Psalms 51:6 (AMP)
“Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart.”
I boast in my own strength. I claim Philippians 4:13, that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I believe that. But, I haven’t lived it.
I boast in my own strength. I give God the glory for making me strong. I say I am strong because I had to be because of this and that. I say God gifted me with strength for survival; because I had to be strong. I say that I am grateful for being strong because that is the way He made me. After all, I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. After all, my dad died when I was 14 and left me with a mother who didn’t really love me; or at least didn’t love me in the way I needed to be loved. I was the baby of the family and was pretty much left to my own devices as my siblings were out of the house and my mother worked nights as a RN. I had to grow up and handle many things beyond my years when we were going through my dad’s long cancer battle. I could fill a book of all the things I lived through!
But did He really make me strong, so strong that if I wasn’t going through some difficult changes that I wouldn’t have accepted His invitation to be His beloved daughter? Is it not I who learned to be strong – to take care of things – who is still taking care of things? When do I cry out, “Abba Father, help me, I can’t handle this!”? Only in situations where I know I have no control. And then after crying out, I want to run away, because I can’t fix it!
I am a glory thief and the glory I am stealing is Gods’. What am I to do with 2 Corinthians 12:10 where Paul states,
“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
And verse 9 where God tells Paul,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”
Romans 7:7 thru 8:4 gives me a beacon of hope for my situation. It is my sinful nature that cries out for me to be strong – to appear strong. Our society looks at strength as a positive attribute, but in God’s kingdom, we are called to be humble. Christ Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:3-4 that,
“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
I get two things from this: Christ says I can change and I can humble myself. Actually, I can’t do it. Only the Holy Spirit can change me to be childlike in my faith and strength, and to teach me to be humble. In The Prodigal God, Timothy Keller says, “To truly become Christians we must also repent of the reasons we ever did anything right. Pharisees only repent of their sins, but Christians repent for the very roots of their righteousness, too.” So, in order for me to grow in this freedom that I receive from Christ Jesus as I allow His truth to invade my mind and my heart, I have to repent of boasting in my own strength.
Abba Father, right now I repent of being strong in my own strength, and for boasting in my own strength. Father, I see my weakened body and excess weight as a sign that it is time to let go and learn from You and to do what You want me to do. Father, my flesh is screaming, “No!! Don’t give up!! We can do this!!” but my spirit is remorseful and grieved and I really can’t be strong in myself anymore. Father, forgive me and let Your Holy Spirit change my direction. Father, whenever the need to be right, the need to control, or the need to fix something I can’t fix pops into my head, I rebuke them in the strength of Jesus. Into Your hands I place my heart, my mind, my emotions, my body and my family. Grow us LORD God by Your strength and power. And, Father, if being weak is how I need to learn, then I pray I will be accepting of weakness for Your glory. In the Name that is above all names, I pray these things, Amen.
I hear Jesus saying, “Deanna, come forth!! I am unwrapping your grave clothes of self-sufficiency and control. You don’t need to try to be strong anymore. Place your burdens, your heart, mind and soul into My hands so that I can teach you the truth and that truth will set you free.”
What about you? Can you identify with being a glory thief? Pretty sobering thoughts, I know. But isn’t God asking for truth in our hearts? What is He asking you today? How will you respond to Him?