Repeat after me: “Lord, I am Your child, Your cherished creation. You don’t see me as a victim, an orphan, an outcast, marginalized, a less-than. I refuse to see myself as anything You don’t sanction! If You don’t believe it about me, Father, it’s a lie!”
The wrong voices speaking into your life will have you so messed up, you can’t believe anything good about yourself or for that matter, about other people. The enemy of your soul knows that if you can’t believe anything good about yourself, you’ll always question the goodness of your Creator.
I love Psalm 1 for many reasons, and this is one of them. It says we are blessed if we don’t walk in the counsel of ungodly people, we don’t stand in the way of sinners, we don’t sit in the seat of the scornful; but instead we make the Word of God our focus, our counsel, our example, and the influencer of our heart attitudes. Nowadays, we tend to take our life advice from some pretty unhealthy sources–tv talk shows, social media, magazines, even our peers. They’ll convince us that we are broken and just don’t know it yet…and that we’ll be forever defined by what broke us. They’ll condition us to stay skeptical, cynical, vindictive, at odds (even enemies) with anyone who disagrees with us; not just demanding a resolution, but also the right to keep the sore open and oozing with no healing in the future–because if it’s ever healed, it no longer gets to remain our identity. Sound familiar? Turn on the tv or look on your newsfeed…drama that promises to never come to an end.
And the enemy laughs and claps. He keeps us bound and everyone around us pulled into the bondage. God help us, our society has become addicted to it.
If you are compelled to believe that you are forever broken, you’ll never even try to rise above that state. You may even fight to keep that identity of brokenness because it has become the comfortable norm: broken us becomes the only us we recognize. All of us have something in our history that could be used as a measuring stick to what lies in our future. All of us have some tipping point event that could have ruined us, but for the grace of God. Maybe it’s divorce, maybe childhood abuse/neglect, poverty, tragedy, generational curses, a false accusation, maybe a bully, a betrayal, a discrimination, or some unfair outcome from choices other people made that left you or me at a gross disadvantage. Other milestones may be the unthinkably stupid, selfish, or wrong choices that we ourselves have made, which took us down paths we now regret. Truthfully, I have both kinds of situations in my history and you probably do too. Oh the stories I could tell…except, that’s not who I am anymore. Neither the devil nor anyone else gets the distinction of having ruined me. Gee, that felt good. I think I’ll go stand in front of the mirror and say that again:
NEITHER THE DEVIL NOR ANYONE ELSE GETS THE DISTINCTION OF HAVING RUINED ME.
Yesterday is gone, my friend. It’s time to let it be in the tomb of time. God’s mercies are new every morning. You woke up today with a chance for better than yesterday. A chance to grow, to heal, to change. Don’t resist being restored just because it feels more familiar to remain broken! Don’t allow the devil to keep you bound to an identity that God hasn’t given you. You may have been a temporary victim but don’t ever allow yourself to have that identity permanently etched on your soul…not because you got so hardened that no one could ever hurt you again, but because you refused to surrender your joy to a devil or a person or a culture or an event on your timeline.
I’ve shared before about a dream I once had where I was in a corridor with two doors on either side. I had my hand on one doorknob and was trying to reach out and grasp the other doorknob, but my arms weren’t long enough to lay hold of both. I knew when I woke up, God was showing me that I needed to move forward on a matter but I was still holding on to where I’d come from. And the truth is, as long as I viewed it easier or more advantageous to stay stuck in an endless loop of my hurts and disappointments, I’d never be free to be…free.
The good news in Psalm 1 is the flipside. When we pull away from bad counsel, bad company, and bad mindsets, we become like flourishing trees growing right on the river bank. Notice it sometime–trees by the river or a constant water supply are the first to bloom in spring and some of the last to fade in the autumn. I want to have lasting fruitfulness, and I’m sure you do too. My tree bark may have a few scars on it but I’m thankful that they’re testimony of God’s faithfulness to help me bounce back again and again, and not just a story with a tragic end.
May you be healed today. Receive healing. May you be whole today. Wholeness means restoration back to like-new condition, as if you were never afflicted or injured! May all of you reading this be The Comeback Kid. Let’s aim for not just healing, but also wholeness in spirit, soul, and body. When the devil tries to drag you back into the quagmire, stand your ground and say, “In Jesus’ name, that’s not who I am! That door is closed! The past no longer gets a say in my future…I am a child of God!