II Peter 1:3-4 (The Message)
“EVERYTHING that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously GIVEN to you by getting to know, personally and intimately, the ONE who invited you to God! The best invitation you ever received! You have also been given absolutely terrific promises – your ticket to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.”
Did you read that? Read it again. Slowly. Chew on it. Your mind won’t grasp it, but your heart and spirit will sense the magnitude of it. This scripture has been the source of much meditation for me over the past year. It says to me that regardless of how long I have battled, struggled and wrestled with the same stronghold in my life, He has ALREADY given me EVERYTHING I need to overcome it and lead a life pleasing to Him. I know, we’ve heard those words before and we tend to read them with a numbness without really HEARING it. As I have meditated on this scripture, I began to realize that who I AM is the person that is FREE of that stronghold. The false belief system in my mind was that because I have always been a certain way, or practiced certain behavior, or yielded to the same specific bait that the enemy brought across my path, that it was just a part of who I am. But that’s a lie! You see, who I am, and who you are, is the person that is created in God’s image.
As I would find myself yielding over and over to the same stronghold, I would become angry with myself….but I would still yield. I would feel like a monster and a horrible person….but I would still yield. I would become sick at my stomach at my repeated behavior…..but I would still yield. I would cry buckets of tears before God accepting once again His mercy and forgiveness…..but I would still yield. I would say to God, “I don’t know how NOT to be this way! As far back in my life as I can remember, I’ve been this way! I don’t even know how to NOT do this!”
That’s when He brought me to that scripture….and began to lovingly show me that the first step in being free of that stronghold was to realize….that it was not me. He reached down into the deepest places of who I am, because only the One that created me knows where to touch, and He whispered, “You believe that you’re that person. You believe the lie the enemy has told you. But I don’t care how long you’ve practiced that stronghold, or how many times you’ve chosen it over me….I did not create you that way and you are not that person!”
So, who am I? And who better to show me who I am than the only One that truly knows? Because He fashioned me. He molded me. He spoke forth plans for my life. He put gifts inside of me. He put laughter and joy inside of me. He filled me with His peace that passes all of my own understanding. And He said, “You are mine.”
So as I have progressed in soaking my mind in the fact that the real me has nothing to do with the behavior I once yielded to….and this is definitely not an overnight process…..and as I continue looking into the mirror of His Word that tells me who I am, the stronghold gets further and further away. And the picture of how I see myself becomes clearer each day. And old things become new. And weights that once weighed me down fall away. And although the picture of the real me is only a glimpse right now, I am beginning to believe that it’s the truth. Why? Because He said so. And He has never lied to me. He has never left me. He has never presented Himself as anything other than Who He is. And He is trustworthy. And He is faithful. And He has loved me every moment. And He has hurt for me everytime I believed the enemy’s lie. And He has picked me up. And He has dusted me off. A million times.
I love Him. You are who He says you are. Believe it. Think on it. Meditate on it.