Hello Fellow Receivers of God’s Blessings:
So many questions are running through my heart as I ponder what to write here. How do I really think of myself in relationship to God? Do I really know what my real mindset is?
Joyce starts off with this scripture:
Joshua 5:9 And the Lord said to Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you. So the name of the place is called Gilgal [rolling] to this day.
“The word reproach means “blame….disgrace: shame.” When God said that He would “roll away” the reproach of Egypt from the Isrealites, He was making a point. Egypt represents the world. After a few years of being in the world and becoming worldly, we all need the reproach of it rolled away.
We have said that grace is the power of God coming to us, as a free gift from Him, to help us do with ease what we cannot do ourselves. God wants to give us grace, and Satan wants to give us disgrace, which is another word for shame.”
Where do I feel shame? The Lord brought to my mind my family line. See I have the distinguished background line of Alcoholism, pedophiles, schizophrenics, homosexuality, lesbians, drug abuse, physical and verbal abusers, cheaters, and religious, critical, complainers in abundance. How could I do anything for God?
What I am finding is it is not about what I can do for God but rather what He has done for me. For years, I wondered if I would go insane like many members of family have. The more I considered all that was lacking in my family and in me, the more my reproach grew. I walk with my heart bowed down, not in humility but overloaded with shame. Shame is not a fruit of true repentance. Reproach becomes heavier as we carry it. It was the “Sinner saved by grace” mentality. The more sin I saw in my life the more it was reproduced in me. With it’s recognition came shame and guilt. I acknowledged how terrible I was, and some how I got stuck there. Grace was all blocked out. This lead me to try harder, do more, be better. Now I am not talking about acknowledging sin and confessing to the Lord. I am talking about receiving forgiveness in word but not in deed. My mind knew Jesus has paid the price for my sins, but my heart lived in the place of reproach. I deserved to feel shame. I deserved this trial. ALL A WRONG MINDSET.
It was a mindset that was confirmed to the world’s way of thinking. The law demands but God’s grace give. God is teaching me how to think about myself. As I set my heart to receive His heart for me, He lovingly convicted my heart. Each point of conviction became a place of joy. I felt loved and peaceful. I was sorrowful for the wrong but not overwhelmed with shame. I had hope that God would continue to help me and that I was not stuck. Even though I made the same mistake over and over again. This form of correction was totally new to me and took time for me to assimilate. Boy, did this greatly affect my parenting. The results are amazing. My children don’t obey me from fear, guilt or shame. Because I have been learning this, and they see me walking it out, it overflows onto them. I chose God because He chose me. I have spent many years filling my heart and mind with what His word says about me and it has totally forged His purpose in me. I am not just barely saved. I am not worried if I am pleasing Him. I live my life from the root of Jesus. Jesus is always pleasing and accepted and approved by God and so am I. He makes me so. I stop depending on my ability to live up to Jesus. That is the world’s way of thinking, not God’s.
Colossians 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 1:22 Yet now has [Christ, the Messiah] reconciled [you to God] in the body of His flesh through death, in order to present you holy and faultless and irreproachable in His [the Father’s] presence.
I no longer have to worry about my ” Egypt.” God has called me out of there. Not only has He called me out, He has made all the provisions for my journey and purposed a destination. This is my new mindset. I lock my heart and my mind on His Words concerning me. I let them be my absolute. He leads me onward. He guides my steps and knows the plans He has for me. I trust Him with me. I am no longer afraid He is going to find sin in me. He is looking for Jesus. The blood of Jesus commands His attention. He will see the detailed work of Christ in me.
Another thing I have been learning is to agree quickly with my accuser. I was reading this: Matthew 5:25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way traveling with him, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. This is what has happened to me when the enemy accuses me. When I tried to defend myself, I brought judgement into my life, which become a prison of negative words of accusation and judgement for me.The Lord showed me to agree with what the enemy says but speak out what God’s word says. This is what this looks like for me:
The Accusation: “You always screw up! You are so hopeless!
The Answer: ” I do screw up and sometimes I feel hopeless but God has made provision for me in this. His word says, ….Those who put their trust in God will never be disappointed.(Isaiah 49:23) I refuse to be disappointed in myself.God is not disappointed in me. God’s heart to me is to give me hope and a future(Jeremiah 29:11)
This totally disarms the accusations. It has worked so well for me. I am overcoming the accuser with God’s truth. The only righteousness that succeeds is Jesus’. If I am focused on my righteousness, I can not see His. Living in reproach focuses me on my righteousness. It shuts me in and limits me. That is why it required Jesus to roll it way. Only His power can bust me out of my “self” prison. He opens me up to receive His righteousness and therefore I walk free. Hallelujah!
Truly, my dear friends, we stand blameless before God because of Jesus. No more wasting our time with blaming ourselves and walking in reproach. Shame is no longer our game. He has rolled away our reproach. Now is our time to learn God’s way of thinking about ourselves, letting His word transform our minds, our hearts and our lives. Then shall we walk in His victory.