“If I were your enemy, I’d devalue your strength and magnify your insecurities until they dominate how you see yourself, disabling and disarming you from fighting back, from being free, from being who God has created you to be. I’d work hard to ensure that you never realize what God has given you so you’ll doubt the power of God within you. ”
(Shirer pg. 55)
Do you craft a version of yourself in your own mind based on your insecurities? Is how you see yourself differing from everyone else? It’s quite typical for a student to get the reputation for something silly that they did… and then it follows them the rest of the grade or all through their high school career.
I’d told the story in a blog once how in the 5th grade- at lunch we were required to sit next to each other at a long lunch table. First of all- I didn’t want to- I’d been so much happier away from the rest of the kids. I opened the ketchup packet for my fries wrong- and it went everywhere. Literally, it went all over me, my face, and my white shirt with very little that got on my plate. I was known the rest of the year as the ketchup girl. I didn’t invent or manufacture ketchup- nor am I made of ketchup- my last name isn’t even Heinz- their definition from one experience should not define me in the person that I am.
I am sure ya’ll have similar stories?
Kids are brutal and those misadventures shouldn’t have to haunt us for the rest of our days. But sometimes they do- those things stick with us even into adulthood. Many of those things now become pieces of ourselves that we feel is a personality or character flaw that we are ever conscious of and maybe ashamed of.
What woman has never been ashamed of her weight?
Have you felt awkward about some other physical feature that you can’t control?
What about your personality? Too shy, too talkative. –
Have you ever said, “Because I’ve made mistakes with____________ so, I can’t do___________.”
But none of that defines you- the real you. I’m talking about the soul part of you– the you that God created, the you that Jesus died for, the you that has been redeemed. (If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior-check out a how to HERE. Our self-perception is usually the most critical and condemning. We have here a case of mistaken identity. We have let things change us from what God intended us to be. We let the evil one steal our thunder. We cower instead of rising. We retreat instead of charging.
I want you to write down- your thoughts honest thoughts… — We all have these insecurities- even a preacher’s wife and families in the ministry- sometimes more so. Don’t contemplate the answers to hard I want you to just finish the sentence with the first thing that comes to mind. You maybe be surprised with what comes up.
I would witness to people but….
I would pray with others but….
I would volunteer in ministry but…
I would read my Bible more but…
This strategy is about overcoming those insecurities. They don’t define you. How are we gonna achieve this? And truly start believing that we are overcomers. The first step is to take is to strap on the belt of truth. The belt of truth is listed as the first piece of armor in a fully functional suit.
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth” (Ephesians 6:14)
We are going to fight him (the enemy- illusionist) with the belt of truth: Gird up your loins with truth the Bible says: Why, because deception is the mark of the enemy. The opposite of truth is a lie. He is the master of lies and the ultimate illusionist.—
Can you think of an example of trickery he’s used in your life?
::: an unhealthy relationship: friends, boyfriend/girl. Maybe a relationship that is not positive- that you continually justify over and over because they may say that they are a Christian- when there is no fruit to their works. The fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Do they exhibit that?
The belt of truth is small piece of armor- yet it is foundational for the rest. We relate it to children as an actual belt- but more specifically it’s like a girdle, hugging, foundational, close to you, you know you have it- even when others don’t. It goes on first. It’s not obvious to everyone else, it’s not flashy, and it’s a specific choice.
It is a renewed allegiance to stand firm on God’s principles. (Shirer)
When I worked at HEB many years ago as a book keeper we were trained to spot counterfeit. We had tricks to the trade for spotting fake money. Fake money has no value. It has no substance- it’s just paper – it’s used as a deception for trickery. It is an illusion of the real thing. We trained for that by studying real money- memorizing fine details and knowing where to look for small features hidden with each dollar. We did this so we could be efficient at our job. We had to study the original piece- so we could spot a fake. We had to know the original without a doubt- to spot a fake.
Same principle is applied here. The belt of truth is unchanging- it is the word of God- the Bible given to us. In order to spot the enemies illusions around us we’ve got to study God’s word, the real deal. We need to keep that belt close to us- even though others may not be aware of its presence. When we study and know what to look for using those special key features we’ll be able to see his schemes coming a mile away. We need to take off our blinders see the whole picture as God does.
Turn to 2 Kings 6:8-23 let’s look at a story through God’s eye. God’s Perspective and see how he protected Elisha and Israel.
He has given us this power through Christ Jesus. Elisha prayed- and God responded. Do we have that kinda faith in our lives? Do we know the scripture inside and out- believing the words and applying them to our lives?
Check out and examine Ephesians 1:1-23 and 2: 1-10.
I want you to embrace the person God has created you to be. God has given us some attributes that we need to utilize in our lives.
Spiritual blessings in heavenly places- we can go before the throne and speak directly to him.
He chose me.
I am holy without blame.
I am adopted.
He made me.
I have redemption and forgiveness.
He gives me wisdom and understanding.
I have an inheritance.
I am sealed with the Holy Spirit.
I am his workmanship.
These are just a few skimming the top. Check it out for yourself. Write it down. Put a picture of yourself in the middle. So that you can reflect back and be reminded of your promises.
We all struggle with insecurities. Have you ever considered the possibility that it’s not just in your head—that it’s a blatant attack from the enemy? He tells me each week as I prepare for this class I am not qualified and that I have no business doing it. That’s because he doesn’t want us close to God.
God doesn’t want you living in a state of defeat in your life at every turn. He doesn’t want us beat over the head with Satan’s lies and schemes. No matter what stands against you- it’s no match for God’s power and authority.
Take that paper you wrote your insecurities on and rip it up- and throw it away! That’s over!
We just learned in Ephesians that he’s given us access to that power. Take your insecurities and excuses and rip them up. It’s time to cultivate a new strategy in prayer for us- for ourselves. Lay it out there. Give it all to God. Lay it at the feet of Jesus and pick up the belt of truth and put it on. This is the foundation we are fixing to build upon. You have to start with self before we can take on others.
What about all this physical- chronic illness drama that we face. I want to address it because it’s hard double hard to stay above the water some days- when you feel like you are at war with your own body. Your mind and soul is perfectly fine- your physical being is in revolt.
Keep your eyes on God, the enemy- uses these physical ailments/issues to wear us down. Smile instead of frown. As someone else how they are- It’s so hard I know.
A fantastic verse came to mind as I was driving home one day.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
These are the things we need to be thinking of when we are at our wits end with pain, stress, health, and life. Look for the good, positive- lovely, they are there.
There is hope- Pray fervently!