Friday, December 20, 2013

You are Fabulous!

   You know how a car zooming down the road can drift a little to the left or the right if the driver is not paying attention?  Funny how just a little thought in your mind can pull you near the edge of falsehood.  Imagination can cross the line especially if you are not anchored somewhere deep in belief. I try not to dabble in low self-esteem too much, but it knocked on my door a few times this week so I thought I’d blog about it. I even laughed at my own conclusions when I look at how far-fetched my thinking was.  Here are just three of the scenarios that maybe you can identify with:
     Last Sunday, a wonderful friend came up to me and said; “Wow, Lynn you look great!”and two   others chimed in and agreed. My “confident”self looked them in the eyes and said, “Oh gosh, thank you!” However, here’s what was filtering through my mind – “wow, I must have looked really bad last week.” 
    I remembered someone days earlier telling me they liked the color I picked for a sewing project. Guess where I went with it. Stating the color was great was easy way to say something nice, since they probably didn't like my creation.
    Sat down at a network meeting and the person next to me decided to move to another spot. I had an internal chuckle for a minute and then I wondered if my morning shower wasn't working. I actually said, “Did I scare you away?” and they smiled and said, “No, my friend that I was supposed to meet, just came in.”
  Why in the world do these thoughts drift through our brain taking us off course-especially if the incident involves a compliment? I have always been sort of proud of the fact that my earthly father gave me an important gift - personal confidence.  He believed in me and was always more concerned about my thoughts and spiritual things than outward appearance.  He taught me it is not a sin to feel beautiful, in fact, it is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself and for others around you. I really think it is deal breaker when raising kids. So what makes me waft toward negative thoughts and whispers of doubt?  Plain and simple – here it is:

                                                                I forget who I am. 
    When I remember the truth of how precious I am, everything changes. The hopeless tragic mess I portray is traded for the One who sees me completely different – as a rare, exquisite pearl of great price.Jesus never lost sight of that here on earth.True, he was God, but also he had all the emotions and circumstances of common man. Let’s look at how he handled a compliment and perhaps receive another great message from this passage in Matt 3:16-17.
    “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'”
At this moment there was a manifestation of perfect unity–The Father’s voice confirming his approval of all the Son will do, the Dove–Holy Spirit resting upon the actions of Jesus and Jesus about to embark about His work on earth. Looks like the first thing we need to do is come into unity with our Maker. The chapter ends here, but something in the next chapter is so telling!

Right after God’s approval and compliment something happened,the real work began–as it does with us. Let’s peek at verse 1, chapter 4 of Matthew.

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” Almost immediately this is when Mr. Not-SO-Nice comes to knock on his door with all kinds of questions about Jesus’ identity. (We’re going to have those thoughts come in, but we must put them in the right place)
“If you are the Son of God, then make these stones bread, or throw yourself down or change who you worship” (greatly paraphrased but you get the idea)

Jesus never wavers. He is so connected with who he is that his purpose and love for the Father remains unshaken. As we finish through the gospels we find that he lived the rest of his earthly life in the full knowledge of who he was! Beloved!

I've decided I need to return to my own baptism of sorts and hear what the Father has to say about me and believe it when silly thoughts want to attack my identity. “This is my beloved daughter, in whom I am well pleased” Check out how the Message version reads: “This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life.” Wow!    Who wouldn't think I’m beautiful, or enjoy things that I create marked with his love or want to sit by God’s delight? Spurgeon expounds on why Matt 3:17 is so important to us as believers. 
  “The Father is not only pleased with Christ so much as to love Christ and to dwell in Christ, Himself, but He takes us up and He delights in us when we are in Christ because He has more delight in Christ the even Christ, Himself, can hold-and He wants more empty vessels into which to pour the rich wine of His soul’s delight. He loves Jesus so much that He can afford to love poor wretched sinner such as we for Christ’s sake! He does, as it were, say to Himself, “I have filled the ocean bed of my dear Son’s Nature with my Divine Love. Now bring here all the dried-up torrent-beds that you can find and I will fill them, also. Yes, bring here the dry Sahara’s, the wild deserts where never a drop of dew has fallen, and I will make them all to rejoice and blossom as the rose with this superfluity of love which I have to My dear Son ! There is enough to make Me love, even the world, for His dear sake. “Our Lord Jesus has so won the Infinite heart of the Most High that the Divine Love overflows to us! Beloved, let us come and get under the dripping of this love! Here is Christ’s cup running over-let us draw near and drink form the overflow of the love of God to Jesus Christ. “   
   As we enter the season of Christmas cheer and remembering those we love, you'll be sure to hear a compliment or two. When we receive them, let’s remember that we are chosen, marked by his love and the delight of his life. Revel in it and don't shrink back. It underscores your identity as a believer! God wants more and more and more of us to fill us up with his love. We are stretching the love of Christ by believing we are cherished with a compliment. Not by our own doings, but we really are all that and a bag of chips in Him.