Monday, May 23, 2011

The Pursuit of Potential: Lie #6

"You are not good enough for ministry."

"You do not have the strength to do God's work alone; you'll be alone and God will not bring anyone to you to do this work with him."

"God knows who you really are; you can never change your past and you don't deserve to minister to others; you can never hide your scars."

"You are too insecure to serve God."

Wow. These are similar lies that four individual women wrote down on notecards after one of my speaking sessions, but that I imagine every woman carries some version of these lies somewhere deep in her heart.

When we find ourselves feeling this way, internally struggling with insecurities and unworthiness to serve, the first thing we should do.. is consider the source.

Who told us we were unworthy? Who said we were useless, and that God could not use us? Who is telling us that we have no redeeming qualities that could benefit God's kingdom? Who said you would never measure up to God's standards?

I would venture to say that the likelihood of someone speaking such harsh words to someone is slim. So who is telling us these lies?

None other than the one who wants to keep us stifled with feelings of unworthiness.

Maybe you are one of those women today, who feel unworthy. Unworthy to serve. Unworthy to even be called God's child. You look at yourself in the mirror, and all you see, is your flaws, your past, your mistakes, your failures, your temptations, your struggles, and maybe how your spiritual life is inconsistent or waning at best.

I want you to close your eyes and create a visual in your head. Imagine taking a black sharpie marker, and writing all the negative words that you feel about yourself, across your forehead and all over your face, for all to see. Would it be pretty? Of course not.

Do you really think that this is how God sees you? Of course He doesn't!

He sees you through the blood of Jesus Christ. He sees a face free from blemish, that He formed in a womb. He sees you as a forgiven child. Cleansed and whole. Beautiful and usable. Loved. Worthy to serve Him.

I used to see myself with all those invisible words written across from my face. I never felt worthy to serve the God of universe in even the smallest way. And honestly, I still struggle with feeling unworthy to speak, write and share His gospel, especially on those days when I feel like I let God down in my actions, behaviors and decisions.

But praise God, He sees us as more than our mistakes, our past or problems. He sees our heart.

It took a long and transforming season of faith for me to understand that, but God worked mightily in my heart .....not to fix all my problems or make me perfect, but to help me push past Satans lies, and embrace His truth instead. And He continues to work in my heart daily, helping me to remember to give Him authority over my life and my thoughts, and nobody else.

Satan knows he cannot stop us from rising in the morning, caring for our families, going to our jobs, eating, sleeping, or even going to church. But - he can stop us from serving Christ, as he fills our head with lies that we are not good enough, and never will be. Lies that we dont measure up to God's expectations, and that we certainly do not measure up to all those perfect, spiritual people we go to church with.

Lies that God will always call someone else to the task that we feel ill-equipped to tackle, making it okay for us to justify staying in our comfort zones.

Jeremiah 1:5-9 says, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” “O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said, “Look, I have put my words in your mouth!"

Worthiness is a gift that comes with salvation, not something we earn. We are worthy to serve because God said so, not because of anything about us personally. God calls us to serve Him, and others, because of who He is, not because of who we are.

Good news. As we embrace God's love fully, and earnestly pray for His voice to be louder than the enemy, we will eventually gain confidence in our value in Him. That confidence will give us courage to step out of our comfort zones, and do something for Christ that we never thought we were capable of.

Believing we are worthy gives us courage to do those seemgingly impossible things, even when our fears and insecurities are still swirling in our minds. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to move forward despite those fears and insecurities. Courage is simply faith.

I love to share this excerpt below from Pastor Rick Warren's book, A Purpose Driven Life.

“Abraham was old, Jacob was insecure, Leah was unattractive, Joseph was abused, Moses stuttered, Gideon was poor, Samson was codependent, Rahab was immoral, David had an affair and all kinds of family problems, Elijah was suicidal, Jeremiah was depressed, Jonah was reluctant, Naomi was a widow, John the Baptist was eccentric so say the least, Peter was impulsive and hot-tempered, Martha worried a lot, the Samaritan woman had several failed marriages, Zachaeus was unpopular, Thomas had doubts, Paul had poor health, and Timothy was timid. That’s quite a group of misfits, but God used each of them in his service. He will use you too”

No matter what problems you have faced, mistakes you have made, sins you struggle with, or lies you have believed, God is powerful enough to use it all for Him. We just have to believe what He says about us in His word, and not what the enemy says about us in our heads.

Prayer for today:
Oh Lord, you know me all too well. You know the lies I have been believing. You know the power that I may have given Satan over my life, as I embraced the lies as truth, preventing me from believing in myself, and believing that you love me, despite me. Forgive me for allowing the enemy's lies to keep me from embracing Your truth, and from serving in the way You have called me to serve. Help me to understand fully that You do not want us to hide our scars, because our scars are beautiful to You. Those scars are what You will use to bring Yourself glory, as I allow You to work through me, to impact others. Help me see Your plan for my life, and give me the strength to focus on You, and not the invisible words that I think are written across my face. Thank you for believing in me for Lord, and for seeing my value, even when I cannot. In Jesus name, Amen.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

AMAZING, thank you for this I really needed to hear this. In my quiet time this morning I read the verse you listed in Jeremiah. And the lies you listed were the exact one satan was filling my head with. I even had just asked God Do you even want me to serve you? WOW I know...I instantly prayed because I knew I was under attack and moments later I recieved this in my inbox. Praise God! He is good and always on time !