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I am reminded of Jesus asking the sons of thunder, James and John, if they would be willing to endure the same sufferings that he would be going through. “Sure!” they replied confidently. However, they had no idea what that entailed.
Like James and John, I am eager to offer myself to God - as long as what he wants is in my comfort zone. Start moving beyond that and I get a little resistant.
I’m comfortable behind the scenes, away from the focus. A line in the movie The Princess Diaries pretty much sums up this sentiment. “My expectation in life is to be invisible. And I’m good at it!”
I received an email from someone who asked to interview me on camera for a show. No way! The same day God led me to today’s verse.
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Did I really want to be living sacrifice?
But, God, does it have to be on TV? You know that’s not my personality. You made me this way.
Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, ‘Why have you made me like this? (Romans 9:20).
I agonized over this decision for a couple of days before choosing to submit to what God wanted to do in and through me. Since my Father opened this door, I am willing to take a step and see where it leads.
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a child-like ‘What’s next, Papa?’ (Romans 8:15 MSG).
Papa, may I embrace the wild ride you have for me in this wondrous, resurrection life!
In my spirit I heard, “No, you don’t.”
I countered. But Lord, I believe the virgin birth, the resurrection, that You’re God’s Son - all those things people have a hard time believing.
“You don’t believe what I say about you.”
Oh, how true! I believed them about others but not for myself. I could quickly spiral into depression and self-loathing from others’ comments, actions or looks. I had a very poor self-image - that is, until I saw myself like Jesus sees me.
Paul wrote, we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. He states it as if it’s common knowledge, something we are all doing.
I certainly wasn’t! I was believing whatever thought popped into my head or whatever feelings I felt.
I searched hungrily for verses that I didn’t really believe about myself. I wrote them, read them and compared them against my thoughts. Wow! Many of the thoughts I had believed for years didn’t line up with God’s word.
Now the real work began. Falling into old thought patterns and feelings was my default action. I had to make a concerted effort to believe the truth. God has the ability to change our thinking in a moment but for me it took time. As in other areas of my life, the more I practiced, the more skilled I became. One day I was set free.
I’m not done. I still have other areas I’m working on, but I am determined to choose life!
I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live, and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20).