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Posts Tagged ‘hope’

The Secret

I’m dating myself, but there was an old tv show I used to watch with my dad called, “I’ve Got A Secret.” There was a panel of celebrities who tried to determine a contestant’s “secret”– something unusual, amazing, embarrassing, or humorous about that person.

Many of us have or do have secrets too.   We keep them hidden and they keep us from walking fully in our destiny and living an authentic life.  Those secrets cause a root to grow deep in our hearts.  That root, another S word.  SHAME!

Shame is something that comes on us through the words or curses of someone else, the unjust actions of another, or as a result of our own guilt about a failure or sin in our life.  

Just think about it…..I know I heard these words from my mom…..”Shame on You.”  I know I felt it when I my sincere heart was judged or misrepresented, when I experienced a violation as a child, and even in the “religious” old way of thinking in the church.   

It’s a feeling you can’t escape that you are unworthy, unloveable, that there is something horribly wrong with you.  

It causes us anxiety, insecurity, bitterness, unforgiveness, and can even be the root of our rebellion.  

It’s a dirty little secret  that we seem to keep hidden for hours, days, weeks, months, and even years. And as we hold on to it because of our pride, it can lead us into depression, depression, and literally drive us crazy!  

So what do we do with it?  Joel 2  gives a great picture of God’s heart towards someone who is walking in shame, hiding behind the secrets and dark places in their lives.  

Verse 12….”Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”  Rend your heart and not your garments.   

What’s He saying?   I think he is saying come to me with your heart in hand.  Grieve over those places.  Cry before me.  Take it seriously.   Don’t let even eating get in the way.   Open up your heart. Let Me in.  Change your mind.   Say enough is enough!

Why would we do that?   Because God is gracious and merciful and has great kindness.   We don’t have to be afraid that someone will punish us or think less of us if we let out the secret before God.  Just the opposite.   We can anticipate God walking toward the sea of forgetfulness with our secret in hand, leaving a blessing behind Him as verse 13 says.  

For years religious ideology mixed with childhood trauma, caused me shame.  I was so afraid that even God would reject me.  But Praise God, I know now that His purpose is not retribution but restoration!  Verse 25 says if we repent (CHANGE OUR MIND), He will restore the years the locust has eaten…the crawling, swarming, consuming, chewing locust.   

I got sick and tired enough of the enemy of Shame devouring me, chewing me up and spitting me out that I decided to SAY NO MORE.  I decided to accept that God loved me just as I was and had much more for me.  I decided I would accept Him at His word and believe His love was everlasting and His plans for me were grace, mercy, and a bright future!   

The promise of God that goes along with saying no more to shame, presenting our hearts to Him, grieving through the loss and moving on is “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied.  And praise the name of the Lord your God who has dealt wondrously with you.  AND MY PEOPLE SHALL NEVER BE PUT TO SHAME!  I AM IN THE MIDST OF YOU AND AM THE LORD YOUR GOD!”   (vs. 26 and 27)

God always replaces that which we give up to Him and this is no different.  He replaces Shame with SPIRT!  His Spirit (vs. 28-32)  And when His Spirit is poured out on us we are immersed in a New Secret.   It is the wine of dreams, visions, discernment, deliverance, and POWER.  We are no longer held back by the past, and are empowered to walk in the present with an eye to the future.  We are a Your Kingdom Come people, seeing with fresh eyes that are focused on things as they are in His kingdom instead of this world.  

No More Shame!  No More Guilt!   Full of hope, faith, and love.  Free to Be and Free to Become a man or a woman of destiny.  

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I’m hoping as I share God’s word for me this morning it will encourage you in your 2012 journey.

As I continued to pray about some scripture for the year, I read Jereimiah 1:6-12 I got excited.  Here’s what I found for my life.

1.  2012 is  a year for  no excuses.  (Verse 6,7)  We can do whatever God asks of us.  He is in charge!

2.  2012 is a year for no fear.  (verse 8) .  Whatever we come face to face with God is with us and will deliver us.   He has promised!

3.  2012 is a year of speaking His words.  (verse 9)  God Himself has spoken and all we have to do is open our mouths (and hearts) to let Him fill us with what He is sending His word to do.

4.  2012 is a year of appointment!   Verse 10 tells how.  Oversight of the nations and kingdoms.    You may not think you have that oversight but you do.  You have kingdoms and nations within your own life’s circle.  Your family, community, yourself, your church, your finances, etc.   It’s time to rise up and take note and exercise the authority you’ve been given.

Verse 10 g0es on to say….. we have been appointed to Root Out and Pull Down.  2012 is a year to dig deep and get rid of the roots that are entangling us and keeping us from our destinies.  It is a time to pull down the obstacles that are standing in our path.

2012 is a time to Destroy and Overthrow.  It’s time to recognize the enemy and go on the attack to remove his lies from our life.  We are in charge not him.  What we choose to believe is up to us.  What we choose to follow is up to us.  We do not have to succumb to his influence….emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually.   God is greater!   If  we want more of what God has for us then we must stand and declare NO MORE to the enemy!

2012 is a year to build and plant.  Having cleared out the old places,  we can start on level ground.  It’s a time to welcome the dreams and begin to put them into place.  God will establish the work of our hands.

Sounds like a full appointment to me!

5.  2012 is a the year of the almond tree branch.  (verse 11,12)  When asked what he saw, Jeremiah answered, “the branch or shoot of an almond tree.”  This branch was the emblem of alertness and activity, blossoming in late winter.    The Lord commended him for what He said, promising that, “I AM alert and active, watching over My word to perform it.”

For many of us, 2011 was difficult.  We’ve needed hope.  We’ve needed faith.  We’ve needed love.  And we’ve needed answers!  We’ve done all we could to hang on to God’s promises.

As we enter 2012, unsure about what the year holds, we have this assurance.  God is Alert (well aware of our lives and His plans).  God is Active (involved in every little itty-bitty detail).  God is Watching  (over every word He has spoken to see that it is performed). 

Regardless of what the year brings, 2012 is a year of Overcoming! How do I know?  Because He has appointed us to oversight of everything that is holding us back.   We have been granted authority based on His own words and have His promise to perform it!   Therefore…..

If God be for us, who can be against us? 

Be strong and courageous in the Lord!  Watch the walls fall down!   AMEN!  (So Be It!)

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This has been a week where I’ve been so conscious of pain.  Not so much my own, but that of those I love or the world in general.

So many stories.  Some involve injustice or hurt at the hand of others.  Some tell a tale of consequences for personal choices.  Most of them are really about both.

Regardless of the source of our pain or loss, it is clear that how we handle it will determine the power of it in our life.

I speak from experience.  I know the difference between the two.

I spent years playing the role of a victim.  I justified my own choices and the my reaction to the hurts inflicted by others by staying in that familiar space.  Poor me.  People are awful.  Why me?

When I learned to look at pain differently, my life had a seismic shift!  I am grateful for the lessons I learned.  Hopefully sharing it with you will help.

First of all, it’s God’s love that allows us to experience consequences for our own choices.  He always has our best interest at heart and His purpose is not to punish but to set us on the path that opens the door for the abundant life He promised.

II Corinthians 7:10 says, “For godly grief and the pain God is permitted to direct produce a repentance (change of mind) that leads and contributes to salvation and deliverance from evil and never brings regret…..”

When we let God direct the pain of the consequences of our choices, He will step in and change us from the inside out.  Sometimes we have to sit for awhile with the pain, contemplating our part in it before we can give it to God.

When we accept our responsibility for our choices, we can expect God’s forgiveness and His action on our behalf.  The consequences may not go away but we can look at the future with hope, knowing somehow, some time God will turn even this for good. We can walk toward that future without the shame and guilt, free to move closer to our destiny.

The same is true with the pain that is caused at the hands of others.  Betrayal of someone we love or trust is never easy.  Injustice  is a horrible thing.  Regardless of the circumstances or the story, our choice is the same.  Will we allow God to direct us and our pain for good or choose bitterness, victimhood, and unforgiveness?  Will we turn trouble into triumph, or let the pain rule our life?

This type of pain can wound and scar us so deeply.  There is no doubt that it can change the course of our outward life such as position, jobs, finances, etc.  It can also affect our emotional or physical well being.  Even the purposes and gifting that God has placed on our life can be delayed.

What we do with that pain will determine how much power we give it.  We can be forever stuck or forever free.

It’s not necessarily easy.  It takes thought, prayer, and processing.  But, the quicker we choose to ask God for help, asking Him to heal our souls and direct our footsteps, the sooner He can turn it to good. And the sooner we will experience a peace that passes understanding.

“and never brings regret: ”  The rest of that verse says, “but worldly grief (the hopeless sorrow that is characteristic of a pagan world) is deadly. (breeding and ending in death!)” (Amplified)

When we go through pain,  we have to options.  We can choose between a bitter, death producing life of victimhood or life, hope, freedom, repentance and a number of God’s wonderful gifts.

There is truly a gift in pain and grief.  It’s up to us to open it.

What can you do to open the gift today?

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