Learning Joy In Rejection

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I’ve told the story before about a giraffe named Gerald who dreams of being a dancer with the other animals in the jungle.  Gerald has the desire but his ability to dance like the others isn’t quite up to par.  His knees are crooked and his legs are thin.  All the other animals mock him when he approaches the jungle dance floor.  His swagger  (as they say in jungle-eeze) isn’t zig-zaging like the others.

Gerald took lessons, studied the moves, more grooves, and eventually developed his own style. One day, on jr.audition day, Gerald showed up prepared to zig and zag in a confident direction.  After many hours on the dirt floor, he perfected a secret move all his own and still wasn’t chosen.

As he lumbered off in a dejected fashion, the lonely lanky spotted giraffe felt rejection from his “wanna-be’s”.  Downcast, he met up with his cricket friend who chirped “Gerald, you just need a different song.” Gerald’s heart lightened a little as he took the cricket’s advice.  He retreated to his own little jungle corner to let his heart dance free.

Soon, Gerald was prancing and sashaying once again.

Suddenly, a crowd gathered in amazement and recognized Gerald could dance after all.  All he needed was his own little space be brave and bold, freedom to unleash his rhythm by the light of the moon.

It might seem strange to you to tell you I think about Gerald often.  I know how this kind of rejection feels.  What the story doesn’t tell you is Gerald had a lot of doubt going into dancing.  So much doubt he wanted to give up.  He wanted to do anything else instead of dancing.  Gerald also had a big heart to teach others to dance but he couldn’t lead out because he felt unqualified.

The story didn’t mention how Gerald was faithful to his craft.  There were lots of practices he only watched from the outlying and surrounding undergrowth as the other animals gracefully swayed.  Gerald watched in wonder at their magical skill.  He longed to be included and seen by them.  But shamefully, self-doubt kept coming against him.  Opposition came in the jeers and taunts of his so-called friends.  Provocation came from his inner critic.  He was discouraged and just wanted to give up.

Why does this story move me so much?  It has a happy ending like most children books do and Gerald found the courage to recover a dream.  For me, it also speaks of how we should never give up uncovering who God created us to be.  If you are honest with yourself, wouldn’t you admit you want to belong somehow?

The search for purpose sometimes leads a person to unexpected places.  Michael Hyatt says to do “what makes you cry” in life.  What I’ve found so far is dreams are full of hard work and lots of practice.  There’s lots of pieces to making a dream work.  There’s even more work to get someone to notice your dance in a jungle full of excellent dancers.

So why should we try?  If Micheal Hyatt were here now I would ask him, “What’s the point?”  It doesn’t matter if you are a musician or not, please watch Victor Wooten’s talk. His lessons about life, success, creativity, learning, passion, permission and smiling are profound.

In using my creative confidence, I still have some lessons to learn.  Like Gerald, my dance doesn’t look like others, but mine is a worthy and weighty move .  I have also learned to not lean on feelings but to dance anyway.  Taking action on an idea requires applied practice and a dedication to stay the course.  Dancing takes courage, skill, and ability.  It takes guts to put your best foot forward.  It’s risky, hard and you may lose.  But… you will never know discovery unless you try.  It’s never to late to be what you might have been.

What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.

Speaking metaphorically, life is a dance.  We all have a unique design made by a God without rival.  And when an incomparable God has placed His uniqueness within, it’s our best response to practice and sing in the octave He gave you.  There’s no two dancers the same, each are unique in every way.  And finally, God just loves it I show up for practice, even with my deficiencies.

So where are you in this dancer’s world?

When You Need a Reminder

names of God

I quickly wrote a note in my little notebook for thoughts, the one I carry with me at all times just in case, as not to forget something important.  Earlier I had been talking to God about a turnaround in my life.  It occured to me God never turns around.

He doesn’t need to, but we do.  (Turnaround wasn’t what I wrote down however) 

The Bible is full of stories and reminders of who God is.  It lists many names of God as He is known by those who walk in relationship with Him.  Some names are hard to pronounce and many we don’t talk about.  I found a list of them in my Bible and it reminded me I don’t use them all near enough.

So I was praying for a turnaround in my perspective to see God in a new way.  Often don’t we view God from our own limited perspective?  I will go first and say I do.  I forget He’s got the panoramic view set on our lives.  I forget He holds all the details in our lives safe and secure in such a timely and orderly manner.

Recently, I boarded the Atlantis simulator at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida.  I remembered how God keeps my world on it’s axis. There’s a God who cares when my world goes off kilter and wants to set things back into a right perspective.

We have a God who cares and I don’t want to forget.

He holds panaramic view my world, and I stood back (well actually strapped back at high G-forces) and remembered His amazing creativity and endless pursuit in my own life.  But then it hit me once again, He hadn’t moved and I’ve been the one who been on the run.  So why is this such an “aha” moment?

I realized once again of God, that He doesn’t have “aha” moments.

It took a jolt like a g-force to remember God’s power, or rather to remind me of a powerful and effective way to live is to remember who God is over the things I tend to forget.  You see, often when growing in our faith we forget where we have come from or how much we have grown, and tend to just think of ourselves as one who needs a TON more positive changes.

God reminded me my walk with Him was just where He wanted me to be.  (Confession: I want to jump ahead to the mountain top moments full of “aha” moments and skip the valleys where the real reminders are learned).

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve not arrived but still have overcome a lot of strongholds in my life.  Those hindrences used to hold me back and keep me at a distance from God’s best.  So what’s the big deal about “Aha” moments with God or what catches us by surprise?

The note I wrote was “What if I remembered who God is instead of what I’ve forgotten.” I often find myself remembering what I have forgotten, instead of all He has delivered me from.  When I am grateful for the freedom He has brought into my life I am reminded of God’s providence.  When I affirm God’s over arching good character, He has a way of affirming His good character in my lifeline.

Remembering the goodness of God is definitely a good thing.  He keeps my world spinning right.  I must forget the wrong things which tend to lead me astray.  I want to remember His good words to me over the lies I tend to believe about me.  I want to remember how He’s changed me and my life for the better, not what I have lost in the overcoming.

Someone once said, “You learn by doing.”  I think I’ll remember the doing of God in my life over my “undoing” to get to where I am.  When you focus on your wrongs, it tends to have a negative affect on your life.  When you focus on the positives, it builds up your self-esteem and character.  Not in a puffed up kind of way but in an honorable way.  The benefits of His becoming real and evident in life helps you walk taller, be kinder, live intentionally and love, the most positive way.

When you remember the good, it helps.  When I remember God, I’m reminded I must increase my perspective and I must decrease my small thinking.  When I remember who God is then I am reminded who I am.  When I know who I am, then I know how to live.  When I live with focus on the positives I can help others remember who God is and what He has done for all of us.

Let’s all remember God more, and forget the former things to make more space for Him to set our worlds back in line with Him, renew our perspective on what life is all about, define our purpose and add some g-force to our minds to see Him more clearly.  The most important thing to remember is:  because of Jesus, remember God is a matter of enjoyment. May our relationship with Him not be settled around issues of conflict, pain, sin and sacrifice but around freedom, celebration and delight.

Yes, God is our deliverer and saves us from trouble. But before all those wonderful things, He is our friend, our Father, our good, good Pappa. This connection is rooted in pleasure of intimacy through a one on one relationship. He is a wonder to behold, a power to be feared, a mystery to be explored but chiefly He is a person to be loved.  I want to remember how to love Him like He loves me.

Yes, let’s all remember God.  And don’t forget to strap in, it’s a wild ride!

When You Need To Let Go

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Recently I’ve backed off of my running habit for about 6 weeks as a result from my left hip shifting out of place.  There was a part of me that wondered if I would ever run again.  The pain was so intense that I wanted to just give up.  I was also afraid that if I returned to the road that a re-injury would occur. So I choose to rest the habit for a while and return when I had given myself some time to heal.

During this time, I lost my drive to try.  All I recall was how much running or even walking hurt.  I wanted to protect myself from pain.  Thankfully, over time, the drive returned and I overcame the fear, encouraged myself, embraced the process and tried again.

I talked myself into pushing through it.  There were many days I only walked but felt like I could handle a little more pain.  I had my hips adjusted and let my body heal more.   Yesterday it happened that I broke through a threshold of pain to run free.  I wasn’t calculating the pain, counting the cost nor considering the toll it would take upon me later.  I just pressed through the ache to run.

It was marvelously liberating to bring change in my perspective.  Often we look at changes as painful or from a place of fear when really it only takes a different run at the process.

This can go as deep as you want to take it, as far as success, failures, motivations, growth and destiny.

It’s the same with our spiritual walk with God.  This is not a race but a journey where sometimes changes come slow and steady, sometimes it’s an immediate turnaround.  Both perspectives matter, but the process is important.  Some are heart painful, other changes only need a few small tweaks.  The perspective of the process is termed by God as pruning in John 15.

When you think of pruning, you understand it’s needed to get rid of a bad habit or something that is non-producing.  But who of you would would be first in line when a good thing needs to be cut?  How about several great things?  How can cutting several good producing branches be seen as a benefit?  Some great questions that need a different perspective.

I have always thought of pruning in a negative sense as cutting out a dead place that needs to go or something that is painful.  Think how hard it is to let go of a tree which is still producing fruit.  How do you decide which branch to prune, for the benefit of the whole orchard?  Intentional focus is an important part of producing, bearing fruit  and must take on a strategy.

Pruning could be termed as training, practice, or correction of a habit. God is changing my perspective of cutting and training of habits.  I am learning to bear more patience with change and transitions, and bear through the pains in the process.  I still have a lot of grace to realize in this to help me find freedom in the pain.

As believers, we are changed little by little to reflect Jesus as we let go of those non-producing branches.  But also in the process, there are some good branches that might be caught up in the cutting.  It’s okay to let them go as well.  Remember not every branch should be a fruit bearing branch, some are supportive for strength or a preparation to the fruit production.

It’s all about your perspective really.  It’s painful to remove good parts of our lives for the good of the whole.  We can’t see that something good causes damamge or pain until it’s removed.  Often those branches need to go for the greater good, and it’s often to prevent a deeper pain or futrther damage in the future.  God sees our harvest and knows how many bushels of fruit that He wants to bear in your life.  He also sees the non-producing branches that need to be cut and those which are weighing us down, or will do so in the future.  He sees our greatest good from His best perspective.

Consider the greater good of change, pruning and training.  Even though sometimes painful, from God’s point of view it’s always for THE greater good considering THE bigger picture of perfection of our lives.  Even if we can’t see it right now, you must  keep training, practicing, or pressing through the aches and growing pains.  Be teachable.  There’s fruit to bear, and a potential harvest of goodness awaits on the other side of your growth.

Knowing God’s Will In Five Easy Steps

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Is it possible to know God’s will?  Do you recognize when an opportunity is really “yes” by God?  In a recent chat with a friend over coffee, we discussed the courage needed to walk through a door that God was opening.  How can you tell for certain that God has giving a green light or a red for “don’t go!”

“You have a green light until God turns it red.  Go until God says, “No.” Pretty Simple, really!”  ~ Graham Cooke.  Do you agree or disagree?

The Bible gives us some helps to encourage us in faith leaps.  There are ways to know God’s will.

1. His “yes” will keep in you in church.  If an opportunity takes you away from attending church, you can be certain it’s not God leading you away.  God’s Word tells us not to neglect meeting together for worship (Hebrews 10:25).   You don’t need the four walls to worship, but you DO need to remain connected to other believers to be encouraged in faith and unity to build up the body of Christ.

2.  His “yes” will keep you in His Word.  He won’t lead you to fail nor abandon you to go it alone.  His “yes” would never result in a personal compromise or cause you to be disobedient.  His “yes” would never go against what has been promised.  God can’t lie, or contradict Himself.  Now, the devil twists the truth, and tries to get you to doubt what you carry.  The enemy is out to steal, kill and destroy and he dislocates your ability to be used by God.  Plus he will do anything to get you to doubt that you are hearing God right!   Don’t shrink back in fear! (2 Timothy 1:7)

3. His “yes” will keep you close to Him.  We have such a relational God and knows every one of our personal details.  His “yes” always requires more of Him to accomplish and faith to experience Him in a bigger way.  If God is calling you to do something, it will never be outside of His will for you.  Many times that looks like we are being stretched and strengthed.   God is not going to give you something that will alienate you from Him or lead you to believe that you no longer need him. Hebrews 11:6 says: “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him.”

4.  His “yes” will line up with the gifts He put inside of you.  God will equip you to what He has called you to do.  Never forget that He is the best skills trainer we know.  And that means letting Him develop what He has put inside of you.  You were made in His image, and our creative God loves to have His way with you.  Often that requires us to step outside our comfort zone to discover the God-given abilities He has crafted on the inside (Ephesians 2:10).  When things get tough (and they will) remember God measures not by man’s standards, but God looks at the heart, and sees you with His heart of love.

5.  His “yes” will always be a “yes”.  We have a good, good Father who is always on your side and in a good mood.  If you ever thought He was out to get you, punish you, or spank you, well…you have a skewed picture of who loves you.  His “yes” is His will for you and when you sense that this is “too good to be true” remember Luke 1:37 ” For nothing is impossible with God.”  Remembering the context of this promise to Mary, the mother of Jesus, she was found highly favored and annointed to be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world!.  That was her chosen role in the history of Christ, and her purpose and destiny.  God has the same important role for you to carry too!  What looks impossible is possibly setting you up for a miracle!

Many times an “yes” from God is often missed because of fear.  We make decisions on two ideas according to Dr. Caroline Leaf, either faith or fear.  I choose faith, although sometimes I miss the mark too, it’s the goal of God to grow us and carry Christ-likeness.

Micah 6:8 says it simply, “He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you except to be just, and to love [and to diligently practice] kindness (compassion), And to walk humbly with your God [setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness].” (AMP)  

Remember His “yes” works FOR you!  God’s grace goes before each one of us and faith always trumps fear!

When You Compare

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Pinning your hearts on what the world says about you instead of believing what God says about you is damaging.  The world is a twisted version of what God intended and it takes a relationship with the One who made you to live from His approval of you.  Your worth was worth dying for by Jesus.  You might think this sounds cliché, but it’s true.  Your identity was sealed on the day of your accepting that there is a better way in Jesus.  So why do we compare ourselves with others or with ourselves?

It’s dangerous, and full of pride.  Don’t go there!

  1. Comparisons kill. 2 Corinthians 10:12 says, “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.”  It’s not a good practice to measure yourself to the standards of man. That makes you a fool!
  2. Comparisons destroy humility. “We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or clever, or better-looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking, there would be nothing to be proud about.” ~ C.S. Lewis.  Comparing only measures where you fall short, or fail at something, again foolish and that’s a poverty mindset!
  3. Comparison fools our focus. When you compare you are fooling yourself, allowing resentfulness and bitterness take root in your life.  The road to entitlement is a slippery slope often bypassing gratefulness and contentment.  “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. ” Philippians 4:11-12.

Remember Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God loves you, and has chosen you to be His child before the foundations of the world were created.  Accept that He made you to be you!  You have been given a unique and purpose!

God doesn’t compare His children, so why do you?  Knowing who are in Christ is also knowing who you don’t have to be.

Think of your life like this:  You are an apple tree seed, designed to bear a certain kind of apple.  In a sense, the tree is already in the seed; God put it there.  The seed is the glory of God that is divinely placed, your potential.  Before the apple seed can realize its full potential and become an apple tree it must be planted in the proper environment where it can be nurtured and cared for.  When all the conditions are right – fertile soil, irrigation, the proper climate and the plenty of sunshine—the seed will sprout and produce a tree.  That is the way God designed you, the tree, and the fruit is your glory with crisp, juicy apples.  The apple seed will “become” a fruit-bearing tree, and the kind of fruit that God intended it to be.

You are uniquely you with a God placed vision for your life!   God has made you with His glory inside and He always sees beyond the obvious!  He looks past what is to what can be.  God has planted in us dreams, ideas, passions, imagination, creativity and hope.  These things require the right environment in order to flourish and come to fruition.   Choices we make every day affect both the environment in which we live and breathe and grow.  How we spend our time, our money, how we feed our bodies, the ideas and images that fill our minds form books, movies, or the internet…all of them have an effect on our “trees”!   So don’t compare your tree, patterns of behavior or imitate any fakers.  You have what it takes inside of you to become what God has planned for you!

Keeping yourselves clean, pure and free of comparisons brings contentment and allows God’s perfecting work in you to become what He intended.  That doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes or have flaws but in your weakest moment, you are still powerfully loved.  God’s love overpowers all that you are not!  If an apple tree dies in the seed, we never see its fruit, its glory.  God wants to release you to your full potential.  So be you…you have been divinely designed!  Jesus has given you all the approval you need and nothing compares to that!

 

Garbage in, garbage out

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24    My prayer was innocent enough but God’s answer came in the most unconventional way.  It was at the edge of a dump site in Africa that God spoke and asked what I wanted.

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I was afraid to speak about it because “the answer”, the “it” was the very thing I needed to give up.  I looked down at the cows feasting on the garbage in the pit of the city dump.  I reflected how God had brought me out of my past pit and was thankful for His deliverance.

But there was still some garbage in my life that I needed to get out.

I can remember a time when I was covered in garbage.  Or at least it felt that way.  Now don’t get me wrong, I know feelings are the most fickle of things.  And my faith is not founded on my fickle feelings.  But that day I wanted God more than the garbage I had been feeding myself.

Immediately the desire to know God in a deeper way was born in a hidden place inside of me.  I also knew to get what I wanted, to live as Christ, I would have to give up something.  I finally realized that what I was doing in seeking God, wasn’t enough.  It wasn’t coming automatically, I was being pulled under by the influence and garbage of the world.

So there it was…in front of me….on the edge of a city dump in South Africa.  As tears streamed down my cheeks, I walked out of the dump of my life so it seemed and pushed past a place of denial and became the faithful follower of Jesus.  It would have seemed that I was already there, so might I just pause here to ask you to reflect on your own life?

At last I know without a doubt that to live as Christ often looks like my life is full of Him, but now I know it’s based on the consecutive decisions about the garbage I allow in.  I dumped my garbage at the edge of His Presence.  I rose on my strong feeling that I had made the right move that day and knew things would be so different, even if they felt the same.  I left it all behind at the edge of my inconvenience.

Living totally sold out to the inconvenient and the uncomfortable gets one to the point of your deliverance from your past.  Even if you have forgiven and forgotten, you have to drop all of those offenses that have come against you and let go of the right to hold on to an offense for any reason.  At least, that was what I had to do to get to the edge, to dump out some hidden garbage by taking a close look at my past with a fine tooth comb.  At the edge of the garbage dump I left years and years of shame, blame and guilt roll off that had taken a toll on my soul.

It’s not until you give up or live empty of hurt can you find more of God.

I knew in that moment that if my heart’s desire was to be like Jesus, I had to make a concentrated effort, an intentional decision to spend even MORE time with Jesus over nursing the wounds of my past.  It was the second most important decision I have ever made.

Christianity doesn’t come naturally, and living like Jesus takes a choice.  Salvation and accepting God’s work on the cross is the best decision you will ever make.  But living as Christ lived, starts with living past your past of hurts, abuse, offense and forgetting about those hurts from those who have wronged you.

To live like Christ is to love like Christ.  Like those hurts never existed and were not intended to take you out or take you down.  To live this way however costs you.  I realized that I was the one holding myself back because of my doubt and fear.  The work of God in our lives is the strength that is built through our weaknesses, insecurities and inadequacies.

We want to live like Christ but that kind of life is always found outside the realm of convenience.  God’s intimacy is always inside of the circle of going all in for Him, this doesn’t come naturally.  Christ gave it all for us, for you and for me.  Lies will always keep you in bondage, maybe today you just need to open yourself to the process of believing God again.

“To live is Christ” means that we imitate the example of Christ. Everything that Jesus did and said from listening to Father, from giving up stuff, and walking in our identity.  That’s what that means.  Choosing to live like this is a conscious action, living outside convenience, doing what comes supernaturally and giving our full surrender at all costs, no matter what it takes to “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

What would Jesus do? That’s what we want to do.  “To live is Christ” means that we pursue Christ as we have been pursued. I want to know Christ better and better each day. Not just a set of facts about Christ, but Christ Himself and to be willing to give up anything that prevents me from having MORE Christ.

What “garbage” is in the way for you to “gain Christ and be found in him?” (Philippians 3:7-9).

When Christ is the center of our day, the point of our mind, heart, body and soul, then He is the center of who we are.  This is not convenient and the garbage of easy quickly fades our intentions.  But as we run the “race marked out for us,” we lay aside the entangling sin and worldly distractions, “fixing our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Yes, to live as Christ, outside of the garbage of this world.  I want to live like that!

When you feel insecure

Bible and journal

It’s a known fact that as humans we speak from our insecurities.  Some of you are open about those, most of you like to hide them.  We all have one or two or more of those insecure places.  We all have our stuff.

I have plenty of stuff myself.  It’s the human condition.  Let’s get real, real fast, ok?  We have that “junkie” stuff inside of us and this stuff is the human side of us we like to hide.

To name your stuff or call mine out, that step only helps when you allow God’s truth to change you inspite of your stuff.  And it should only be done and motivated by love.  It IS important to know the way we deal with insecurities can help others.

I was sharing the other night at small group how to share faith without using words.  I started out with “I love how Jesus teaches us…” I noticed the confused look on thier faces and then I related that truth to everyday life.  Jesus didn’t operate on the defense or attack people in thier insecurities.  Jesus was always on the offense side of battle because he knew who he was fighting.  He operated from his secure place of supernatural ability instead of his humanity.

It’s easy to think “Yeah, Jesus did that because he was perfect in everything he did.”  This is true as he was fully divine in his humanity. Jesus lived his live in full submission to the Holy Spirit even though he was human.  He operated from his identity, knowing in his heart, mind, and soul that he was the one and only living Son of God.  There are many stories about liers, cheaters, adulterers, deceivers, and thieves being drawn to Him for healing because of who He was.  In simple ways, lives were changed in so many to bring deliverance through a word, deed, feeding or even storms.  Most times, Jesus healed their hearts, before their physical ailments, insecurity or need in their life.

In other words, their faith (evidence of the unseen) saved them first and foremost over individual woundings.  Each time, Jesus healed or delivered because that is/was his ministry.  This is Jesus, operating from his identity.

Jesus stepped out of Heaven to deliver us from our humanity.

Recently, the Lord has reminded me of my roots.  Not just in my family’s line or hertiage, but what my identity looks like from a heavenly perspective.  Last year, was HUGE in reminding me who I am in Christ.  Daily, and most often, the Holy Spirit aligns my heart and mind with His.  My confession today is that I needed those reminders to overcome a lot of my silly insecurities.

“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.”  Isaiah 26:3 (AMP)

Daily those reminders have come in at just the needed time and with the exact reminder of who I was in Christ.  This one exchange and action has removed so many insecurities in my heart and mind.  I can’t even begin to list them all here but the reminding of who I am in Christ, we (the Holy Spirit and I) uncovered the “identity stuff” that I wasn’t.

We all need these kind of identity reminders on a daily basis.  “I know who I am, I know who I am, I know who I am, I am Yours, I am Yours.” is a song lyric that hits repeat daily in my head (speaking about God’s ownership).

Last year my word for the year was vision.  God has given a fuller vision of who I am in Him.  To battle the daily “junkie” stuff, I need constant reminders of who I am in Christ to operate from my place of security.

Once you know who you are IN Christ, your indentity is your secure place to operate from.  Now going into 2016, my word REMAIN makes so much more sense.  It’s good to have the right weapons loaded up for battle.  It makes the Enemy not such a big threat and that dumb looming anxiety that is mixed in the unknown is removed.  Plus the bonus is I know how the battle turns out!  There’s no shrinking back, or retreating because of some silly insecurity.  There’s no hiding from the power of God at work within our lives.  There’s no room for those overpowering fears inside to grow more “stuff”.  There’s only the Light that has come.  Light overcomes darkness every time and each insecurity  has no place to hide in a house that is all lit up!

 

What I found at the end of my weight loss tunnel

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If you take one glance at the magazine racks as you are checking out of any grocery store, they will remind you of the image that is popular these days.  The covers boast all sizes, shapes, fashion and the latest trends.  The glossy shines bright, best, and beautiful.  The look of the world is defined by a certain designer’s perspective or glamour expert.

Being defined by man’s standards is always a dangerous place to be and a deadly place to put yourself.  When we focus on what man’s view of how we should look, be, or live up to, we soon forget God’s perspective of us and what we were created for.  To believe that we were created to reflect the glory of God takes practice and focus on how He created us.

We were created from His image and that He is our creator.  If you need a reminder of how God sees you, raise your hand?  Don’t we all?

In today’s world, where glamour is instant, easily attained, and socially pinned, we pale in measuring up in the world’s beauty mirror and fail to see God’s beauty in us.  How many of you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see?  How many of you look at your reflection and only see the failures and flaws?

You can change your perspective and see yourself as God sees you.  It only takes a few new habits to seeing yourself through God’s eyes.  Research shows that it takes three weeks to learn something new.  This won’t happen overnight but it will bring to light what’s hidden from your view.  Hang in there and let’s dig into who God says you are!

At the end of my weight loss tunnel, I had to grapple with who I was created to be.

Step 1:  Begin each day, from this day forward, by asking God to reveal how He sees you…simply because you are his child!

Step 2:  Concentrate on the truth that He shows you and the verse(s) that the Holy Spirit gives you!

Step 3:  Read and pray for the Lord to change your perspective for a heavenly view of your heart and soul.

Step 4:  Reinforce Scripture passages by highlighting them in your Bible and posting them on your mirror!

Step 5:  Write your personal prayers and put them where you need the reminders the most!

Step 6:  Repeat the truth to yourself often.  With a grateful heart, acknowledge that you have infinite worth in the eyes of your heavenly Father.

By following God’s beauty plan, He will move in you to see yourself from His point of view.  That’s a beauty regime to stick with.  It’s a no fail plan and doesn’t point out flaws.  Soon you too will see with God’s eyes the way He sees you, the way He sees us all.  Loved, beautiful, and righteous!

This one simple practice will result in such change from the inside out.  I know you are looking to see you…right?

Why is this so important?  Every person born into this world has had difficulty with identity at one time or another in their lives.  We all struggle with our self-image.  When we strive to be everyone else but the “you” God created, then we are giving control to those things that control our perspectives in life.  When we are anchored in the truth of Christ, we give the Holy Spirit control in what matters most in our life.  We then see the vision that God has for each of us, one of immense value, purpose and an identity shaped by Christ and not by the world.  That’s an image those magazines will never reflect.

How do you see yourself and does it measure up to what God says about you?