To read the first post in this series click HERE.
Last week I talked about the importance of our stories and how often times the enemy tries to shame us for them, but how when we confess them, the Lord redeems them and uses them to strengthen us. Today I want to talk about our stories and how they define who we become.
After writing last week’s post the Lord started talking to me about how the enemy not only wants to shame us for our poor choices, but he wants to use them to define us. When you think about yourself, and who you are today, how many of you can’t help but dwell on the mistakes of your past?
You feel like you’ll never truly be who you were meant to be because of the choices you’ve made in the past, am I right? Well I’m sorry but it just isn’t true.
It’s a reality that you might be choosing into, but it’s not God’s reality.
Just as I mentioned last week, we serve a God who is big enough to redeem every poor choice we’ve ever made. If you believe you can’t be who you were meant to be, then you’re choosing to believe the lies of the enemy, instead of the truth that God is a God who loves and redeems.
His faithfulness, not ours, has saved us, and we have received God’s perfect righteousness. Now we know that God accepts no one by the keeping of religious laws, but by the gift of grace!” Galatians 2:16b (tPt)
“The gift of grace“, that’s the story we should let define who we are!
When we choose to believe that we can’t become who we were created to be, because of our poor choices, we are saying that our choices, and our past, are more powerful than Christ dying on the cross for us.
I think when you read it like that, you’d say, of course that’s not true, of course Christ laying down His life for me is more powerful than anything I could ever do, but do your actions and your beliefs align with that?
The enemy’s lies might be convincing but they have no power, unless you give them power over you. You get to choose who and what defines you, whether it’s your past, or God’s saving grace.
I love the song, You Define Me, on the new Kim Walker-Smith album because the lyrics are so incredibly powerful.
No whisper can accuse
No rumor can undo
The words You speak over me
No lie can ever break
No shame can ever steal
The words You speak over me
You’re speaking over me!
Only Your words, define me
You tell me who I am
Only Your love, can hold me
You make me who I am
You define me.
No fear, can hold me hostage
No lie, can keep me bound
My God has the final word.”
As you read the lyrics to that song can you honestly say that no accusing whisper, no shame, no fear and no lies are helping to define who you are? They shouldn’t, but my guess is that one or all of those things are getting in the way of how you view yourself.
The enemy is such a good liar and his accusations, shame, fear and lies are very convincing, which makes it easy to keep our stories hidden away where they’re “safe”. But I want you to know that “safe” place, isn’t safe. In fact that place you’re hiding is only taking away from the royalty you are created to be. It’s keeping you from experiencing the fullness of the Lord. It’s keeping you from experiencing true grace and a love that’s beyond comprehension.
The Lord tells Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV) –
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.“
To which Paul responds, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
His “power is made perfect in our weakness.” It’s in our faults, our sins, our poor choices that the Lord comes in, redeems us and empowers us.
The authority we have is not being defined by our mistakes, it’s allowing the Lord to use our story to define and empower us – through His grace.
We lived by whatever our natural cravings and thoughts our minds dictated, living as rebellious children subject to God’s wrath like everyone. But God still loved us with such great love. He is so rich in compassion and mercy. Even when we were dead and doomed in our many sins, He united us into the very life of Christ and saved us by His wonderful grace! He raised us up with Christ the exalted One, and we ascended with Him into the glorious perfection and authority of the heavenly realm, for we are now co-seated as one with Christ! Throughout the coming ages we will be the visible display of the infinite, limitless riches of His grace and kindness, which was showered upon us in Jesus Christ. For it was only through this wonderful grace that we believed in Him. Nothing we did could ever earn this salvation, for it was the gracious gift from God that brought us to Christ! We have become His poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny He has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus.” Ephesians 2:3-8, 10 (tPt)
My challenge for you is to stop allowing the enemy to use your story against you. Christ died for you so that you didn’t have to struggle with the fear, lies and shame of the enemy. When Christ rose again He took all authority away from Satan so let’s stop trying to give it back to him!
Let’s allow only the words of the Lord to define us, and tell us who we really are. Let’s take our past out of hiding, and give it to the Lord, trusting Him to redeem it and use it in our lives in a very powerful way!