This morning I was blessed to read a story in an old Guideposts magazine that had a quote that ministered to me, and I pray it ministers to you, too. The story was about weight loss, and a group of women met weekly for 12 weeks. Early on, the group leader shared an insight God had given her, and boy, do I relate! Many people feel unloved while embarking on an overcoming journey: we feel people disapprove of us and that God does, too. This creates an obstacle that God never intended for any of us to face. Instead of this negative, self-deprecating focus, the group leader shared that she would begin to move forward in overcoming because God loved her, and it was (and is!) that love that would see her through. When you think about it, it’s similar to how some view Christ’s salvific action on the cross: as an act of personal condemnation or an act of freeing us from the ultimate penalty of all our repented past, present and future sins so we can move forward to be and do what God has for us to be and do.
I hope this understanding is just as much a “wow” for you as it was for me. Overcoming can be so positive, so freeing as opposed to the heavy burden that many would have us believe it is. So, whatever it is you need to overcome, know how much God loves you and is here for you. He is here to help and not condemn if and when you make mistakes and wrong choices. What’s amazed me through the years is that God’s love for me doesn’t depend upon what I do or don’t do. It depends on who I am in Him. You could say that He loves me in spite of my imperfections and flaws.
I have a dear sister-friend who has been on a self-improvement program for health and love reasons. She wants to be around for her kids and grandkids. That love has motivated her even when her program becomes a burden. I pray these words encourage her further and give her what she needs to keep moving forward. God loves her so very much, too.
Those of you who have been blessed to be God’s for a while surely know what I’m talking about. The challenge to us all is if we can release those negative thoughts and the obstacles that accompany them so we can break free to truly walk His walk. May God grant us all we need to do so.
Pray with me: Father God, thanks for being with those of us who need to be set free from wrong ideas about overcoming so we can rejoice in the truth, Your precious truth. Thanks for loving us so much that You place Your truth before us in numerous ways including a word fitly spoken, Your precious word, the Bible and direct revelation. Thanks for helping us walk with You in true newness of life that is unburdened. Jesus, no wonder You tell us to take Your yoke upon us and leave ours with You. Thanks for not only bearing our sins but our yokes. And thanks for being the way to eternity and spiritual wholeness. And, yes, thanks to You, the Father and the Spirit for Your love. In Your name Jesus, amen.
copyright 2015, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved