‘And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.’ Ezekiel 36:26 NLT
I am FED up! This acronym popped in my head as I was getting tired of myself yesterday. Tired of struggling with the same issues, tired of doing the same things over and over again and being so tired I am not even expecting different results anymore. I decided that I needed to become FED up with my behaviour and know that this is not part of my new identity in Christ. This is old actions that repeat to the tune of this is getting old already. FED arose from Finances, Exercise and Diet. These have been areas of a lifelong struggle of a lack of discipline but I felt God say this is the end of it Deanna, you need to submit this to me (ALL of It, all the ugly emotions and the I can do it attitude and the belittling words to yourself and the lack of discipline and and…) to do a heart change and not just a temporary behaviour change that you have mustered up.
‘For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.’ Philippians 4:13
I must have been skipping past the ‘through’ things and just thinking I could do everything on my own. As I look around me and listen to people and see how the world is changing and moving so quickly, I am once again reminded how crucial it is to know who we are in Christ. We need to know our identity and live from that place. We need to be rooted and grounded in the Word of God or really what is left when things happen to us and circumstances are difficult and our world changes, sometimes in a moment. A lot of people have asked me lately how is it different being a Christian than not, being married as one and not and my defining answer is that when we don’t know God, we are the end of ourselves. There is no other hope, nothing to look toward, no divine guidance, no grace or mercy. We think we have to know the answers and this is a tremendous pressure because truly we DO NOT know all the answers. But God does. Even if we don’t hear one immediately or get the one we want, He Always knows best.
One thing I do know as I get older is I do not know a lot. This is very humbling but also very freeing. It helps me to trust the One that made the Universe, the One that loves me and is for me not against me, to know the best thing for me. It liberates me to love the others around me without needing to feel like I always need their answers but I can point them to the One that does. I can’t remember where I heard or read this the other day but we think faith needs to be pretty to be effective. It is quite the opposite, He wants us to come with all of our sin and realness and ugly emotions, He will meet us where we are at.
Timothy Keller said, “As we adore God and He delights in us, it is the greatest experience of love. If we built our whole life on someone else, we are not free to love them because we need them to affirm us and for them to be ok. We will use them to get value out of them. But, when we are loved by God, we are liberated to love others freely and do what God made us to do. We don’t expect others to fill us.”
No person, place, thing, role, job, title, activity or idea will ever fill the brokenness or longing or sense of purpose like the maker of your heart and identity will. Oh there is temporary pleasure, as they say sin is fun for a time. Or worldly success but sometimes at a cost. There is genuine fun and delight but the deep longing or desires can lurk under the surface unfulfilled if we try to fill them with things other than God.
If we don’t have our identity rooted in the solid foundation of God and what Jesus did for us we can flounder and what we think is our identity is rocked by;
One relationship or lack of relationship
One job loss
Words from others
Please hear my heart, I know all of these situations cause heartache and I have experienced most of them, but knowing God and who we are in Him gives a reason to hope. It allows us to trust that He will meet us in our pain and can give purpose to it. He is the steady in our uncertain and when we believe how He loves us we know there is a greater plan.
So how does this align with being FED up? We sometimes have to come to the end of ourselves to ignite a desire to change. It is in these places we see our need for God. I know renewing my mind with truth in the areas that I have believed is how I will get my freedom. Launching from a place of identity rather than lack, will create sticking places for truth to land.
How are you renewing your mind today? What lies are you believing that create repetitive patterns in your life?
Here are a few verses to get you started in God’s truth. Read them, declare them and believe.
I am chosen (Ephesians 1:4)
I am a child of God (Galatians 3:26 John 1:12,13)
I can resist the enemy (James 4:7)
I am a masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10)
I have the ability to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19)