Nancy Arant Williams
If you’re like me, you’ve sat under sound Christian teaching for years and yet have struggled to see yourself as God sees you.
And do you know why? Because all our lives, we have heard thousands of spoken and unspoken, even subtle messages that say, “Who do you think you are? You’re nobody. You’re powerless. Look at your life. You’ll never change.” And on and on it goes.
In fact, most of us use self-talk in the same way, thousands of times a day, chastising ourselves for our lack of perfection. We say things like, “Oh, man. Look what I just did,” or, “I can’t believe I could’ve been so stupid,” and my personal favorite, “It’s a good thing my head is tightly attached or I would’ve left it behind today.”
We are, as you can see, programmed to cycle into failure.
Our parents told us “no” when we were small, hopefully to protect us, but many of us internalized the “I can’t” messages of our past, so they still affect us today, dragging us down even as we mature.
The truth is, God never expected us to be perfect. He knows we are “but dust,” and yet He cherishes us and longs for intimacy with us. The truth is, if we walk in powerlessness and discouragement, we have believed a lie. And I will venture to say we call God a liar, by refusing to grasp hold of the truth that we are now new creatures in Christ Jesus. We who believe on His name are no longer who we used to be. In fact, He says these things about us:
“You are more than a conqueror through Him who loved you.” (Rom. )
“You will do greater things than Christ.” (John 14:12)
“You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.” (Phil. 4:13)
“You are the apple of my eye.” (Deut. 32:10)
“I delight in you.” (Ps. 16:3)
“You are my beloved who walks in faith. With you I am well pleased.” (Heb. 11:5-6)
“You have power, love and a sound mind.” (I Tim. 1:7)
“I have anointed you to preach good tidings to the meek, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, to open the prison doors to those who are bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, to comfort all that mourn.” (Is. 61:1)
“The Lord thy God, in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save. He will rejoice over thee with love, he will joy over thee with singing. (Zeph. 3:17)
“Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon Thee.” (Is. 60:1)
“You shall be like a watered garden, and like the spring of water, whose waters fail not.” (Is. 58:11)
“If you delight yourself in the Lord, He will cause you to ride on the high places of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob.” (Is. 58:14)
“You shall be like a tree, planted by the rivers of water, whose leaf shall not wither, and whatsoever you do shall prosper.” (Ps. 1)
“Ask what you will and it will be done unto you.” (Matt. 7:7)
“Ask Me, and I will give you nations.” (Ps. 2:8)
If we go back to the Old Testament, we see that He responded to His kids at the Exodus, as Pharoah chased them toward their deaths. In response to their cries God parted the sea so they could escape then drowned their pursuers.
God can’t wait to run to our aid. He promises to run to the cries of His beloved. Over and over in His Word, God demonstrates that we are limited only by our own faith or lack of it.
In order to break through, break out of our “old man,” we need to take God at His word. We must break away from the old tradition of seeing ourselves as worms and see ourselves as those exalted, fellow heirs of Christ. Jesus died, took our beating 2000 years ago so we no longer have to beat ourselves up over our imperfections.
God wants us to see that even the sky is not the limit when we are firmly resting on God’s incredible, unfailing love. Saturate yourself in the love of God. Bask in it, wallow in it, and refresh yourself in it. This is the secret place where you will be healed, lifted up and freed to fly above the storms.
And lest you worry about pride sneaking in, realize that we have nothing over which to boast, except that we are miraculously, endlessly loved by the very God who created all things. A humbling experience indeed.
When we finally grasp the fact that we are already approved, loved, set apart, cherished, and empowered, by the One who loves us most, we will be utterly and permanently transformed.
I challenge you to try this experiment.
Stand in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eyes, smile and with passion, repeat these words:
I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
He puts a new song of praise in my mouth.
I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me.
I am the apple of His eye, and He delights in me.
I am the beloved of God.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I am not who I used to be, but a brand new creature in Christ.
I am forgiven, and God has long forgotten things I refuse to let go. Therefore, I will no longer bring them up, but loose them.
I am changed by the renewing of my mind, replacing my old messages with the new and powerful words of anointing God says about me.
I will not fear, but will believe God in every situation.
I will stand on His promises, and refuse doubt and depression, because they are lies from the pit.
I will rejoice in the Lord, for He is the strength of my life.
My God sings a song of joy over me.
I will comfort myself in the truth of His Word that says He is my provider, my protector, my victory and my hope for the future.
I will abide in the Lord, believing Him for every good thing He wants me to have, the fruits of the spirit, the power that comes with living in His very presence, and the faith to believe for the impossible. For scripture says those who waiver and doubt will get nothing.
I will praise God with passion, yearning after Him, no longer satisfied with simply going through the motions, for only then will He hear my cry, and pour out His spirit on me.
I will wait upon the Lord, anxious to hear His voice and obey, ready in season and out of season to minister to those who need to hear and be encouraged.
If you’re like me, you struggled to say, let alone believe, these words. When I began to encourage myself with these words, I wept, touched to my very core. But as I believed them, knitting them deep into my heart, my wounded soul began to heal, and I could envision God touching those old scars and transforming them into baby soft skin.
scripture says these words are true, and the more we speak them into our own lives, telling ourselves the truth, the more we’ll be transformed by the life-changing power of God’s love.
I for one am tired of mustering up the energy to live in my flesh. And the struggle won’t get easier as I age. So today is the day I claim my birthright, my heritage. It’s already mine, and yours. All we have to do is claim it and live as if it were true. Because it is.
Copyright© 2012, Nancy Arant Williams | Webpage by: Cheryl |