Release from Self-condemnation

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

Friday, April 28, 2017

Thoughts From Day 9

You rob yourself of rest and peace when you turn to other people for support ahead of the Lord. Don’t forget who you are. You are not identified by an earthly bloodline; you are a child of God, adopted by the Blood of Christ into the kingdom that cannot be shaken. Whether your loved ones rise to your aid or not, the Lord is with you, and He doesn't need anyone's help to bring about His will.

Genesis 37 relates the story of a young man named Joseph, and the beautiful coat given him by his father, Jacob, who favored Joseph above his brothers  Some people believe that Joseph was guilty of prideful bragging when he told his brothers about his wonderful dreams of how they would bow to him, but I don't think so. He was little more than a child, and the dreams that came to him were compelling, like nothing he'd experienced before. And so he told his brothers all about it! He didn't understand they already resented him because of his father's adoration of him. Joseph's repeated stories of dreams that portrayed him in the role of one who would rule over his brothers fanned their jealousy and resentment into a killing rage.

Years later, when Joseph had been made a ruler in Egypt, he had grown in wisdom, experience, and Godliness.  When his brothers arrived in Egypt, Joseph no longer had need to say, “Look at me! I am chosen!”  He didn’t have to say it; his royal station spoke for him.  He had been humbled through slavery, and so when he was elevated to royal status he remained free of pride.  Most importantly, he gave God the glory.  

The Lord is our vindicator against the injustices we face.  If we can humbly refrain from taking matters into our own hands, we will find vindication when God brings his promises to fruition. Only the Lord can create humility in the hearts of those who have judged us, because He works through circumstances we could not have created for ourselves.   


Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:14).

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Day 8 The Lord is Sovereign

...the Lord is the sovereign authority over all roadblocks in our path, some quite depressing or frightening. It is difficult not to cry out “Why?”
From day 8: We are allowed moments of transient joy that are a foretaste of Heaven, brief seasons of time when we bask in the light of ecstasy that has its source off-world, but for now we can’t keep these pleasures as our own...Earth is where we live for now, but Heaven is our home.  
At around 3:00 this morning, I came awake, upset about the various physical ailments that have caused me inconvenience, discomfort, or pain over the years.  It seemed very clear to me that the enemy of our souls, the devil, has been behind all the difficulties I've faced.  "I'd better get prayer partners to intercede for me," I thought.  It just seemed very logical that if I am to break free of the sorrows that have held me in their grip for too long, that I needed intercessors to run interference for me against the enemy.  

I composed a carefully worded email requesting prayer.  An hour later, when I (belatedly) opened my heart to the Lord in prayer, these thoughts came:  
The Lord shares His glory with no one. He is the prayer partner who will not let you down. Pray for your friends, but do not depend upon their prayers to do for you what only the Lord can do. He is your healer. He is your intercessor. 
Fear the Lord.  He is the One who holds your future in His hands. The ailments you have suffered have not been of the enemy, but are from the Lord, and are custom-tailored for your need to turn fully to Him.  How can you learn to be happy in whatever circumstance you are in if you have no challenges to face?  The Lord is in your challenges, and He is in the resultant, overcoming blessings.  
Prayer is powerful,  and our prayers for one another make our lives here easier. But today the Lord reminded me that He doesn't need anyone to help Him accomplish His will in my life. My best way of hastening the work He is doing within me is to abide in Him.