I was reading verses of “Who I am in Christ” over Kayla as I was driving her to school the other day when I found myself thinking, “I know these are God’s truths about who I am in Christ, but I certainly don’t feel as though they are true of me. Verses like…
you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.
you have the peace of God that passes understanding
you have power over all the power of the enemy and nothing will harm you
you are raised with Christ in heavenly places
you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you
Some days what I know to be true is that I’m not feeling chosen or acting very royal, or holy.
Some days what I know to be true is that I’m everything but at peace.
Some days the strategies of the enemy are so strong and all I know to be true is that I yielded to temptation and now am regretting the words I spoke, the judgements I made.
It may be truth that I’m am raised with Christ in the heavenliness, but right now I am surrounded with cleaning, errands, and laundry; none of which seem very heavenly.
Really God? I know You said You will give me the strength to do what You tell me to do, but what I know to be true is that I don’t have the ability to do it, I’ve tried that before and failed.
Can there actually be true and truth?
What do I do when I find what I believe to be true is different than God’s truth?
I have a choice to make.
This is a profound revelation for me!
One that I have found changes how I look at situations, how I respond towards others, and what I choose to believe; and even how I pray!
It is a revelation that takes me beyond the physical, into the spiritual.
This was Gideon’s experience when he was visited by an angel while hiding in a winepress threshing wheat.
“And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” And the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.” Judges 6:12-16
What was true to Gideon…
He and his people were being oppressed and starved by the Midianites.
He hadn’t seen any miracles of God like he heard happened long ago.
The Lord had forsaken them and had given them into the hands of their enemies.
There was no way he could save his people because his clan was the weakest of all the clans, and he was the least of his family.
These things were true in the physical realm. These were Gideon’s perspectives based on what he was experiencing, what he could see, and what he understood.
Gideon felt afraid, abandoned, and sorry for himself.
Sounds familiar, kind of like a pity party down in the “whinepress“!
But God had a different perspective; one from the spiritual realm.
“The Lord is with you”
“You mighty man of valor!”
“Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”
“Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”
Gideon spoke what was true.
God spoke truth!
It’s clear God didn’t send His angel to have a discussion with Gideon about the reasons why they were being oppressed, the causes for the lack of miracles, or the root of Gideon’s low self-esteem.
Not that God doesn’t care about the things that concern us, but I find if I focus on my difficulties, when I doubt God and question where He has been lately, and when I think negatively and feel sorry for myself, it keeps me down in the winepress, having pity parties, and doing things I shouldn’t.
Truth trumps what is true!
So, back to the verses I speak over Kayla each morning.
If I look at them in light of this revelation, that truth trumps what is true; rather than being discouraged when I don’t feel like these are true about me, or when I have excuses as to why they can’t be true based on what I see or understand, I can thank God for His truth and choose to believe Him, no matter what.
It’s up to me to lay aside what I believe to be true about myself based on my circumstances or how I have defined myself. I can choose to see myself as God sees me, as His chosen daughter, royal, and holy, set apart for His purposes and glory.
In the midst of chaos I can get caught up in it and become overwhelmed by the turmoil and stress. Or I can choose to believe the truth that when I choose to rejoice always, don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything with thanksgiving, I will experience His surpassing peace!
When I take hold of the truth that the Holy Spirit within me is greater than any strategy of the enemy and that when I choose to resist the devil and draw near to God I will be able to resist temptation. Then I will have no regrets of harsh words or judgmental attitudes.
Seated in heavenly places? This is a truth I don’t fully understand, but I can choose to believe it, and then ask God to explain it to me. “So, Lord, I believe I have been raised with You in the heavenly places, please show me the authority I have as one seated with You, and how to live in that truth here on earth.”
When faced with a decision of what to do I have the choice of how to respond. Often I look at the choices through my eyes, examine them through my understanding, and base my decision on my ability, on my experience. When I choose independently of God’s truth it opens me up to wrong decisions and failure. When I choose to believe God’s truth that says, “you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you,” I will seek Him to guide me in making my choice and trust that in choosing His will He will give me the strength to accomplish it.
The story of Gideon doesn’t end here. God called him to “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” God promised to be with him and to give him the victory.
I believe this call from oppression and scarcity is for today just as it was in Gideon’s day… so, look up from your winepress and see that…
God is with you, O mighty warrior, calling you to go in your might and save those around you from the oppression of the enemy. He promises to go with you and to give you the victory!
But it begins with an encounter with God that will require you to exchange your true, with God’s truth!