The last few weeks I have been realizing how much I put my identity in what man thinks of me verses who I am in God. A couple weekends ago I was around several people that I struggle standing up to and tend to be manipulated by. I hate conflict and I hate people not liking me or being mad at me. A part of that fear leads me to allow manipulation and not stand up for myself. I want to trust people and think that they would not treat me in a manipulative way. I know I have always struggled with this but I feel like God wants to bring this to the surface of my heart and bring healing and freedom in this area. It is a hard lesson that I think will have to continue for awhile. The same weekend I was struggling through being around difficult people, Darrin spoke on freedom over idols. That message spoke right to me and I felt like "Okay God I get it..." I realized my idols are acceptance, approval, and fear of man. I loved how Darrin brought up that we need to walk in the Spirit and that giving up our idols and following him doesn't happen over night. We need to continually surrender. I want to be so grounded in who I am in Christ. I am his daughter, beloved, vessel, and bond servant. I want to be used by God. I want to be done with living a life in fear of man and what they think of me. This keeps me at times from sharing who I am in Christ, and sharing the gospel and hope to other people, especially people I work with. I want to be a humble but bold vessel for the Lord.
God please help me to continually lay my idols at your feet and surrender myself before you. Abba, give me strength and confidence in You. Help me to learn to hear your voice clearly and to follow you with all that I am :)
Another thing I have noticed lately is how awesome the Old Testament is. Growing up in a Christian environment, I heard the Bible stories many times. I never really dove into and read the Old Testament that much. Recently, I have been reading the stories of Joshua, Gideon, Sampson, Saul, David, Ruth, Esther, and Samuel. Now that I have been reading them I noticed how messed up, raw, and real these people were. I always tended to hold these people on pedestals as the heroes of the Bible. I realize now they are just like us today. They struggle, doubt, disobey, and question but God wanted to use them. He loved them and did not stop pursuing and using them. He even considered David a man after His own heart when we could look at David and consider him a murderer and adulterer. I also loved that even though Gideon need continual reassurance from God, he did step out in obedience and God continued to reveal Himself to him. I love that even though we do stumble and fall, God will continue to pick us up and use us. We need to have hearts of repentance and surrender and to walk in the Spirit. Thank you God for Your forgiveness and faithfulness to us and for using us to further Your kingdom!