Love Came Down at Christmas

When God created the first man He called all of heaven to join Him as He gathered the dust of the ground and formed and shaped Adam with His hands. Jesus, Holy Spirit, and all the angels watched in amazement as God then leaned over and breathed His very breath into man’s lungs and Adam became a living being. The woman too, God took His hands and reached into Adam and drew out a rib with which He formed Eve. All other creation God spoke into being, but man was lovingly shaped by God’s very own hands, created in His own image. Adam received his first breath through God’s own mouth. God placed Adam and Eve in a garden of perfection, the Garden of Eden, where they all enjoyed walking and talking together. Adam and Eve had everything they needed, experienced no guilt, and knew no shame.

That was all Adam and Eve knew; perfect love, truth, and intimacy with God, their Creator.

Until the day evil entered the garden…

Satan, the liar, brought to God’s creation another voice.

Another choice.

Satan had also enjoyed the presence of God. Lucifer, as he once was called, was created by God, a beautiful covering angel who worshipped God and walked upon the fiery stones of heaven. But one day evil was found in Lucifer. One day pride rose up in him and he wanted to be worshipped instead of the worshipper he was created to be. He wanted to be like God. And because God will not share His glory with any other, Lucifer was cast out of heaven, down to earth.

And so, it was this same evil that came into the perfect Garden of Eden.

That same lie, “you will be like God…”

The lie that says, “Is God really worthy of your worship? Wouldn’t you rather be worshipped?”

The lie enticed…

The lie was embraced…

The lie replaced the truth…

The lie brought disobedience to God’s command…sin

Sin brought guilt and shame.

Sin brought death to the relationship between man and his Creator.

That evil, that sin nature, has been passed on to all God’s creation.

But God so loved the world…

God had a plan from the beginning, when sin first entered man. That plan was to restore relationship, and to defeat the enemy, the liar, Satan.

There in the Garden of Eden God set His plan into motion and there is a Crimson Thread that runs through the Bible that shows God’s love for His creation. It was a plan of redemption so that the relationship and the fellowship that God intended for His creation would be restored.

Love came down from heaven on Christmas Day!

The prophet Isaiah spoke of a child, a son that was to be born. He would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. He would rule with fairness and justice, forever. The Lord of heaven’s armies would make it happen! (Isaiah 9:6-7) Isaiah spoke of this 700 years before the birth of Jesus. God gave His people a promise, a hope, that He had Good News that would be to all people.

In God’s perfect timing.

When the world was dark and God’s voice was silent…

On that first Christmas night I believe a holy hush fell upon heaven, as all joined together and waited in suspense, in anticipation, to see the Wonder of Love sent down to earth!

Love that would once again breathe life into God’s creations that had died that day in the Garden of Eden.

Love that would restore relationship between God and all whom He lovingly created with His own hands.

Something new and different was about to happen. God’s Love was about to be demonstrated in a miraculous way. The Love of God was about to come to earth, to take on flesh and blood, to live among the people.

Jesus came down at Christmas, born to bring us Life!

“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”Luke 2:8-12

God’s Love is Good News!!

God’s Love casts out all fear!!

God’s Love brings great joy!!

Why the shepherds? Why were they the first ones to hear the Good News? Those who were outside and alone on a cold dark night, doing a menial job, away from the warmth and comfort of home?

In many ways the shepherds represent all people. Sin has kept us outside, and alone in the dark of night. Sin has kept us away from the warmth and comfort of a relationship with our heavenly Father.

God’s Good News is for all people!

You may be in a cold, dark place,

You may feel alone, even during this time of “Happy Holidays,”

You may be far from the warmth and comfort of family and friends.

“The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood…What came into existence was Life, and the life was Light to live by.” John 1:14,4 MSG

Christmas! The Love of God come to earth as a Babe in a manger. The Light of God come onto this dark world. The Life of God given to all who believe. This Christmas may you know the Good News that came to the shepherds on that first silent and holy night…Good News of Great Joy, a Savior is born, He is Christ the Lord! No longer a Babe in a manger, but the Savior of the world who now sits at the right hand of God the Father. He no longer knocks on the doors of houses, but on the doors of human hearts, longing to be welcomed inside to bring Love, to bring Light, and to Live with you forever!

God comes to say to you,

“Hear the Good News of Love come down at Christmas! For I so loved you that I sent My One and only Son. If you believe in Him you will not die, but you will live and have Life with Me forever! 

Thank you for joining me on this journey through life to learn the ways the enemy means for harm, but that God intends for good!!  May you realize the amazing good God intends for you in the Love that came down from heaven as you celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!! – Wilma

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons from the Living Nativity

 

The moment the Living Nativity came together with all the cast gathered around a baby doll laying in the manger I was in awe of how God had once again kept His Story alive. I realized that what seemed a simple script, roughly cut and sewn costumes, and a stable made from left overs and scraps of wood, held within  it the wonder and awe of God come to earth!

What I have learned is that God doesn’t mind the simple script, after all, it is His Word being proclaimed. And I don’t think He minds the roughly sewn costumes, because they are similar to the swaddling cloths He was wrapped in. And I’m quite sure He really likes the creative way a soccer goal is transformed into a stable.

But last Saturday night I was humbled as I stood and listened to the simple script, looking at the cast wrapped in swaddling costumes, all huddled together in the hand crafted stable, and I asked God’s forgiveness for my doubts about doing the Living Nativity. At that moment my excuses evaporated into the cold night air at the wonder of God’s Word being proclaimed to all who were there. My doubts seemed so insignificant as I watched the cast act out the Story of God come to earth as a Babe in a manger.

I am reminded that no other words could tell the Christmas Story better than God’s own Words. There is power in the Word of God and as it is spoken into the cold night air it is as seed falling on the hearts of men filled with the love and power to save and change lives forever! The Babe in the manger is the “Word of God” come to us, and because He came, lived among us, died for us, and rose again, we have been given the greatest gift; the gift of life!

“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God,
and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” John 1:1-5, 10-14

I am reminded that Jesus wasn’t born to a wealthy family. His parents hadn’t packed Him a new, finely made outfit to wear when He was born. Love was wrapped in swaddling cloths.

God gave the greatest gift ever given when He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth. Jesus wasn’t wrapped the way many believed the Messiah, the Savior of the world, would be wrapped. His “wrapping” didn’t line up with what they thought their Savior should look like. Things haven’t really changed. Today, many don’t receive Jesus, the gift of God, because He isn’t wrapped the way people want Him to be wrapped. Too often we define the Gift of God by the wrapping we see, rather than by opening up the swaddling cloths and seeing the greatness, the love that lies within!

“In God’s eyes He was like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. But in our eyes there was no attractiveness at all, nothing to make us want Him. We despised Him and rejected Him – a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way when He went by. He was despised, and we didn’t care.” Isaiah 53:2-3

I am reminded that Jesus humbled Himself when He left His throne in heaven and came to this earth. He wasn’t born in a palace, a mansion, not even in an Inn. Love was born in a stable.

“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8

God’s timing is perfect; yet there was no room for them in the Inn. If Mary and Joseph had arrived earlier there would have been room. God could have reserved a room for His Son. It was God’s will for His Son, Jesus, to be born in a stable.

I’m still not sure “How God sees Christmas”, but I pray some of these lessons from the Living Nativity will change my heart and give me a different perspective. May I not be distracted by my expectations or by the expectations of others, Instead…

May I realize the power of proclaiming God’s Word to those around me this Christmas. Holy Spirit, open my eyes to the needs of those around me and give me the boldness to share Your Words of Truth that have the power to save and to change lives for eternity.

May I know the greatness of God by embracing His “Gift of Love” wrapped in swaddling cloths. Jesus, I want to know You more, may I experience Your love, and be filled with Your love, so that I can share Your love with others this Christmas.

And may I have the same humility as Jesus, who came to serve, not to be served this Christmas. Father, Your timing and Your positioning is perfect. May I trust You even when I don’t understand my circumstances. Even when I feel I deserve an Inn and I end up in a stable. May I be willing to die to myself so that Your will is done. May I be willing to lay aside my rights so that others will see You.

Perhaps the best way to describe Christmas is with just one word – Love

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

 

What Does Christmas Look Like?

The snow this morning was beautiful as it blanketedimg_1146 the trees and the Christmas lights and I thought, “Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” Snow and Christmas lights…what is it about them that makes it look like Christmas?

What does Christmas look like?

I guess there are many answers to that question, each of you probably have your own definition. Listening to the songs played on the radio station describe about every definition of Christmas possible. Anything from “Santa Clause is coming to town,” to “How many kings stepped down from their thrones?”

How do you describe Christmas? What determines your definition?

The dictionary defines Christmas…”The annual festival of the Christian church commemorating the birth of Jesus; celebrated on December 25, and now as a legal holiday and an occasion for exchanging gifts.”

I find myself drawn to the word “now” in this definition. I find myself torn by this little three letter word…

Christmas, the original meaning, is the commemorating of the birth of Jesus. This is what I want Christmas to mean to me. This is how I want to see Christmas, how I want to describe Christmas.

Yet, this word “now” has me caught up in celebrating a holiday that is all about exchanging gifts.

I have lived caught between these two definitions. While I know Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth. While I have attended many Christmas Eve services and have sung traditional Christmas Carols all my life, I have also made many Christmas lists with gifts I want and I have sung about Frosty, Rudolf, and Santa, who knows everything about me…even whether or not I’m “naughty or nice.”

I have embraced many Christmas traditions that have brought the family together;

Choosing and decorating the perfect tree. Baking cookies, and making the gingerbread house covered with icing and candy. Attending Christmas Eve service, followed by all our favorite Christmas foods. Reading the Christmas Story from the book of Luke before opening the gifts…

These traditions are wonderful and provided many great memories.

I am thankful that I have kept Christ in Christmas. I am thankful that many of our family traditions have included the celebration of the birth of Jesus…but there is this word “now” that has me wondering if I have really seen Christmas, truly celebrated Christmas commemorating the birth of Jesus, my Savior, and my King.

It’s not condemnation…but it does cause me to do some heart searching.

How has the celebration of the birth of Jesus, “Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace,” now become a holiday that is about a man in a red suit bringing gifts on a sleigh drawn by eight tiny reindeer? The enemy has subtly replaced the truth with the pleasures and lusts of this world to distract us and blind us.

The celebration of the true meaning of Christmas holds within it the power to change lives for eternity.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17

God so loved the world!

God gave!

God saved!

How does God see Christmas?

as Love?

as Giving?

as Saving?

“The people who walk in darkness shall see a great light…For onto us a child is born; onto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulders. These will be His royal titles: Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:2,6

Jesus, the Light of the world, humbled Himself, left His throne in heaven, and came to this earth that was lost in darkness. Jesus took on flesh as a Babe in a manger, fully God, fully man.

Jesus, the Savior of the world, came and walked the dust of this earth, the very dust He created us from, to save us from our sins, to give us  life with Him forever!

This is exactly what our enemy doesn’t want for us. He has been eternally expelled from God’s presence and he means to keep as many of God’s creations from Him as well, distracted, blind, and walking in darkness.

So what better strategy than to steal the very celebration that holds within it the power to shine the Light of Jesus into the darkness, the power of a Savior to save souls for eternity, the power to reveal God has come to earth, Emmanuel, God with us?

That little three letter word, “now” represents the subtle ways the enemy has redefined Christmas. I see that I have conformed to ways the world celebrates the holiday of Christmas.

Busyness keeps me distracted from shining the Light and Love of Jesus with others.

Focused on the expectations of myself and others has me blinded to those who need to know the Saving Power of Jesus.

It is my prayer this Christmas that the Lord would show me how He defines Christmas. What does Christmas look like to Him? How would He have me to celebrate the birth of His Son, Jesus?

To celebrate the true meaning of Christmas may look similar to the first Christmas…

God so loved the world that He sent His Son,

so He sends you and me…

As a humble son or daughter…

filled with His Holy Spirit, God with us…

to shine His Light in this dark world…

to share His Story, the Good News…

for the salvation of many!

Lord, Thank You for Your incredible love for us that sent Your Son to earth as a Babe in a manger! Thank You for the Light that You have shined into our darkness so that we could see our sin and receive salvation through faith in Your Son, Jesus. You have given us the most incredible gift ever given!! Lord, show us how to celebrate the birth of Your Son. Show us how You see Christmas.

Jesus, You came as the Light, but now You have said that we are the Light of the world. Empower us with Your Holy Spirit to shine Your Light into the darkness around us so that others will see and know You, the true meaning of Christmas!

An Invitation…

There is another tradition that our family has had the privilege of doing with friends for many years. It started over twenty years ago when Mark and I gathered our small group families together, put on robes, and read through the Christmas Story. We began at our house when the angel came to Mary. Then Mark lead our horse, Buck, with me on his back up to the barn where we found no room in the Inn, but were given a stable in which baby Jesus, a teddy bear wrapped in a swaddling blanket, was placed in a hand made manger. The story ended by playing, “Mary, Did You Know?” It was the beginning of a tradition that grew as our small group families joined together and made it bigger and better every year. After many years as our children grew older the costumes and props were left untouched in the basement for several years. Then when our daughter, Kayla, was eight, God prompted me to get out the costumes and the props and He breathed life back into the Living Nativity.

Today as I write this I am reminded of the truth of what I just wrote…there is a battle for the celebration of the true meaning of Christmas.

The “now” is always wanting to steal and destroy…

The “now” is always trying to distract and blind…

Every year of doing the Living Nativity there have been battles…

This year is no exception…

The battle of my will.

The battle of no cast.

The battle of no support roles.

The battle of no practices.

I’m so thankful that God fights my battles. That I can look to Him and trust that He will see that His Story goes out.

Its not about having everything perfect,

its about the Light of the world coming into this darkness,

about the Savior coming to seek and to save the lost,

its about God coming to earth, Emmanuel, God with us!

living-nativity-blogg

I invite you to come and join us as we celebrate the true meaning of Christmas! The Christmas Story told through narration, drama, and song. Two outdoor, hour-long, performances. Followed with hot chocolate and cookies!

 

 

From Prison to Royalty

Back to Joseph who was left in prison… The cup bearer to the king had forgotten all about Joseph. He hadn’t given Joseph another thought once he was set free.

Two full years later Pharaoh had two dreams in one night that distressed him greatly. He called his magicians and wise men, but no one was able to interpret the dreams. This was what reminded the cup bearer of Joseph. He remembered when he too had a disturbing dream that needed to be interpreted. He told Pharaoh about Joseph, a prisoner, who had interpreted his and the chief baker’s dreams accurately.

So Pharaoh immediately called for Joseph. After Joseph shaved and cleaned himself up, he was brought before Pharaoh. Pharaoh said to Joseph that he heard he was able to interpret dreams. Joseph was quick to say that it wasn’t within his power, but it would be by the power of God alone that he would tell Pharaoh the meaning of his dreams.

So Pharaoh told Joseph about his dreams…

Seven fat, healthy cows were eaten up by seven skinny, sick-looking cows, but they still looked sick and skinny.

Seven beautiful, full heads of wheat were eaten up by seven dried out, withered heads of wheat, but they were still dried out and withered.

Joseph told Pharaoh that the two dreams had the same meaning, and because he had the dream twice it was sure to happen. He went on and explained that the seven fat, healthy cows, and the beautiful, full heads of wheat represented seven years of plenty. The seven sick-looking, skinny cows and the dried up, withered heads of wheat represented seven years of famine.

God not only gave Joseph the interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams, but He also gave Joseph wisdom and understanding how to handle the years of plenty so that during the years of famine the nation would be saved.

“Joseph’s suggestions were well received by Pharaoh and his officials. So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?”Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are. You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours.” Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.”Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and placed it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in fine linen clothing and hung a gold chain around his neck. Then he had Joseph ride in the chariot reserved for his second-in-command. And wherever Joseph went, the command was shouted, “Kneel down!” So Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of all Egypt. And Pharaoh said to him, “I am Pharaoh, but no one will lift a hand or foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval.” Genesis 41:37-44

From prison, to royalty!

I can’t image what Joseph must have been thinking as Pharaoh spoke those words over him…

Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with he Spirit of God…

clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are.

I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.

Just moments before he was a prisoner, held captive for several years. Dirty, unshaven…

For thirteen years Joseph faced a pit, slavery, and prison where the enemy meant to steal his dreams through offense, bitterness, and unforgiveness. He meant to kill Joseph’s identity and redefine him through deception. He meant to destroy Joseph’s destiny, by keeping him locked in fear and shame.

But Joseph himself had two dreams many years before. Two times which meant they were sure to come true! They were God dreams – dreams that stayed with Joseph – no matter what the enemy threw at Joseph, no matter how much time passed, he never let go of his dreams.

God’s perfect timing was perfecting Joseph…

Purifying

Refining

Equipping

Then, at just the right time, in just the right situation, Joseph was brought up, out of prison…

filled with the Spirit of God,

filled with understanding and wisdom,

ready and prepared…

to carry out the dream God placed in his heart thirteen years before!

What are the dreams has God given you? Has God given you a dream that seems impossible? A dream that is way beyond your understanding, or ability? Has your dream faded because it was so long ago? Or has the enemy stolen your dream through offense, deception, or disappointment?

The thing about God dreams is that when you receive the dream, you aren’t ready for the dream to be fulfilled.

The time between is just as important as the actual fulfillment.

There is heart work that needs to be done…

Holding to a God dream through the pits and prisons of life will…

Refine character

Build faith

Increase wisdom

Or, the pits and prisons of life will be the very things that bring doubt and fear, and will…

Corrupt character

Erode faith

Bring confusion

Your beliefs determine your direction…

It is a matter of focus,

a decision to trust,

an act of obedience.

May this story of Joseph bring you encouragement today. No matter how long ago you received a God dream, no matter whether you are in a pit of offense, enslaved in deception, or in a prison of self, God is there with you and remains faithful to His promises.

He will enable you to thrive even in the difficult places.

God will never leave you, or give up on you.

God is for you,

and will always give you the ability to overcome everything you face.

Ability to forgive any wrong done against you. Forgiveness sets you free from your pit. Nothing done against you is worth holding on to. Forgiveness makes the difference between staying in a pit or realizing the fulfillment of your dream.

Ability to serve others. Jesus lived a humble and selfless life and He called you to do the same. To die to self, to put aside your desires, your hurts, your disappointments, in order to serve others, prepares and equips you for the promotion of your dream being fulfilled.

Ability to know things, to do things, and to say things beyond your own understanding. God has given you His Holy Spirit as your counselor, your guide into all truth. Not only will He empower you to forgive, and to serve, but He will give you the supernatural understanding and wisdom you need to encourage, and to impact  others around you as your dream becomes a reality.

Trust that the time between, though it is meant for your harm, is actually intended for your good, for the salvation of many.

God dreams will be fulfilled…

“Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.” Isaiah 46:10

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” Philippians 2:13

Fear is a Magnet

2-timothty-17

Fear is a magnet, it attracts the very object it fears.

I was having my teeth cleaned one day when the topic of hiking came up. Ever since we adopted, Dixie, our very energetic dog, I have been spending more time hiking around the trails in Ringwood. My hygienist said she didn’t like hiking because she was afraid of snakes and would often see them while hiking. I didn’t think much more of our conversation, nor of the fear of snakes.  Prior to having that conversation with the hygienist I had only seen a snake while hiking maybe three times in over twenty years. The very next time I went hiking after our conversation I saw a snake. Wow, what a coincidence! The next time I went hiking I saw a snake. Wow, what an incredible coincidence!! By the third time in a row since that conversation I saw a snake I realized it wasn’t a coincidence. This was something God was showing me in the spirit realm, a lesson about fear.

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

Right then and there in the middle of the trail, while looking back at the object of my fear, the black snake, I rebuked the enemy for his strategy of fear against me. I told the fear of snakes to leave me and never to return. And I thanked God for His protection and reminded myself that God’s perfect love expels all fear.

But I couldn’t help but be amazed at the power of fear. When I had that conversation with the hygienist I wasn’t aware of any fear coming over me. I had never feared snakes. How did her fear come upon me without me even being aware of it?

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Fear is a spirit, meant to be fought in the spirit realm…

Fear is not from God…

I don’t understand the spirit realm or how this spirit of fear came upon me, but I believe the Lord used this as an example to teach me the power of fear. To show me the power of thoughts whether I am aware of them or not.

Job said…

“What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true.” Job 3:25 

Consciously I wasn’t aware that I was afraid of snakes. If you had asked me any time following that conversation if I was afraid of snakes I would have said, “No.”

But why the three snakes the next three times hiking?

When I observe other areas in my life and in the lives of others I see this played out over and over.

The fear of illness brings illness.

The fear of being abandoned, or rejected brings behavior that causes one to be abandoned and rejected.

Believing I was no good I couldn’t receive compliments from my husband Mark. I rejected them and so he stopped giving them. This proved I was no good, “See, my husband doesn’t even think I am good.”

(Just for the record, since God has set me free I can receive and so appreciate the compliments Mark gives me. He has become my greatest encourager. Another example of what the enemy meant for harm, God intended for good!)

Fear becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What you fix your eyes upon becomes your reality.

Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do anything,
and no one can stop you. You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. You said, ‘Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’ I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” Job 42:1-6

The things Job feared came upon him. In much distress, Job cried out to the Lord for understanding, and God showed Job just how amazing and powerful He was. When Job saw the awesome power and sovereignty of God he was undone. He repented in dust and ashes. He thought he knew God, but he realized there was so much more about God that he hadn’t even considered.

Now, back to that day I was having intense revelation from the Holy Spirit concerning shame…

As the Holy Spirit was connecting the dots of how shame had influenced my thoughts, responses, and words, He also showed me that my belief, that I was no good, had affected me physically. I had been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease, about ten years before. When I was first diagnosed I received the diagnosis, took the necessary medication, but believed that some day I would seek God’s healing.

That day as shame was exposed…the Holy Spirit brought revelation concerning my thyroid condition…

It began to be so clear…

Because I believed I was no good, I attacked myself with thoughts, with actions, and with words that were destructive. They brought damage to myself, emotionally and physically.

The Mayo Clinic defines Hashimoto’s disease…

“Hashimoto’s disease is a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid, a small gland at the base of your neck below your Adam’s apple.”

Though there was nothing wrong with my thyroid, it was in fact, good, my immune system believed my thyroid was bad, and therefore brought it under attack.

Sound familiar?

I was overwhelmed with all the Lord was showing me. I remember weeping as I tried to process all I had heard Him say to me that day. The power of His love and truth were washing over me, filling me with a newness I never experienced.

I was good!!! I really was good!!

Not because of anything I had done, but because of what Jesus had done for me!!

My cloak of shame was gone!

I was clothed in Christ’s robe of righteousness!

I am thankful it was so intense because there is an enemy that doesn’t want me to be free from fear and and from the prison of self. Not only that, I live in my flesh that has believed I was no good for all my life. My flesh has developed habits from that lie. Old familiar thoughts…Old familiar self-talk…Though the lie was confessed,  my shame undone, the old fears are familiar and can taunt my mind.

I am learning to recognize when insecurity begins to rise up within me. What am I looking at that is stirring it up? Am I comparing? Am I jealous? Am I focusing on self? What does my self-talk sound like? If these are happening, if I’m going back into that prison of self, I remember what God showed me that day…

I am good, because through Jesus, God has made me good!!

“Long ago, even before He made the world, God chose us to be His very own through what Christ would do for us; He decided then to make us holy in His eyes, without a single fault – we who stand before Him covered with his love.” Ephesians 1:4

It’s not positive thinking, it is the truth of God!

It is wielding the sword of the Spirit!

When God’s word is spoken into a situation it is as a sword that fights off the lie of the enemy.

At the word of God, the enemy must flee!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” Hebrews 12:1-2

Faith fights fear!

Though I have been instantly healed from some things, Hashimoto’s disease has been a process. A process that has been teaching me how to fight fear with faith. As I have walked this journey my faith has been tested many times and each time I have been made aware of the lie, the fear, that has tested it. I am learning how to fight fear with faith and to believe for what I do not yet see.

God isn’t just concerned about the end product, but what you learn along the journey. With each life situation you have the option to respond in either the…

Fear of God…believe the truth…live in the spirit of power, love, and self discipline…receive the good God intends for you.

Or in the…

Fear of Satan…believe his lies…live in the spirit of fear…receive the harm Satan means for you.

Fear is a magnet, what are you attracting?