April 25, 2017
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1 (NIV)
I became a Christian when I was a teenager. But even after I made a commitment to follow Christ, feelings of inferiority, insecurity and inadequacy held me hostage. The dirge of “I’m not good enough” was a song I couldn’t get out of my head. The lies of the enemy kept me fenced in and kept God’s best at bay.
I felt I was always disappointing God and certainly a disappointment to myself. I tried the best I could to be the best I could be, but, in my mind, I always fell short.
So I settled into a stagnant faith, a safe faith, a stuck faith with other defeated believers who falsely saw themselves through a filter of past sins and failures, rather than through the lens of their new identity in Christ.
After high school, I went to college where I met and married an awesome Christian man. About four years later, I became a mom. Life was good, except for this termite-like gnawing in my gut that I just didn’t quite measure up to all the other church-moms with their smiling faces.
I walked around with the fear that one day I would be found out — that one day, folks would figure out I wasn’t all I was cracked up to be. I lived under an undefined, self-imposed standard of approval.
Childhood echoes of “you’re so ugly” and “what’s wrong with you” and “you can’t do anything right” left me feeling congenitally flawed. I sat in Bible study groups like someone in a hospital waiting room: hoping for the best but expecting the worst. My greatest fear was that I’d be no closer to being free of the insecurity than before the study began.
In my mid-30s, I sat under the teaching of an older woman in my church. She opened my eyes to the truths in Scripture about who I was as a Christ-follower, what I had, and where I was (my position) as a child of God. I’d read those verses scattered throughout Scripture before, but when she encouraged me to cluster them together into one list, God began a new work in my heart.
You are chosen.
You are dearly loved.
You are holy.
These truths were right there on the pages of my Bible in black and white and a few in red.
You are a saint.
You are free from condemnation through Christ’s death.
You have the mind of Christ.
You can do all things through Christ.
I knew the verses were the infallible Word of God, but I felt rather squeamish hearing them, reading them and believing them.
While I was studying about my true identity, the devil taunted me with accusations: “Who do you think you are? A saint? Are you kidding? This stuff might be true for some people, but it certainly isn’t true about you.”
One day, I felt God asking me an important question: “Who are you going to believe?”
I was at a crossroads, one you might be standing at this very moment. Was I going to believe God and begin seeing myself as God saw me, or was I going to continue believing the lies of the enemy and the echoes of my past? Was I going to remain stuck in a stagnant faith because I was too insecure to take a step toward the abundant life Jesus had promised, or was I going to march confidently around the walls of my inadequacies until they came tumbling down?
Finally I prayed, Dear God, I’m going to believe who You say I am. I don’t feel it. I can barely think it. But I’m going to believe Your Word is true for me and about me.
And that’s what I’m challenging you to do today: Let go of your insecurities and take hold of your true identity. Will you join me? If so, leave a comment and say, “I’m taking hold of God’s truth!”
Heavenly Father, thank You for choosing me to be Your child. Today, I choose to believe I am who You say that I am —Your holy, dearly loved child … equipped by You, empowered by the Holy Spirit and enveloped in Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Corinthians 6:11b, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (NIV)
2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (NIV)
If you sense it’s time to leave behind feelings of inferiority, insecurity and inadequacy and take hold of the mountain-moving faith God intends, you’ll want to get a copy of Sharon Jaynes’ book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold.
Click over to Sharon’s website to download a free printable of power verses to “Take Hold, Move Forward, and Live Bold.”
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Have you noticed it’s easier to believe what God says about Himself than what He says about you? Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12b, NIV). We read those words and shout, “Amen! Hallelujah!” But He also said, “YOU are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14a, NIV, emphasis added). Hmmm. Not a lot of shouting going on with that one. So which is it? Both! Decide today to believe what Jesus said is true about you!
Write these truths and the corresponding verse on an index card, and make them yours today.
- I am the salt of the earth. (Matthew 5:13)
- I am the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14)
- I am completely forgiven. (Ephesians 1:7)
© 2017 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
Originally published Tuesday, 25 April 2017.