Shameless Humility

Luke 18:9-14 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Today I get the privilege to cheer on one of my best friends as she steps on stage to share God’s love with others. It has been such an honour to walk beside her in this part of our journey and watch God transform her and grow her gifts. She was created to speak and tell stories. One of the most valuable lessons God has taught me,  is to celebrate the worth in people. Their worth has nothing to do with me and their uniqueness and value are a  necessary part of making the world the way it is. God created them for a specific purpose and I am not supposed to be like them because I have a specific purpose too.

It is so imperative to receive our value from God. Yesterday my friend sent me Meghan Trainor’s video – Me Too, intended to make me laugh which it did and groove a little. It is catchy, we joked it would be our jam. One of the lines says “If I was you, I’d want to be me too.” What makes that funnier is neither of us would say that and really mean it. Ironically though, comparison is an area that I needed healing in and even up to a few months ago, this trap still kept me captive.

In my own insecurity I could be like a chameleon, changing colours to fit the various personalities around me. It was actually quite exhausting not knowing who I was enough to be confident in how God had created me. So many times I was paralyzed by not thinking I had any value, comparing to qualities I thought were ‘better than mine’. But as I heard Dr. Jim Richards say today,’ If God is not our source our value fluctuates based on the behaviour of other people we have identified with.  If our source is God, our value never changes because He doesn’t, nor does His evaluation of us change.’

Celebrating others and gratitude are two of the greatest gifts and counteractions we can put into motion to stomp out comparison or jealousy. I have found the most freedom here. You can’t curse and bless at the same time. It is practicing these tools that gives us strength to press in when those things may rise up. It will happen because we are human but we can bring these areas to God and allow Him to heal the brokenness. I love what Amanda Crabb said, “You can paint your walls but if there is no restoration, the mold and the cracks will seep through.”

Humility will keep us looking at Jesus. There is a reason God gave us this command,”You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.” Exodus 20:17

Lighten up, life is hard enough, celebrate someone, cheer them on, accentuate the great qualities in them, speak life right into the places they may be doubting. And when your flesh rises up and wants something it wasn’t meant to have, turn it into blessing. Do not let the devil win any longer. You are enough because God made you that way. I think this line was in the movie God’s Not Dead 2, “The only difference between you and someone you envy is you settle for less.”

As Dr. Richards so aptly said, “The more we accept Jesus’ interpretations of who God truly is and He becomes our Source, then we will begin to effortlessly transform into His likeness.”

Stay away from the donkeys!

Lord, help us to keep our eyes on you. Father help us to see the beautiful and unique ways you have made others to contribute to your world. Give us words to celebrate  and speak life to them. Lord thank you for amazing grace and your mercies which are new everyday. Help us to lay down our flesh that may rise up in jealousy or discontentment. Thank you Lord that you have made us unique and created a specific way to make a difference in this world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Dungeon to Deliverance

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

dungeon-56155_640

I used to live in the dungeon of envy. You know the place? It was nested deeply in the root of insecurity and slithered around my lack of worth. It would rise up uninvited just long enough to awaken doubt and nudge fear to join in. Envy took root on my wishbone and tried to launch a weak attempt at celebration for the person or thing that awoke this whole mess. This green-eyed monster wanted to take up permanent residence, it was comfortable in my dungeon. As I started to realize the more Christ was my identity, I saw how jealousy was robbing me of my destiny.

Envy – a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc. (dictionary.com)

Escape into contentedness and out of the dungeon needs to be rooted in who we are in Christ. What does this mean you might say? It requires these things;

  1. Acceptance of His forgiveness
  2. Thankfulness
  3. Aligning yourself with God’s truth
  4. Childlike Faith
  5. Repentance – Agree with God that you have sinned and turn away from it
  6. Interrupting thoughts and deliberately taking them captive to Jesus
  7. Peace – with yourself, others and circumstances

I realize these aren’t all easy places to get to but it is part of the process to get free from this entanglement and hindrance in your walk with God. I hear a lot of teaching lately about taking our thoughts captive and how we need to be aware of the thoughts that pop in to our head. We do not need to entertain every single one of them. It really is a re-training and in some cases unlearning of old patterns of thinking. Audrey Meisner taught it this way, that our old thinking is like a well paved highway that has created a neurological pathway or wrong thinking. Be intentional about interrupting those thoughts.

The renewing of your mind really needs to happen in God’s strength, it does take our cooperation but we cannot do it just by willing away the negative things. Only God can do this. We need to take them and say this does not line up with truth, this is the truth and ask Jesus to take them and as they go to do as the Word says, “Finally brothers and sisters, what is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.’ Philippians 4:8

Our circumstances may not immediately change but how we think about them will. God often transitions our heart before outside change happens. After all His desire is for our heart. He wants all of us. He is relentless in His love for us and that we know Him.

Changing our patterns begins with our recognizing that we need His help. My heart transition about envy, jealousy and their sister comparison has been happening for some time. Seeing it was killing my creativity was more recent and gave me a new urgency to be free from this spirit. God showed me that I wasn’t made to do what others are doing because I am uniquely made for His purposes. It is a new freedom place to celebrate others genuinely from the depths of me. People long for authenticity and the true heart of God is to love others right where they are at. An even greater challenge from Bill Johnson is to love people where they are at even if the mess they are in is self-inflicted.(Soak in that a while)

Sometimes our healing surprises us. Recently I was able to sit and listen to a dear amazing friend share how God worked in and through her and I spoke how honoured I was to listen to her. It never struck me until she thanked me that I truly realized God has done an incredible work in my heart. His love in me for people continues to deepen and I want to share it and remind them how special He has made all of us and there is a purpose for their life. We were made to celebrate each other and cheer them on and we cannot do this if we are pressed down with envy or comparing apples to oranges. Healthy community needs to be rooted in holding each others’ arms up because navigating this life is a hard enough journey.

Now will those thoughts pop in and try to get me to go down that well grooved highway of envy again? Probably, the enemy doesn’t really have new tricks, just ones that have worked before. I am learning as the thoughts come to bless the person that I am comparing to or wishing I was like or had what they had. I bless and pray and bless and pray, sometimes sending a note to encourage them and submitting my thoughts and feelings to Jesus. It sometimes still is an acrobatic workout to keep my mind stayed on Jesus but it used be like a marathon, so we are making progress God and I. Please join me in changing this world upside down like Jesus did by joining hands and seeing ourselves as we are in Him. Through this lens we can do what we were created to do, as we are.