail.”  But, the wonderful part of being a child of God is that I don’t have to life my life from man’s flawed perspective.

Jesus Christ has restored my dignity. He has given me beauty from ashes.  (Is. 61:3)

He can do the same for you.

 

 

Overanalyze it?

Do you find yourself overanalyzing things?  I do.  Sometimes that’s a good thing and other times, it is just wasted energy. 

The other day as I walked out of a room and back into it, my dog wagged her tail as if I had been gone a long time. She was happy to see me.  It made me think about how God sees us.  I heard a pastor one time say that when we wake up, God is delighted to see us.  He loves us so much that He wants to spend time with us.  Some people are going to take this wrong but let me preface this by saying that the things God created gave us glimpses of His glory and I’m using this as that.  I am not saying that God is like a dog.  I am saying to open your mind and see Him as the loving God that He truly is.

No matter how bad I feel, no matter how bad I look, no matter how bad my breath is…my dog loves me.  She doesn’t care if my hair is messy or if I am wearing make-up. She doesn’t seem to notice. She wags her tail happily as I come into the room and licks my face whenever she can get to it.  I accept that love without question.  Do we accept the agape love from God that He so freely gives us as easily as we do from one of our pets?

How many of us are “hiding” in shame from God because of who we are inside?  Do you realize you cannot “hide” from God?  He knows every intimate detail of your life.  HE created it! He sees everything you do in secret.  He knows your inmost thoughts.  Yet, in spite of all of that, He loves you anyway.  It has NOTHING to do with what you have or haven’t done.  It is who HE is.  He IS love.  He cannot deny Himself. 

He loved us so much that He died a horrible death to redeem us back from sin. 

How many times have you been told “God loves you” and you blew it off?  The love that we share with another soul on this planet pales in comparison to how He feels about you and me.  If we were the only one on this planet, He would have died for us.  He loves us that much.  LET Him love you. I was born and raised in a Christian home.  But it wasn’t until I went through Henry Blackaby’s “Experiencing God” that I realized that I was not “letting” God love me.  I remember when the light bulb went off in my mind, I just cried.  I took the wall to my heart down.  It is a shame and totally about pride when you don’t think you are good enough. God hates pride.

Look at the intricate way you are put together.  Do you really think that happened by chance?  Look at creation and how it works together and has been going and keeps going every day.  The sun doesn’t move out of place.  We have just the right amount of oxygen in our atmosphere not to kill us.  Our God is an awesome God.  He is everywhere all at once. 

Have you ever sat and just studied a cat?  The way the fur grows, all of the colors, how some fur stops at a certain length, how their heads almost do a one-eighty degree turn, the sandpaper tongue…yet you will not find two exactly alike. You will never find two snowflakes alike or two leaves.  Have you ever seen a classroom full of kids draw? Nobody draws the same thing.  Each person is individually created and designed purposefully by God.  God has an amazing, indescribable, unfathomable imagination. 

Sometimes I think about all of the people since the beginning of time that have been created and wonder how He could love and want a relationship with that many people.  My finite mind cannot comprehend some of the great truths of Scripture. 

We see glimpses of God in everything on this earth.  He has given us emotions, just as He has, but only a taste.  We were not given a full dose because we cannot handle it.  One day when we are gone from earth and are living with the Lord, we’ll see everything in the spiritual realm as it truly is.  One TV commercial that comes to mind as an analogy is about an allergy medication.  The screen is not really clear.  It has a film over it.  When you take that medication, the film disappears and you see brilliant colors and everything so clearly.  Even the apostle Paul says that right now we see in a mirror dimly but one day we will see Him just as He is and we will be like Him. 

I spend a lot of time lost in thought pondering the Word and the wonder of God.  It is sometimes during those quiet moments that He gives me a glimpse of Himself.  I love it when He does that!  As a child of God, I think it is OK to overanalyze things.  God is very deep.  He said in His Word that we will find Him when we seek Him with all of our heart.  Are you seeking God today?

Transparency

How “real” are you?  Are you fake in public and let your hair down at home?  If so, why?  Are you scared to let others in?

I’ve posed a lot of questions today but I wanted you to start thinking.  If you are afraid to be who you are in public, then you need some healing from God.  He knows who you are inside and out, every thought, every breath.  Nothing is kept secret from Him.  Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.  This fear that you have of opening up to others and sharing yourself could be shame, low self-esteem or just plain pride.  Jesus took away your shame, if you have accepted Him as Lord and Savior of your life.  If you are depending on anyone other than God for your self-esteem, you are going to be disappointed.  And finally, pride is a sin.  Confess it, get over it and move on.

Let’s camp on shame for a moment.  I’ve done a multitude of things in my lifetime that have shamed me and my God. But you know what?  I’ve taken them to Him, confessed and repented and He said he would forgive me and I believe that.  I can walk into church with my head held high because my Heavenly Father loves me.  I don’t care what someone else thinks about me.  The only one that matters is God.  He is the one that I am going to have to answer to for my actions and thoughts.  The people on this planet judge from the exterior.  They don’t know your heart, but the Father does.  He judges motive. 

I can’t tell you how freeing it is to walk into a room of strangers and NOT CARE what they think about me!  I used to be so ashamed of my looks, my past and that I was not a “success” in the world’s eyes.  It was crippling. 

Now, I’m not going to say that it doesn’t sting when you get “slapped” by someone because they misjudged your motive.  I’m not saying that at all.  We are still human, after all, and our feelings get hurt.  It’s normal.  But, there is a HUGE difference when you can take it to the Lord and let Him handle it.  It’s freedom to live as He intended us to live.  He did not intend for us to carry around guilt and shame.  He wants us to live in peace and joy.  He is the only One who can give that to us in the midst of turmoil.  Happiness is completely circumstantial and someone can say something unkind and you can lose your happiness.  Joy is from God.  I find that when I am in the midst of turmoil, I still have that inner peace.  I know it is from Him.  It gives me unspeakable joy and I sing.  Singing lifts my heart  and the enemy is forced to listen and then they know they have not won. 

We have a multitude of witnesses upon our lives in the spiritual realm.  I keep that in mind at all times and I have always had a tendency to talk to “myself.”  But deep down, I know that I am not talking to myself.  The Lord hears me and the angels in my midst are also listening and watching. 

Do you realize the grace that has been given us?  GRACE is God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.  Think deeply on this one.  The laws of nature were created by God. They do not change. The sun doesn’t randomly decide it wants to go to another galaxy.  The trees don’t decide they want to sit down and pout for a while because they stand too much.  The angels, demons, all of creation and even Satan himself has to obey God.  We are the only ones with a choice; a free will.  I am curious why He allows us to do what we want, with consequence of course. Some things are just so deep that I ponder them often.  That is one that I guess I won’t completely understand until I get to Heaven and meet my Savior.  I am certainly looking forward to that day and I hope you are, too!

Be blessed in the Lord!

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