I had been in deep prayer, weeping before the Lord.
My heart was really heavy this day. I felt low in spirit and discouraged by a few things. Sister, what you’ll realize is that even when you are saved, filled with the Holy Spirit and delivered, you will still battle the flesh. Many become discouraged in this state, and backslide.
It will be important to remember that your flesh is dead and does not control you any longer. The enemy will constantly try to convince you that it does control you, and he will try to shower you with guilt if (and when) you do operate in the flesh. When you feel this guilt, it may cause you to question your faith, and the validity of your salvation. It may make you feel so ashamed or angry that you can’t pray at all. It may deceivingly convince you that this is all too much to maintain, and that your former ways were easier and less guilt-ridden. You may stumble on the thought that God is tired of you and won’t forgive you again. Before we continue, let’s kill those lies with truth:
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God (Jesus), who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” Galatians 2:20-21 (NIV)
Thank God for grace…amazing amazing grace. I am learning to make good practice of reminding myself of who I am now. There is a new engine inside of my spirit. It isn’t operated by me, but I do get in the way when I’m not careful. It is operated by Jesus. He is alive in me.
How does this look? Well, it’s similar to a marriage. When a husband and wife come together, they no longer operate solely on what they like, what they want, or what they feel. There is more to be considered now. Selfishness has got to go.
When you take on the identity of Jesus, you’re saying and acknowledging that you no longer solely operate on what you like, what you want and or what you feel – because it is no longer you, but Christ that lives in you. Again, selfishness has got to go!
Now, back to the first paragraph, where I had been weeping before the Lord. My heart was so burdened. I was fighting several battles and was losing EVERY SINGLE ONE. As I vented my load of burnout from motherhood, a staggering to-do list, and my anger and pain following backbiting from someone in my inner circle, I had a vision as clear as day.
My eyes were closed and I saw her. She was there, on the shore of a beautiful beach. I was out over the water, backing away from her. It were as if something were pulling me away quickly and steadily. She got smaller and smaller the further away I was being drawn. There was no one with her. Just her, alone. When I stared harder, my heart jumped. It was me! I was literally looking at myself on the shore and she stared back at me. There was a separation happening.
The Lord revealed to me instantly as the vision faded, that I’ve departed from the old me. I wasn’t that Hannah anymore. I left her there on the shore. I was new.
The woman on the shore was laced with pain and disappointment. She was prone to retaliating when wrongfully accused and betrayed. She would ruminate, become curt, and withdraw. She would sulk in self pity and depression. She would complain and replay all her regrets. She’d rehearse all the ways she had been there for those who have hurt her. She would lash out with shots of venom dripping off of her words. She would give up.
I was new. Made in the image of Jesus. I was an overcomer. A temple of the Holy Spirit. Forgiven and forgiving. Washed in the blood. A doer of the Word. A virtuous woman. More than a conqueror. The righteousness of Christ. A bearer of the fruit of the Spirit. Not a keeper of wrongdoings. Merciful because I had been shown mercy. A royal priesthood. Predestined. Holy. Careful with my words. Loving, even toward enemies. Obedient. Vindicated. Slow to speak. Long-suffering. Brand new.
In that moment, I was charged to live as God has called me. Resorting to my former ways of coping and releasing would no longer cut it because I wasn’t that girl anymore. I was called to a higher standard. A standard of grace. A standard of peace. A standard of rest. A standard of holiness. A King’s kid. I just simply couldn’t be her anymore. Her ways didn’t fit anymore. Her underdeveloped functioning suddenly lost its depth and impact. She was unimpressive.
It takes a lifetime to fully grow into our Christian walk, We have to crucify ourselves every day. God upholds His end of the deal by forgiving us and resetting us. Our end of the deal involves the daily choice to abandon our old selves, and to act in obedience to who God has called us to be. As we do this, our former woman becomes smaller and smaller on the shore as we are drawn away to new levels of higher and holy living. New heights of strength we didn’t even know was there.
As you let God fulfill His work, prepare yourself for the separation. It’s time to leave her on the shore and set sail Sis.
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