Did you ever stop to consider why it is the devil comes down so hard on you to convince you who you 'used to be' when you finally begin to believe just who you are in Christ Jesus? He isn't going to be happy when we figure out we are new creations and no longer who we 'used to be', but will use every opportunity to convince us who we were is really what we still are. Where we grow up, who we are surrounded with as we grow up, what we face in the way of encouragement or negative feedback - all these things make up who we believe ourselves to be and what we believe we are 'worth'. We could have been told we are really 'nothing', but God declares us to be 'everything' - but it can take us a long time to realize this. Inadequate, worthless, shameful, insecure - do these words ring true for any of you? They are the words we often hear in our moments of personal doubt and frustration. When we feel inadequate, we oftentimes over-compensate by trying hard to impress someone in our lives - living for the approval of people instead of living from the approval of God. God chose each of us to be part of his family - each of us are given gifts - even when we don't believe what we 'possess' is any form of a 'gift'.Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life emerges! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you. (2 Corinthians 5:17-20)
We all have a life message - we are called to live out that message. When we start to live like who we are now in Christ, the devil will be there to tell us who we are NOT. He will remind us of every place in our lives where we fall short of the glory of God in our lives. The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy - those are his three actions in this earth. Steal our joy and hope. Kill our desires and beliefs. Destroy our faith and freedom. Why? He doesn't want us to ever believe we are 'anything' in Christ. He wants us to live out of the discouragement of our hurts - the hurts of the past. He wants us to live in the shame of our past choices - because as long as we do, we are bound to our past and will never enjoy the freedom of our present path in Christ Jesus. If you have had to hit bottom before you ever looked up to find your freedom in Christ, don't let your enemy pull you back into that pit again - you never belonged there in the first place! You don't belong there now!
The enemy of our souls wants us to think we are 'nothing', but God declares us to be 'everything'. Let that sink in a bit - 'everything' is the farthest thing from 'nothing'. He wants us to live out of our hurt - but God wants us to live of our extreme HOPE - the hope we have in Christ Jesus. We are dead to sin - alive in Christ. As such we are alive - new in Christ Jesus - all things old are gone and all things are made new. We are called to better things that our past may have us believing, but when we let go of those 'limiting lies' of our past, we begin to realize just how free we are live in the newness we are called into - no longer bound by the brokenness of our past. Don't live out of the hurts of your past - let God take who you are today (in him) and use it to begin to live out the good works he has prepared in advance for you to do. You may not think that is possible, all because of your past, but IN CHRIST JESUS, all things are possible - even to see yourself as he sees you. No longer seeing yourself as your past declares about you - but seeing yourself as he sees you. Perfect, whole, beautiful, and full of grace. Just sayin!
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