understanding your identity : learning to love yourself

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Now that we have a better understanding of our Heavenly Father – His beautiful nature and His unending love for us now we need to start to understand our identity.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10

We are sons and daughters of the King, we are the people of God and we need to begin to learn to love ourselves the way God loves us and see ourselves with our Fathers eyes.

There are so many of us who struggle with insecurity. We find it hard to love ourselves which then makes it hard for us to love others and hard for us to receive love from others. The answer to our insecurities is simple. We must learn to love ourselves as much as our Heavenly Father loves us.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:10-12

He loved us first. Before we even knew Him, He was pursuing us, drawing near to us, watching and waiting for us to turn our face to Him. He loves us so much that He sent His beloved Son for us. This love is powerful.

If we are going to love ourselves as much as God loves us, then we must encounter His love for us. When we experience Gods powerful love for us, it gives us the ability to love ourselves. How do we experience and encounter His powerful love?

 The prayer of Apostle Paul can help us…

A Prayer for the Ephesians

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19

It takes power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of God for us and it takes power to know this love. The Holy Spirit is the person to give us that power. We need to ask Him to give us that power in our inner being to know, experience and encounter His love.

The bible tells us this…

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15

Whatever we ask, He hears us, and we know that we will have what we have asked for. He is just waiting for us to ask Him to reveal His love to us. The bible is full of verses of His powerful love for us, but I believe He wants to show us first hand what that love feels like. And as we begin to feel His love for us we will then begin to feel worthy, accepted, loved unconditionally, powerful and free. Free to love ourselves the way that our Heavenly Father loves us.

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Understanding the fullness of “know that I am God”

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I have been pondering Psalm 46 lately.

Psalm 46 is most memorable for verse ten, be still and know that I am God. When I read this verse it reminds me to stop striving, stop worrying and to be still and come into His presence.

But when I read this verse again the other day, the words that stood out more clearly then any of the others printed on the page were the words know that I am God. 

He wants us to remember that He is God, He set the earth into motion. He placed the stars in the sky and the sand on the sea shore. He thoughtfully planned and carried out every intricate detail of creation including me. He knows me, He sees me and He passionately loves every aspect about me.

He is the God of miracles, He worked miracles then and He works miracles today. When you are in need of the hand of God to come into your situation and begin to turn the tide of your life, He can do it.

Everyone look! Come and see the breath taking wonders of our God. Psalm 46 verse 8 Passion Translation.

He is our Father who is the King, ruler over everything and we are His children who have access to all that He owns. When we are in need we only have to ask. He always provides and it is always in His perfect timing.

He is God who is the same yesterday today and tomorrow. His nature and His love are never changing. He will not change His mind, He will not go back on His promises. His grace and His mercy are always on offer, they are never rescinded.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13 verse 8

If this is who our God is then we do not need to live with the feeling of fear, worry, stress or anxiety. When we begin to fully understand that He is God then all these negative feelings begin to melt away.

Having the knowledge that my Father is God and He is all the things that I wrote about above, when we have that tucked away in our minds and in our hearts it leads us to be able to walk in the fullness of life that He has planned for us.

We must hold firmly to the knowledge that He is God. Let everything else fade away and just hold firmly to that. He is God and He can turn all things into good, He protects, guides, loves and will always remain faithful. He is everything and all that we need Him to be, all the time and in every circumstance. So I encourage you to be still and know that He is God.

He is my safe place

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Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62 verse 6-8

When I read the Bible, it is like God is whispering to me and saying that this is what is possible, this is what I have for you too.  When I read the Psalms, they become my song too.

My soul finds rest in the Lord.

My hope is in Him.

He is my rock.

He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

He is my refuge.

I trust in Him in all times and pour out my heart to Him.

He is my safe place.

We need to think bigger. The word of God is alive, it is not just a collection of stories for us to read and enjoy but they are written for us to encounter and become a part of.

Just like the writer of Psalm 62, God is our safe place also. The story is written and shared so that we can hear what is possible with the Lord. It reveals to us that He is a good and loving God and that He longs to take us in and give us shelter from the storms of life.

Read and become a part of this story. Let it’s words become your prayer.

Lord, I long to find rest for my soul in You. I place all my hope in You. You are my rock and my fortress, I will never be shaken. I trust in You in all times and I pour out my heart to You. Thank you that You are my refuge and my safe place.

Then you need to own these words. Believe in them, stand firm on them and hide them away in your heart so that they become a part of who you are. They no longer become words on a page written a long time ago in our history but they become relevant and real to you in the here and now.

He made me in His image

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I came across these wonderfully thought provoking words on Pinterest the other day…

Why do we feel like we need to be like everyone else? Because the enemy would rather have us be like anyone but Jesus. Holley Gerth.

We were created in the image of God. We were designed to be like Jesus and the enemy tries to convince us otherwise because he would rather have us be like anyone rather than Jesus.

So many people struggle with the enemy planting lies in their minds about their self worth, me included. Seeds of doubt get sown and we believe them. We start to believe that we are not capable enough, not worthy enough, not smart enough, not talented enough….. and the not enough statements are endless.

But we are created in the image of God, it tells me so in the bible….

So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. Genesis 1 verse 27.

…. And nowhere in the bible can I find that God is not capable enough, not worthy enough, not smart enough, not talented enough….

We need to stop believing that we are not enough. We need to stop measuring ourselves against everyone else, stop trying to be like anyone else but to be ourselves. To be the person who God created, designed and fashioned us to be.

We need to understand who God is so that we can understand who we are. We need to understand what Jesus did on the cross for us and who we are now because of it. Because of Jesus I am redeemed, I am transformed, I am qualified, I am significant, I am royalty… and the I am statements are endless.

We need to understand these things so that when the enemy comes and tries to tell us that we are something that we are not we can instantly recognize that it is not the truth.

The enemy will always come and try to throw us off course. The more we become like Jesus and the more we become the person that God created us to be, the more the enemy will want to shut us down.

Instead of asking God to step in and shut the enemy down, step in and do it yourself. Stop believing the not enough statements that are running through your head and start believing the I am statements instead.

You are created in the image of God. Draw closer to God to find out who He really is and what He says about you. Read the word of God, the bible is a pathway to Jesus, it will lead you straight to the heart of God.

He will fight for me

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The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14 v14

We can often find ourselves with our heads down working hard thinking that we are fighting our own battles solo. We are trying to do everything out of our own strength but in actual fact the Lord will fight for us, we need only to be still. We need to stop and look up from the things that we are fighting so hard against and look to God.

He actually wants to fight our battles for us and with us. He longs for us to listen to His words of wisdom.To open our bibles and read and discover for ourselves. God is trying to communicate with us in the scriptures. He is trying to talk to us, teach us and connect with us. We are not fighting solo, in fact we have a guide book to help us with our battles and to lead us into a deeper relationship with its author.

I often find the best thing to do when I feel that the battle is really raging around me is is to be still and just focus on my intimate relationship with the Lord. When I have that constant communication with God happening then everything else around me seems easier to accomplish.

The battle I am fighting against may be the chatterbox in my mind, fighting my own thoughts of self doubt, thoughts of shame and self condemnation. When I stop and focus on the Lord and read His scriptures and listen for His voice I can then hear the truth about myself instead of the lies that the chatterbox is trying to tell me. It is me being still so that the Lord can fight my battles for me.

You can enter your own battle into the scenario above and the answer is still the same. Stop and focus on the Lord. Read the scriptures and listen for His voice. Listen for the truth from God so that you can silence the lies, so that you can win the battle that you are fighting against.

I love the song ‘Lion and the Lamb’ by Bethel Music. My favorite line in the song is … Our God is the Lion, the Lion of Judah, He’s roaring with power and fighting our battles. Who can stop the Lord Almighty.

Remember that The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still. He is all powerful and is there ready to fight with you and for you.