Fresh Hope – 22nd August 2018

Romans 8:1 says, ‘Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’.

In words of A.W Tozer, What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us’.  How we view God and His opinion towards us, will determine how we view ourselves, relate to others and live our lives. It is vital that we truly understand how we are viewed through the Father’s eyes, for this is what shapes our identity. We cannot have even a streak of doubt in our hearts that we aren’t fully loved or aren’t good enough – for that little streak will hold us back from being who we were truly made to be. We are made to be fully loved and live like we know it!

Condemnation means, ‘strong disapproval and/or sentencing to punishment’. How do you believe that God views you? Many live with a sense of God’s disapproval towards them… or perhaps they believe that He has to love them, but doesn’t like them… or they believe that the struggles of life are punishment from God. A failed marriage, a history of poor choices, derailed children, long-term illness, a lost job, financial struggle, are just a few of the realities that the devil may use to sentence you to a life under a cloud of shame. This is not freedom. Regardless of how you were raised, God will never use shame to enforce you into good behaviour. God is only in the business of transforming hearts through love and grace.

If you carry the weight of shame, and inadequacy in any area of your life, this is not God’s plan for you. When the Son (Jesus) set you free, you were made truly free (John 8:36).

When we struggle with shame our first instinct is to either hide (Adam and Eve covered themselves with leaves in shame when they sinned – Genesis 3:7-11). When we feel a sense of shame and inadequacy, we may hide in the form of hiding from vulnerable relationships, hiding behind a busy schedule, hiding behind material possessions, hiding behind a good performance, hiding behind our phones, or hiding behind lies, humour, behind timidity or even bravado.  

The key to breaking the power of shame is to hide in the right place… and that is hiding in the finished work of Jesus. Jesus is enough, so we are enough. We no longer need to prove. We no longer need to feel inadequate. Could you boldly declare: “I AM THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD!”, and believe it? To some this may seem prideful, but that is exactly what scripture says we are. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 Paul says, ‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that IN HIM we might become the righteousness of God’. As we hide our shame IN HIM we are made to be right. We are made to be enough. We are free from any shame.

Do you struggle when people do nice things for you because you don’t feel worthy enough to receive it?

Do you always think about what you did wrong, instead of right?

Do you struggle to be creative and to dream?

Do you often feel inadequate?

Are you physically exhausted from trying to do things to please people?

Do you struggle to have vulnerable relationships?

If your answer is yes to any of these questions, break the chain of shame, by refusing to partner with condemnation and any sense of inadequacy. Instead, hide in the finished work of Jesus and in His unconditional love – where your true identityand freedom is found!

 

Psalm 17:8 “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings”
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Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.