“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” Romans 8:1
This is a truth that is easier thought than believed, am I right?
Shame is a horrible feeling to be trapped in.
As followers of Jesus, we sometimes struggle with feeling like we aren’t measuring up or we are losing the battle with the flesh. This happens when we get our eyes off of our Victor and onto ourselves and ‘our performance’. Next thing you know we’re nose diving into a pit of shame, discouragement and hopelessness.
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
Sometimes it’s the chaos of comparison that brings on these feelings of shame. We evaluate our Christian sister’s walk with the LORD and, instead of rejoicing with her, we covet her closeness with God. We can even grow jealous that she is experiencing the victory of abiding in Christ. Given time, these emotions transpire into thoughts of shame at how our walk is inadequate and we stew in a pit of grief which lends to strife. (Ahh, you’ve been there! And I thought it was only me.)
Recently I heard an acronym for the word S.H.A.M.E. If we believe this lie, shame tells us we:
Should Have Already Mastered Everything.
When was the last time you felt like you could have, would have, should have just mastered the Christian walk already and hung your head so discouraged that you were anything BUT victorious?
Do you remember that time well? Are you in the season of burden right now sweet sister? I feel your anguish. I’ve had that feeling revisit me just the other day.
This pity attack reminds me of when an onion gets peeled. Just when I think I’ve mastered holiness, God pulls back another layer and reveals some eye watering stink in my life that He wants to remove from me and replace with His glory and masterpiece of redemption.
Get ahold of this truth, friend: Christ Jesus is the ONLY One who has mastered holiness on our behalf. Apart from Him we can do nothing. (John 15:5)
1) We need a Savior!
2) God has provided Him!
3) Jesus gave it all!
4) What is your response?
Where is your focus? Is it on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Is He your hope? Or are you still wishing you had what it takes to pull it all together in your own power?
As painful and uncomfortable as this exposure of sin and pride can be, it’s a REALLY GOOD thing! Don’t be fooled. Our enemy hates it when God begins to lovingly transform our hearts to become more like His Son, Jesus. Enter in the best weapon Satan uses against people, the fiery dart of shame.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:10-17
The next time you covet someone’s giftedness or godliness, change it into a prayer of thanksgiving for how God alone has imparted His grace into their lives. It’s not about you. It’s not about me.
When you begin to give thought to the lie that God must be withdrawing His love from you because of your failures, you need to stop right there and admit that you are WRONG in that thinking because according to the scriptures…
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…” Ephesians 2:8
“…because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Hebrews 12:6
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
God is not finished with you yet! His love is miraculous and not like anything you can compare it to in this world.
Will you take Him at His Word?
Will you let Him swallow up your shame today?
“Father, We thank you for providing a Savior through Your One and Only Son, Jesus. He gave it all and today we need to give you ALL of our heart. There is stuff still in us that is selfish and prideful, but you can remove it as far as the east is from the west if we put our full trust in You alone and not in our strength. What an amazing gift You’ve given! The trouble is we get so prideful we can’t see clear enough to accept it and walk in it by faith. We’ve believed the lies the enemy has tempted us with. Would you restore our vision today and help us to zero in on the work of the Cross and the empty tomb? It is where our hope springs forth. Amen in Christ.”