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Further Freedom from Shame

July 31st, 2017 Filed under Bible, Personal Comments Off on Further Freedom from Shame

Previously, shame was a real issue in my life. How it was manifested was in statements (some said out loud while sometimes only in my mind) like:

  • I am not good enough.
  • If they knew me they wouldn’t like me.
  • I have to earn my love from others.

I am so grateful that these lies don’t have free reign in my head any more. However, they will sometimes still crop up but now I pair them with the Truth.

  • I am not good enough but Christ in me makes me righteous.
  • If they knew me they wouldn’t like me…but really if they don’t like me after getting to know the real me do I even want them in my life?
  • I serve out of love not to earn their love.

In Hebrews 12, the Bible says that Jesus despised the shame and sat down at the right hand of the Father. He experienced shame but instead of taking the feeling and embracing it He despised it. Hated it. Repelled it. Rejected it. Gave it no value in His life. And then He just sat down.

One of the definitions of despise is a feeling of contempt for something. I, of course, had to look up contempt – and I am so glad I did. It means “the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn.” Do you see the connection…if I am to be like Jesus, I will despise the shame, consider it worthless, not even consider shame deserving of my time. It is like I am shaming the shame!

Back in 2013, I wrote about the beginning of the freedom that I experienced from the impact of  shame in my life…of unworthiness in my thoughts. But I think this recent revelation of Jesus despising the shame takes it to another level of freedom.

Shame is always from the enemy and not how God brings about sanctification in our lives so when shame comes I don’t need to analyze it, bow to it or even acknowledge it. I just need to scorn it and sit down at the right hand of the Father and maybe even crawl into His lap.

Powerful or Full of Power?

July 10th, 2017 Filed under Bible, Intentional Living, Personal Comments Off on Powerful or Full of Power?

Each year Forbes magazine ranks the world’s most powerful people. In 2016, this list included rulers of nations such as Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump; business moguls like Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos and even the Pope. These people control billions if not trillions of dollars (Bill Gates alone has a net worth of almost $90B.) They have the fate of millions of people in their hands. They tend to be authoritative, controlling, strong and even intimidating –don’t you have to be to be powerful?

A few Sundays back, I was worshiping at Lifeway Church where my friend, William Deagle was preaching. Something he said, which for the life of me I can’t remember, prompted me to write this question: Am I powerful or am I full of Power?

Unfortunately, very often and in so many different ways, I want to be powerful as the world sees it. I want to be in control. I want to tell people what to do. I want it my way. And if they just did it my way I wouldn’t have to be so bossy.

But the Lord gently reminded me that the first will be the last. If you want to be great, you must be a servant to all. I must be filled with the Power of the Holy Spirit and not my power. When I am filled with the Holy Spirit, I am approachable. I am meek (strength under control.) I am clothed with dignity and can laugh at the future. I am more concerned about the mission than I am about my position.

I am able to walk in all the fruit of the Spirit.

  • To love the unlovely.
  • To find joy in hard times.
  • To have peace in the chaos.
  • To be patient when things are not going my way.
  • To be kind to the cruel.
  • To be good when my flesh desires to be bad.
  • To be faithful in the midst of disloyalty.
  • To be gentle despite the pain.
  • To be self-controlled with my mouth.

Will these things that put me on Forbes most powerful person list? Probably not, but it is not man’s list that I am looking to be on.

His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” Matthew 25:21 (ESV)