Release from Self-condemnation

Devotions for those who are weary of feeling not good enough, regardless of the source of those feelings.

Thursday, January 26, 2017


Day 27

Week 4  Obey and Submit


As you work, abide in Christ. Let a living faith in Christ working in you be the secret spring of all your work; this will inspire at once humility and courage.
Andrew Murray, Abide in Christ[i]


 wept when I released my plan for weight loss to the Lord. The emotion I felt was unfamiliar to me. It was part sadness because I had liked my pretty plan, my detailed blueprint for health and well-being. I felt chagrin because I'd tried so hard and once again had missed the mark. And, there was a hefty dose of that feeling you see on the faces of those TV chefs who are critiqued by a panel of judges. I suffered a helpless desire to make a case and justify myself, helpless because it is even more futile to argue with the Almighty God than it is to contradict a human judge. 

Oddly, the emotion wasn't entirely unpleasant, because the release of my detailed objectives brought relief. My plan would have entailed a lot of work. Obedience was easier than creating a workable plan and implementing it all in my own power. Sitting at my computer first thing each morning, my goals had always seemed do-able. But I had not once followed my own rules with 100% success throughout the very real difficulties of my very real days. 

I’m embarrassed that humility is the name of the unfamiliar emotion I felt when I finally submitted my will to God, chagrined that it was such a novel sensation for me that I at first could not put a name to it. I had prayed for years to be freed of pride and knew the Lord had answered those prayers, but I didn’t know that it is possible for us as Christians to be free of pride and yet lack humility. I had not asked God for the gift of humility, probably because I was frightened of the possibility of humiliation. This fear reveals a lack of trust, and humility before God can’t come ahead of trust in Him. If we don't trust the one to whom we defer, it isn't safe to say, "Thy will and not mine be done."  

Humility is necessary if we are to accept God’s guidance and obey him wholeheartedly. It is a key component in the ability to steadfastly abide in the Lord throughout our days so we can walk according to the dictates of the Spirit rather than of the flesh.  

Pray: I affirm that I trust You, Lord, because just the little I can see of You this side of Heaven assures me that You are powerfully in control, perfectly loving, and trustworthy. I know that You are sovereign over the past, the present, and the future. I place my trust in You. I bow before You. You are my Lord and my God. I ask for humility now, the humility to stop overruling You in the decisions I make throughout my days. 

Lord please deliver us from evil, keep us sheltered while we are here in this world, and see us safely to our Heavenly home. In Jesus' name, amen. 


Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6  

[i] Andrew Murray, Abide in Christ, public domain

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