Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Old Phrase; New Lesson

Today as I prepared to leave a voice mail message for a friend, an old familiar phrase came to mind. In the split second it takes to wait for the beep, nearly one hundred thoughts went through my head - Should I really leave her a message? Other people, more important than me, are contacting her. And then the phrase that got me in trouble years ago - “Just Jill”.

Immediately, I went back in time and struggled with knowing where my identity comes from. I no longer saw myself the way God does, but instead let thoughts and feelings define who I am. Old emotions and ways of thinking took over, doubt set in and the battle raged. Thankfully in the next second, my mind was renewed and Truth triumphed.

I left a message and it didn’t include my once common phrase of “just Jill”. Two little words that said much - things like - I don’t matter, others are better and I’m really nobody. I hung up the phone thankful I’d won that battle, but reminded of the war that never really ends.

God has taken me far on this journey of knowing who I am in Christ and I’m grateful, but sometimes it seems the further I walk with Him the more my eyes are opened. Time goes by and I see progress, but then something like this happens and I realize the struggle is still there. Better yet, the sin. Because friend, really this all boils down to not believing God.

In His Word, God tells you and me -
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellence of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." 1 Peter 2:9

"But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God" John 1:12

"For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith." Galatians 3:26

"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." Psalms 139:14

There are countless other verses that help us understand our identity in Christ, but for now meditate on these and dig deeper into the following ones God brought to my mind throughout the day.

Ephesians 2:10 tells us, "For we are God's masterpiece created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." And in Ephesians 4:22-24 we are told, "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

Friend, like me, perhaps you've read these verses countless times, but today can I encourage you, perhaps even challenge you, to use them to guide your prayer. Mine went something like this, "Lord, I know Your Word says the people you created are Your masterpiece. I believe that...until I sometimes look in the mirror. Father, I believe Your Word is true for me just as much as it is for everyone else, but sometimes feelings and thoughts counter that belief and make me doubt, so please Lord help my unbelief. Give me eyes to see the me You do and help me be the masterpiece You created me to be. I pray You'd help me humbly depend on You so that I can confidently be who You made me to be.Lord, thank you for helping me take off the old self more and more, but I ask You to help me keep on my new self. I want to be like You - righteous and holy, that will only happen when I'm secure in who You created me to be. Use your Word to renew my mind, help me hide it in my heart and recall it when Satan whispers lies."

Friend, Satan wins when we doubt and he loves it when we don't embrace what God longs for us to hear. Our heavenly Father is glorified when we live as who He created us to be...today will you join me in remembering we're more than "Just Jill" or Amber or Rachel, or Bev or "Insert Your Name"! We are God's girls, wonderful women He's created, ladies who are loved by Him, daughters who can depend on Him and children who have been chosen by Him. We are girls He's gifted to become devoted disciples who follow Him and glorify Him.

You know initially I didn't really enjoy this little trip down memory lane and I came close to beating myself up because of it, but as the day comes to a close I'm grateful for the lesson I've learned. It's true, I'm more than "just Jill", but this is just another stop on the journey of becoming who He made me to be. I'd love to hear about the journey He's taking you on as you continue to become the One He created you to be! I'm praying today we will all take another step towards Him and continue to grow up in Him! Blessings to you my friends!

3 comments:

  1. Powerful! I think I'm going to share those verses with our Ladies prayer group this Sunday. God's Word is so powerful. I've been memorizing the book of Colossians the past few years, I say it in the car while I drive to work in the morning. It's like I feel the lies falling off of me the more deeply I meditate on His Word all day long. Satan is a liar, but thank God that His Word is way more powerful! Love this article, Jill.

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    1. Yes, His Word is so powerful! And memorizing it and meditating on it are so important! A few years back our pastor preached through Colossians verse by verse and it was so good...there is so much in that book. He memorized it as well and encouraged us to, but I didn't get it done. We're going through Philippians now and I'm trying. For our homeschool we're working through a different passage from Psalms each week...memorizing, studying and using it to guide our prayers. It is definitely the highlight for me as the teacher and Mom! The kids enjoy it too...they put together a pretty good song for Psalm 1!
      Thanks for stopping by Amber! Blessings to you!

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    2. Our pastor did the SAME thing! And encouraged us to memorize “Colossians in a Year”. After the year, I only had about 1 ½ chapters memorized. I decided not to give up, and it was so powerful for God working in my life I decided I wanted to memorize it for life. I’m slow- like a turtle sometimes, but often determined to not quit. I encourage you to keep going with memorizing Philippians, even if it takes 20 years, I’m sure you won’t regret it. Lots of treasures in there, the book of Philippians. It is SO POWERING to see little ones memorizing scripture. I would love to hear their song. Blessings back, Jill! :)

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