Ladies, God says our “Do” is NOT our “Who”! No matter our actions, God says we’re fully lovable, valuable, and competent.
In this post in our series exploring our true identity, let’s look at why some Christians are unable to make progress in their Christian walk. Take Susan, for example. Susan was involved in full-time Christian ministry, but found it nearly impossible to carry on her work. Paralyzed by a deep sense of unworthiness, Susan felt out of place in a Christian organization. Why? She was convinced she would be fired if her co-workers found out about her past.
Before becoming a Christian, Susan had had numerous affairs, and even an abortion. Though her behavior had changed dramatically since accepting Christ, Susan’s inner identity had not changed. God had forgiven and redeemed her, but Susan still saw herself as morally bankrupt. Unworthy. Shameful. Incompetent. Not at all lovable. Susan didn’t trust in God’s grace, so she trusted even less that she would receive grace from her co-workers. Because she choose to hold onto her shame, Susan was unable to bask in the gift of God’s redemption and acceptance.
Susan needs to wrap her head around this TRUTH: God accepts our messes, and uses them to help others. The past that Susan is so afraid may come to light, is likely the very testimony God wants to use in her life for His glory.
God Wants to Change Us
Susan isn’t alone in her self-bondage. Many women turn to Jesus, knowing they want and need His unconditional love and grace. Yet they can’t quite make themselves believe that they are lovable enough to deserve it. They try praying more, serving more, and reading their Bible more, but still feel defeated and discouraged.
Here’s why: If we refuse to see ourselves as God sees us, we will continue to try to “earn” our relationship with Jesus.
Think of your Christian walk like a renovation project. God is working on your old crumbling foundation, tired wallpaper, stained carpets, and mildewed walls. But if you fight God on the process — by not believing that He loves you and has planned good things for you — your renovation will only limp along.
Think of the Israelites in the desert. They turned what could have been a very short journey into 40 years of wandering. Stubborn bunch! I don’t know about you, but I sure want to give God access to move in my life much, much, faster.
Oh, our exteriors might look great, because WE have prettied them up by our own efforts. But the insides of our houses remain dark and dank, because we’ve not allowed Christ to turn on the floor lamps He has already plugged in. It’s like we’ve been given all the electricity we’ll ever need, but we refuse to flip the switch on the circuit breaker!
Have you been here? Are you here now? Holding God at arm’s length because YOU have decided that you’re not yet good enough … clean enough … worthy enough to believe in and trust the Creator of the Universe when he says, “COME! YOU ARE ENOUGH AS YOU ARE!”
God will spend every day of our lives partnering with us to make us more like Him — but we have to allow Him access. God never forces our relationship. How it must break His heart to have us so near, and yet watch us struggle to keep Him at arm’s length. Sometimes I actually get a mental picture of God wanting to wrap me in an amazing bear hug, but I’m too busy bobbing and ducking.
If we continue to refuse to see ourselves as God see us, our shaky foundations will render our attempts at Christian growth ineffective. We must remember that our “do” never determines our “who” in God’s eyes.
We have to stop holding on to personal identities that we base on what we’ve done in the past.
Three Truths About YOU
Truth #1: YOU are LOVABLE.
You may have grown up feeling ignored, unwanted, despised, or even hated. The people who communicated these messages to you were wrong. God’s Word says that He lovingly made YOU and that you are eternally lovable. Last week, when we talked about the comparison trap, we shared that we often sink into depression when we rank ourselves as lacking or less than, when compared to others. The Good News: God says that YOU are uniquely gifted, uniquely purposed, a one-of-a-kind creation that He birthed for good plans and good purposes. Only YOU can do the things He has in mind for you!
God doesn’t say, “I will love you when….” God says, “I LOVE YOU NOW, JUST AS YOU ARE!”
If you grew up in a household in which you got the message that you were not enough and not wanted, know that you CAN throw off that pain and shame by stepping fully into the lovelight of Jesus. You can claim, “God says it and I believe it!” — or you can continue (as I did for years), to walk around hurting — and hurting other people. Ladies, your negative thoughts and feelings are not truthful. But God’s Word is.
Truth #2. YOU are VALUABLE.
Think you’re not valuable? Well, then, how do you explain the fact that the Creator of the Universe came to earth in human form and willingly suffered excruciating pain and humiliation to redeem your sin? So that NOTHING would ever be able to separate YOU from His grace and love.
God sees every part of you — every thought you’ve ever had and ever will, every action you’ve ever made and ever will — and says, “I SEE YOU AS REDEEMED!”
God wants a relationship with YOU. Get this truth deep into your soul, and into your head: Even if YOU were the ONLY person that Christ needed to die for, He would have done it. YOU are worth His sacrifice. He loves you that much! If God views you that valuable, you do Him and yourself a disservice by allowing any human to tell you otherwise. God’s opinion of you is the only one that matters. Because it’s the only correct opinion.
Truth #3: YOU are COMPETENT.
If you see yourself negatively, you can change your thoughts. God’s Word says that GOD TRUSTS YOU enough that to handle the tasks of eternal proportion that He planned upon your birth.
We’ve all works in progress. We will continue to screw up, because we’re human. But our “who” is truly not our “do” in God’s eyes. Don’t allow the devil to keep whispering in your ear that you’re a big mess and you should just give up on yourself and God.
God says you are lovable, valuable, competent. Choose to accept it!
This blog series is based on Josh’s book See Yourself as God Sees You. It is our prayer that during this series you come to recognize and accept your true personal identity! God couldn’t love you more!