When Will My Performance Tell Me that I Am I Good Enough?

Jim Carey at Global Awards 2016

I just spend a sweet time with a dear woman, suffering from this one question: Do I have worth? Her story began with an abusive mother who held out the hope of worth based upon her condition. Once she ate the last piece of bread in the home and her mother threw a sharp knife at her, missing her by a hair. Once her mother strangled her, threatening her with death.

The message she heard in church was: “If you obey, God will accept you.” Sounds strange, but she cherished Satan’s lie that she was worthless, because her foolish strategies to prove her worth in the eyes of others worked for a season in Christian performance. Until, of course, she surrendered to the lie that she is worthless frequently until burnout and depression set in.

She recently came to faith in the Gospel’s authority over her life, renounced the lie and her foolish strategies. Jesus was enough for her. God made her in His image (she has worth), and Jesus redeemed her (the cross shows how much she is worth). Now her Christian practice can be for others, not to prove her worth.

Sensing Jesus by Zack Eswine

Now are You able to Renounce the Devil’s Lie?

My Friend, Zachary, sent me these lyrics of a recent song by a band called “The Oh Hellos”

Dear Wormwood

“Dear Wormwood”

 

When I was a child, I didn’t hear a single word you said

The things I was afraid of, they were all confined beneath my bed
But the years have been long, and you have taught me well to hide away
The things that I believed in, you’ve taught me to call them all escapes

I know who you are now

There before the threshold, I saw a brighter world beyond myself
And in my hour of weakness, you were there to see my courage fail
For the years have been long, and you have taught me well to sit and wait
Planning without acting, steadily becoming what I hate

I know who you are now

I have always known you, you have always been there in my mind
But now I understand you, and I will not be part of your designs

I know who I am now

And all that you’ve made of me

I know who you are now

  And I name you my enemy

I know who I am now

I know who I want to be
I want to be more than this devil inside of me

 

Pentecostal Outpourings

What is the Key to Keeping Your Gospel Sanity?

When we are most vulnerable, we must practice the spiritual discipline of solitude. By solitude I mean to quiet our thoughts and to have no other gods before God and His Presence, which the first commandment.

When are we most vulnerable, yet most in need of Gospel to be strengthened for the day? IMG_2702 (1)

It is in the early morning when we first awake.

C.S. Lewis puts it this way:

“The real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it.  It comes the very moment you wake up each morning.   All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals.  And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day.  Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind”  (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity Book IV Chapter 8)

Every morning we are so easily seduced from a simple and pure devotion to Christ  (II Corinthians 11:3) by our own anxious thoughts and thirsty demands (“fussings and frettings”) that rush in upon us, and by Satan’s substitutes that appeal to our autonomous default mode. “Keep your head in all situations,” said the apostle Paul to his spiritual son, Timothy. How shall we ever do that?

Practicing solitude in the morning when we rise requires self-control (a fruit of the Spirit) wherein we renounce Satan’s lies and accusations and refuse to be ruled by urgent impulses that thrust us forward and compel us to run ahead without the Presence of God and Gospel Manna (i.e. Moses in Acts 7:23-29).

Pentecostal Outpourings

Devils Keep Our Identity in Christ at Bay

Wormwood is a devil in training under his Uncle Screwtape’s coaching by mail. Wormwood’s “patient” is a young man, who has been recently united to Christ by faith in the Gospel.

DemonsScrewtape tries to make it simple for Wormwood by keeping out of the young Christian’s mind the truth about who he is in Christ. Screwtape’s second letter instructs the younger demon by saying:

“All you then have to do is to keep out of his mind the question ‘If I, being what I am, can consider that I am in some sense a Christian, why should the different vices of those people in the next pew prove that their religion is mere hypocrisy and convention?’ You may ask whether it is possible to keep such an obvious thought from occurring even to a human mind. It is, Wormwood, it is!”

By Screwtape’s tenth letter he simply says: “All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be. This is elementary.”

A true sense of who you are as a Christian will never come to our minds if you fail to keep two things in mind: 1) You must never give anyone but Christ the authority to tell you who you are. 2) You must never pretend to be someone you are not.

 

Lewis, C. S. (2009-05-28). The Screwtape Letters (pp. 8, 46). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.