Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Things God Has Been Showing Me

I was meeting with my accountability partner, Jill, yesterday and shared with her some things I wrote down not too long ago. I had wanted to make sure I didn't forget the insights I have received about myself because I don't necessarily want to have to be reminded again. I'd rather remember and, hopefully, change. She said that she could relate to a lot of them and thought putting them here on the blog would be a good idea because there might be others who understand and/or feel the same. So, if you happen to read this and can relate to anything, please let me know. Thanks!

1. I let fear keep me from doing what I ought to. Allowing fear to win is ultimately saying that I don't trust God to protect or provide for me. Fear is how Satan keeps me from being effective and powerful.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

2. I don't truly live in light of God's love for me. I don't fully grasp or understand his love. God loves me because he created me - he loves me because I am not because I do. I cannot do anything to cause God to love me more or less. He loves me so much that Jesus died for me. How do you love more than that?
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

3. God has forgiven me before I even seek forgiveness - that's what Jesus did. He offered forgiveness without knowing whether I would seek it. He loves me so much he is willing to do whatever it takes to be with me. He risks being rejected by me because he believes that the reward of my love is worth any and all humiliation.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son." But the father said to his servants, "Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." Luke 15: 20-24

4. I should be willing to risk it all for God because the possible reward is greater than any possible failure or humiliation. It is worth everything.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. I Peter 1:6-7

5. I struggle with making myself vulnerable in my relationships. I know that risking rejection allows for greater intimacy and is worth it but the fear still holds me back. I know that many relationships are not as deep as they could be because both people are hesitant to risk due to the fear of rejection.
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom all men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Isaiah 53:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

6. I struggle to give God control of all areas of my life. For example, I want a successful marriage but I act like I am solely responsible for that result. I try to do everything on my own and get frustrated when it doesn't seem to have an effect. I need to constantly and consistently give God the reigns and trust him to do what is needed.
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." Luke 9:23-24

7. I concern myself too much with what others think of me and not enough with what God thinks. I try to people please and receive acceptance of others rather than being honest about who I am, what I think, and what I want.
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

8. Why should I fear others learning of the sins of my past? Should it be so surprising that a sinner has sinned? What should be surprising are the sins I haven't committed, the ones God has protected me from. Proof of sin is not evidence that I do not love God. I do love him. I have repented of my sin. My sin is evidence that I need God - his mercy and grace. God knows my heart and knows that I don't want to sin, but the human state of being (weak flesh) has a propensity for sin. Thank God he continues to love me and show compassion toward me! What can man do to me? I know and admit to being a sinner. I have all the acceptance I need in Jesus Christ.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

9. For a long time I have been concerned/a little nervous about publishing the book I am working on because I know that I can't control who reads it and there is the possibility of many people I know reading it. I am concerned about what they will think of my past transgressions, though it shouldn't matter. We all have things we aren't proud of - who are we to judge others for their mistakes? I need to trust God that the risk is worth it and it's for his glory and purposes that this book is being composed.
In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? Psalm 56:4

P.S. - While I was writing my list, I felt the urge to supplement with scriptural truths. Hope it benefited the reading.

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