Reaffirm Your Restoration
In our last devotional series, we focused on obedience. This week we will focus on reaffirming who we are in Jesus and claiming the restoration that he has promised for our lives. The following excerpt is taken from Reaffirm Your Restoration by Varsity Ministries.
'“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord ’s purpose that prevails. Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.”
Proverbs 19:20-21 NIV
Purpose > Performance
Every devotional I write there always seems to be one topic that really hits home for me. This is that topic. I am a performance-driven person. I find such a joy in completing a task. Especially if it’s a task that is deemed to be impossible.
One thing I’ve learned as a leader is that if I spend my time trying to accomplish an impossible task that was never intended for me to solve, I can miss the purpose that God has for me in that situation. Hopefully somebody reading this can relate! I can focus in on one problem and completely forget about everything else that is going on in my life. I will put my family, friends, and even God “on hold” because I think an issue is only mine to solve. If the devil cannot destroy you, he will distract you. For me personally, the devil will build walls in my life, not to trap me, but to distract me. He will use my selfishness and pride in overcoming a task until I become deaf to the voice of God.
Instead of trying to find a solution on my own and diving head first into a situation, I’ve learned to first seek God for guidance and wisdom. Instead of worrying about how I perform in a difficult situation, I’ve become more aware of asking what my purpose is in that specific situation. I no longer look to solve a problem just for the satisfaction and approval of others, but I choose to look for the purpose God has designed me for in every situation.
Focus: What is something in your life that you’re so focused on performing well that you’re missing out on your purpose? Maybe you’re working extra hours at the office for that new promotion but you're consistently putting your family on the back-burner. I encourage you to seek God today for clarity and affirmation for your purpose in the season of life you’re in.
“16 for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes. 17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls;when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, 18 or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them.”
Failures > Filters
Wait… did you read that title right? I may not be a mathematician and I may or may not have had some less than satisfactory grades in school when it came to mathematics, but that title is correct. I always want to be progressing in my life, my relationships, my career, and most importantly my walk with God. It’s no surprise that we live in a world full of filters. We have rewired our own brains to believe that instead of embracing our failures and learning from them that we can simply put a filter on them. We become so used to pressing a button on a screen to hide our shortcomings that we forget how healthy it can be to fail.
When we start to develop a fear of failure and hide behind our filters we will almost certainly miss God’s calling on our lives. I’m a skateboarder. I have experienced failure more times than I can count. I have the scrapes, cuts, scars, and x-ray images as proof of my failures. While some people may perceive those failures negatively, I learn from every single fall.
I literally had to learn how to fail, in order to succeed. No matter how many filters we put up, we cannot hide from our Father. He knows us better than anyone else on this Earth, and loves us so much more. We may not be perfect but God is, and He promises to stand by us as we grow and learn through life’s failures and valleys.
Focus: God created you, on purpose. The world has given us an image to follow that was never intended for us. Don’t be afraid of failure! The absolute worst thing that can happen is that we have an opportunity to grow and rely on The Lord’s strength instead of our own. We were never promised an easy life but let’s continue to make it a fulfilled one in Jesus' name!
”No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. “
1 John 3:1-6 NIV
Identity > Title
I’m going to be very honest and transparent with you. I recently had an experience in my life where the devil tried to define me. He showed me pictures on social media of people that I could never compare to. He told me that I would never be able to do the things that God is clearly calling me to. He told me I’m not talented enough, I don’t have the right resources, I don't have the finances, I’m in the wrong season of life, and I’m still the same-small town sinner that people looked at as an outcast. I had briefly forgotten my identity in Christ.
The world tries to dictate our worth based on different titles in life. When we start to believe those lies we begin to miss out on the blessings in our life. Physically I was at a birthday party, surrounded by friends, laughing, smiling, and even throwing axes! (Pretty Midwestern, right?) Mentally and spiritually I was stranded in the darkness on a deserted island. The lies of the world crept into my mind, and I’ve never felt more loneliness and shame in my life.
We have to be reminded that we are always in a spiritual battle. Romans 6:6 reminds us that “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” We are no longer slaves to the lies of this world. We have power, restoration, and freedom in Jesus.
Focus: Every single day our minds are influenced by social media, ads, billboards, music, television, and modern culture. We, as followers of Jesus Christ, have to stay rooted in the identity we have in Him! I encourage you today to remind yourself of the identity God has given you. You are an overcomer, a world-changer, you are treasured, you are worth dying for, and you are a child of God!