Thank you very much for your well wishes from my previous post! I do feel much better and the cold is rolling over. When I spoke with my mother over the phone yesterday, she reminded me that the Word of God is an antibiotic that cleanses our bodies and our minds. She said that as I go to church and listen to the word of God, His word will penetrate my entire being and bring wholeness to my body (and mind, of course). Can I get an amen?
Here’s a devotional from My Utmost, and it’s spot on about some of the issues I’ve been dealing with recently. As always, my own thoughts are in italics. Do enjoy!
The Sin of Self-Consciousness
God means us to live a fully-orbed life in Christ Jesus, but there are times when that life is attacked from the outside, and we tumble into a way of introspection which we thought had gone. Self-consciousness is the first thing that will upset the completeness of the life in God, and self-consciousness continually produces wrestling.
Like everything in life (well, except God) introspection has its good and bad sides. It brings self-awareness, which in turn enables us to build stronger personal and interpersonal skills. Introspection creates confidence and emotional intelligence. It also leads to success in life because when we know ourselves, we’re able to conduct an honest analysis of our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats SWOT). We know what we like, what we’re good at, what we dislike and what we’re not so good at. And that’s great. With this knowledge, we also are able to improve our personal performance and direct our energy.
But there’s a downside. When introspection is not well directed, it results in self-consciousness, which is what I’m learning from this devotional today. When we’re self-conscious, we pick at all our flaws and we’re hard on ourselves. We live our lives through the eyes of other people, who may not even love and appreciate us. We rely on the world’s rubric for everything and we measure ourselves against an absurd standard.
Self-consciousness is not sin; it may be produced by a nervous temperament or by a sudden dumping down into new circumstances. It is never God’s will that we should be anything less than absolutely complete in Him. Anything that disturbs rest in Him must be cured at once, and it is not cured by being ignored, but by coming to Jesus Christ. If we come to Him and ask Him to produce Christ-consciousness, He will always do it until we learn to abide in Him.
Hmmm. The antidote to self-consciousness is absolute Christ consciousness. When our eyes stay on Jesus, nothing, not even ourselves can stop us from greatness. When our eyes rest on Jesus, there’s no room for guilt, disgrace, shame, and brokenness. We are made whole in Jesus, and when we look to Him, we receive our healing like the Israelites did when they looked up to the serpent in Numbers 21. When we look up to Jesus, our weaknesses do not matter because we understand that we function by His strength in us, and when we are weak, then He is strong.
God’s will is that we should at all times, be one with Him. He has created us to have dominion, and to command divine authority over our circumstances. He has made us to excel and to prosper. He has designed us to have absolute and complete unity with Him. That’s why Jesus sent the Holy Spirit- the paraclete, the comforter and the counselor. He’s our companion and our friend. We are created to have a perfectly symbiotic relationship with the Holy Spirit.
When we’re not receiving from God and allowing His spirit to fill us up, we leave a space in our minds and spirit for the devil to work. And boy is he creative! The devil is one master planner. When he has his eyes set on bringing you down, nothing in this world, EXCEPT GOD, can protect you. The devil is a sweet talker and a scammer. He will feed lies and nonsense to your mind, and guess what, when you’re being introspective without allowing Jesus to wash you over and heal you over, the devil will have a perfect repository for his shenanigans.
Never allow the dividing up of your life in Christ to remain without facing it. Beware of leakage, of the dividing up of your life by the influence of friends or of circumstances; beware of anything that is going to split up your oneness with Him and make you see yourself separately. Nothing is so important as to keep right spiritually. The great solution is the simple one — “Come unto Me.” The depth of our reality, intellectually, morally and spiritually, is tested by these words. In every degree in which we are not real, we will dispute rather than come.
That’s it for today friends! May the Lord bless and keep us all in His love!
Featured image from here.