I received this in an e-mail the other day: “God is not drawing you to a SPIRITUAL activity. He is drawing you to Himself, to a PERSONAL encounter! (Phil.3:10).
If I receive my self-worth from what I DO rather than who I AM in Jesus because of what he did on the cross, then it’s hard to keep an even keel because my self-esteem is constantly going up and down according to what people think of me, my job or ministry successes and failures and people’s estimation of me.
Even if you’ve got the greatest “ministry” in the world, your inner self-image may not align with how God sees you.
Right before I got this e-mail, I came across where Jesus was talking to the Pharisees in John 8:44, calling them “the offspring of your father, the devil.”
The word for devil in Greek means “slanderer-accuser” and the Aramaic word is akelqarsa or “adversary.” It’s taken from a root word that that means “to ridicule” or “to gnaw.” Man, did that ring a bell.
I’m becoming more and more aware that my thoughts about myself don’t line up with what Jesus says about me in the Bible. If you’re like me, you may be berating yourself mentally for this and that, so much so that it has become a habit you don’t even think about.
And once you start on that slippery slope, your emotions in tow, like an airplane in a downward spiral, it’s hard to pull up and out of a free-fall.
See, my emotions tag along with my thoughts; sometimes my emotions trigger my thoughts. When that happens, I’ve learned I have a wrong view of myself or God or both. Usually it’s both. And that’s where the enemy can really get a foothold because he doesn’t want me to know who I am in Jesus and he wants me to question God and doubt His love and that He wants the very, very best for me.
So I go to Jesus and bring this problem to Him and ask Him to help me “re-write” what has been written on my heart by life circumstances, what people say about me or how they’ve treated me.
It may not seem like it, but the hardest thing to do is to realize what your thought-patterns are because most of the time your thoughts and my thoughts are unconscious.
So it’s half the battle just recognizing our thoughts. Sometimes if I repeat a thought out loud, whether to myself or someone else, I can see how ridiculous it is when I hear it out loud.
Then it’s time to tighten the belt of truth (Ephesians 6) by saying out loud what God says about me. For example, “I am a child of God, born of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God which lives and abides forever.”
“I am the head and not the tail; I am above only and not beneath.” “I am fearless because God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
“I am seated with Christ in heavenly places.” “I am accepted in the Beloved.” “My sins are washed in the blood of Jesus.”
And I need to put on the breastplate of righteousness: “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.” Remember, and I’m preaching to myself here, I am who God says I am, not what my last mistake has been.
I make sure I am shod with the gospel of peace. My peace is not in how much money I make, my home, my success or popularity, who I’m married to, because all that can change in a heartbeat. My peace is because of Who lives in me, the Prince of Peace Himself, Jesus Christ. My peace is the peace that passes understanding.
And over all I lift up the shield of what the Amplified version calls “saving faith,” remembering that I am God’s, bought with a price, Jesus’s blood, making me forever His and in right standing with Him, and that this truth will “quench” all the flaming missiles of the wicked one. And I put on the helmet of my wonderful salvation and the sword of the Spirit, “which is the Word of God,” Ephesians 6 further says, followed by the advice to “pray on every occasion in every season in the Spirit with all manner of prayer and entreaty.”
When we start to recognize where our thoughts don’t line up with God’s Word and what He says about us and thwart them with a few verses of what God says about us, we’re well on our way to a more enjoyable and productive life.
And it’s a constant battle. But the cab of your truck is a good place to pray out loud in the Spirit and say these verses to yourself. When I’ve been doing this in my car I often notice an accident has been averted somewhere around me.
I’m just sayin.’
As always, be safe and God bless you and your family.