Here is the most recent devotional that I sent out to the girls of my small group….
Hello beloved daughters of the King!
(We will be discussing this devotional further at our Retreat. So please come ready to discuss!)
Last week I shared a brief thought about stepping out of fear and into victory and freedom, and I think the Lord wants us to dwell on that some more.
I have had to step out of many places of fear in my own life, and He’s been helping me step out of another one recently. One of the biggest places of fear that the enemy held me in for a long time was the fear of rejection. I had very few friends growing up – for some reason I was the one that the rest of my classmates decided to exclude. I strived for my father’s attention, but felt ignored. In college I also felt isolated at times. Naturally, I began to fear that I would be rejected by everyone, even God. So Jesus had to help me work through a lot of rejection to come to a place of victory. I had to work through forgiveness and learn that I have value in Christ. And now I have joy in the victory of laying those things down!
Let me share some thoughts from a devotional book:
“Freedom in Him”
(Taken from Jesus Lives by Sarah Young)
Come to Me when you are hurting, and I will share your pain. Come to Me when you are joyful, and I will share your Joy – multiplying it many times over.
I invite you to come to Me just as you are – no matter what condition you’re in. You don’t have to clean up your act first, since I already know the worst about you. When you’re hurting, you want to be with someone who understands you without condemning you. When you’re happy, you delight in being with someone who loves you enough to celebrate with you. I understand you compassionately and love you exuberantly, so bring more and more of yourself to Me.
Most people are selective about which parts of themselves they share with me. Some hesitate to bring Me the traits they consider shameful. Others are so used to living with painful feelings – loneliness, fear, guilt – that it never occurs to them to ask for help in dealing with these things. Still others get so preoccupied with their struggles that they forget I’m even here.
There are hurting parts of you that I desire to heal. However, some of them have been with you so long that you consider them part of your identity. You carry them with you wherever you go, with little awareness. On occasions when you have brought some damaged portion of yourself to Me, I have helped you walk in new found freedom. However, you are so addicted to certain painful patterns that you cannot easily break free from them. Only repeatedly exposing them to My healing Presence will bring you long-term freedom. When that happens, you will be released to experience Joy in much fuller measure. I will share your Joy and multiply it many times over.
Therefore, there is now no condemnations for those who are in Christ Jesus.
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
I like where Young says that some of our hurts have been with us so long that we consider them part of our identity. Please hear me, sweet sisters… your identity is not in your pain, or the things that have happened to you. It’s not even in what you do or where you live. Your identity is in Jesus! You are a child of the King, your are the bride of Christ, you are a valuable worker in His Kingdom. You are valuable simply because you are God’s child.
If you have been around Two Rivers for a while, you may have heard about something called “The Meeting Place.” You picture in your mind a place where you would like to meet with Jesus – anywhere you want to. Where would you go? Then you invite Him into it. What does He do? What does He say to you?
It’s like Eileen was sharing with us about inviting Jesus into our pain. We can also invite Him into our fears, our troubles, our circumstances. In your mind, picture that time or place. Then invite Jesus into it. What does He do? What does He say? Does He hold you? Does He strengthen you? Does He comfort you? Does He tell you what to say or do? Is He asking Him to hand something over to Him?
When you give Him something, He always gives you something in return. So give Him your fear and receive from Him your victory. Give Him your circumstances and receive His peace. Give Him your struggle and receive His joy. Make that holy exchange with Him.
I look forward to what the Lord has to say about all of this at the Retreat. And I am so looking forward to seeing so many of you there!
Have a blessed rest of your week!