“You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” – 1 Peter 2:9
Lately, I have been standing face to face with myself in a way that I never have before! There comes a point I suppose in each of our lives when we must face the hard reality of ourselves in order to really grasp the revelation of the truth that in us! I say that word, reality, but please don’t get lost in the context of that word; we live in a new reality now, and “the old man is dead, behold all things have become new!” Have they really though, or are we proclaiming that they have without any real understanding of what that means for us?
As I said, I have been standing face to face with a hard reality lately that has shifted my perception of myself. Where I thought that I had overcome the insecurities of my past, I found that some of them were in fact not gone but were masking themselves as a false sense of humility and a false sense of pride! I found myself sitting on the sofa in my living room asking God, “What do I do about this?” His response was simple and overwhelmingly obvious, “Trust me, Joshua.”
I do trust Him, don’t I? In everything that I do, I make sure that it is Him I do it through; whether talking to people in general conversation, in ministering the Word, and in my coming and going; I always make sure that my thoughts, words, and actions reflect Him. Isn’t that trusting in Him to be my identity? It is a wonderful thing to believe that is the case but, in reality, it is not! Our identity doesn’t come from trusting in Him! We have an identity in Him because He loves us, trust is the natural, soulical and spiritual response to that love!
As I sat there, face to face with my own insecurities, I began to realize that what I thought I had defeated had instead only been masked with other things; insecurity was covered up with false humility and false pride, hiding away like a thief waiting for the opportune moment to strike! Several days later, while reading through a book with Jessi, I began to realize the impact that insecurity can have on our lives and the lives of those around us! In my own heart, I had devised no evil against anyone but I had built habits of joking about my own physical disability and even joking about the flaws in others to make light of my own fear of being rejected!
My childhood was great at home, but being stared at, called names, laughed at, pointed at, and left out of many things because of my physical disability had left me hungry for attention and I built up many walls to make sure that people liked me! I thought that if I could learn more, just be smarter than everyone, then they would see that I am good at something! I had to make people value me, and I would lock myself up when I began to fear that they didn’t! How often do we do this to ourselves? How often do we allow insecurities to keep us from seeing the truth of the identity that Jesus Christ died and rose again to give to us?
Mistaking insecurity for humility and even for pride can be dangerous and harmful, not only to ourselves but to others as well! I’ll be transparent for a moment… My own insecurity doesn’t exist in the realm of what I am capable of, I know what I am capable (Philippians 4:13), rather it exists in the idea that no matter what He has made me capable of people will only see my flaws. How can we understand how much others truly value us if we cannot even understand the value that our heavenly Father has placed on us?
I found it difficult to receive from others because I didn’t understand the value that they were seeing in me and the value that they themselves placed on me! Where people were blessing me because they value me, I saw it as them doing so because they pity me! I would begin to avoid them, avoid conversations about what they had done for me, or turn down someone trying to bless me altogether because I was afraid that if they got to know me better they would feel like I was not worth what they did for me! This is a lie! This is a fiery dart of the enemy, the sole purpose of which is to strike us at the heart of our community with others and separate us from the reality that we are valued by God and by those who are called Saints! People don’t bless what they don’t value!
I love Paul’s expression of the qualities of God to the Romans, “For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” His qualities are visible because they can be seen in all of creation and we are a part of that creation; not only so but, because of Jesus Christ, the attributes of God are now our attributes! If He is in us, then so are all of His qualities!
Or do we think that our inheritance is only a kingdom and not in the gentle and overwhelming power of our King to remake us? We have inherited a new being, new attributes, and a new lineage! As it says in Revelation 1:6 He “made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” He has not only given us the fullness of His quality, but has made us His kingdom, yet when we live in bondage to our insecurities it is as though we are denying the visible and powerful traits of our Father that are in us because He is in us! If there is no excuse for not seeing His attributes, then there likewise should also be no excuse for denying the power of Christ to renew us and the willingness of Holy Spirit to reveal them in us!
Beloved, we are of so much more value than we can comprehend on our own! It is one thing to preach value but another thing entirely to actually understand the application of that value in our lives! We can talk about how much our Father adores us and values us all day but, without the application of that understanding in our lives, they are empty words! Who we are is entirely dependent upon and originates from the personhood of Jesus Christ, Who came so that the riches of the glory of our God would not be something that is unobtainable but would become the very fabric of our being! I will reference again that scripture from Revelation He has “made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father!” We are of more value than we often understand!
I look forward to walking this out with all of you in Part 2 and, as this series continues I pray that you are blessed by it in some way! I know that what Holy Spirit is revealing to me is beyond what I could have ever hoped for, and it would bring me such a great joy to share in that experience with each of you!
Until next time, God bless you all!