Do we love ourselves fully? You know, the way God made us.
The way he created us in the womb (Psalm 139:13). To have the hair color, the eye color, the height, the stature…all created in His image (Gen. 1:26).
Do we like what we see when we look in the mirror…or imagined through the eyes of others?
We are much harsher with ourselves than others are—–not that they can’t be cruel. We’ve all been accosted by critical words and opinions.
But the harshest voice is the one resounding through our minds. Picking away at our weaknesses—–the mole, the high forehead, the cellulite.
I have straight hair and have longed, longed, longed for masses of curly hair. I have a friend with gorgeous, curly red hair (enviably so—–not that I ever envy, mind you) who has wished it straight.
Too often we believe the voice in our head to be a truth-speaker. But often it is a weasely, conniving spirit bent on our downfall. Whispering lies into our insecurities.
God calls you beautiful (Song of Solomon 4:7). Beautiful!
My daughter struggles greatly with a fear of rejection and a fear of judgment (as have I). Need I say, she is gorgeous and talented and kind-hearted?
The loudest voice isn’t usually the truth-filled one. The loudest voice schemes to press us down and keep us in bondage.
Spiritual bondage is when we are bound to a lie. And the lie becomes so entrenched in our mind, we believe it to be truth.
In college, I learned of a study in which researchers created a metal cage where one-half of the floor could receive an electrical charge. They put an animal in the cage and then electrified the floor. To escape the painful shock, the animal would run to the half that wasn’t charged. Researchers then installed a gate blocking the uncharged side, so the animal couldn’t escape the shock. After undergoing numerous unsuccessful attempts to escape the pain, the animal would just lay down—–receiving a continuous electrical shock.
When the researchers eventually removed the gate, what they discovered was astounding. Because the animals had been so inoculated against escape, they would remain laying on the charged side, even though freedom was now available.
Researchers labeled this phenomenon “assumed disability.”
I don’t know about you, but this experiment turns my stomach. I hate for harm to come to the innocent. I hate for the ones that should be protected, to be violated to the point that hope is lost and abuse becomes the norm and their due.
That’s just a tiny taste of how Jesus feels for the harm the enemy causes us.
How many of us live in assumed disability? Where we see no way of escape from the drudgery of life. The mantra, “I made this bed, now I have to lay in it,” seems to fit our lives and our choices.
The amazing thing about the Kingdom of God is we get a “do-over.” As many as we need!
For some of us, life isn’t working. Or certain areas aren’t. Maybe work is great, but our marriage or relationship with our significant other isn’t so hot.
It’s at this place we get to decide how we want our next days to look. The same? Or different? And what needs to happen for different (a good different) to move into our lives?
This is where the journey begins!
There are tons of materials out there on how to be “the new you”, or how to have “a new life purpose.” But really, it’s about changing how we think—–about ourselves, others and God.
If we want to go another direction, we have to acknowledge where we’ve been and do an about-face. Easier said than done, of course. We are complex beings with complex dynamics that thread through every facet of our lives.
That’s where Jesus’ blood comes in. We do that about-face (turn away from what isn’t beneficial Acts 3:19-20), and let him wash away the gunk (Isaiah 1:18).
Now we need a renewed mind (Rom. 12:2) so we start thinking differently. New thinking patterns lead to renewed living patterns.
We have to start speaking differently to generate true change in our lives. Declaring the Word of God into our lives and circumstances helps accomplish this.
Fear of rejection and judgment were huge in my life. What was the underlying issue? Fear. Debilitating at times. So what was the resolve? Love. (1 John 4:18)
I needed a revelation of how loved I was. I needed the Author of love, the One who is love to overwhelm my pain and show me my true identity. When I knew I was loved by Him, then I could love myself.
The natural outcome is that other’s negative opinions can hurt, but no longer harm.
The way to freedom is to invite Papa God into your situation and ask His perspective on it. Ask Him to point out the verses that will bring you into freedom, and then start declaring them over yourself and into your life.
The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12).
Meaning, declarations based on scripture will effect powerful change in your life.
Again, declare them like the warrior you are. The one God sees when He looks at you!
Here is a list of declarations based on scripture, from Steve and Wendy Backlund at Igniting Hope Ministries. They recommend speaking them aloud, once or twice a day, for 40 days.
Father, I give you my past. Renew my mind through Your Word and through Jesus’ blood. Transform my thinking. Bring me scriptures that will render transformation in my mind and throughout my life. Thank You for all You’ve done for me. In Jesus’ name, amen!
Sword by Søren Niedziella via Flickr.com – no changes made
Woman in mirror by lorZ via Flickr.com – no changes made