The Soundtrack In Your Head
Greetings Narrow Gate,
I pray you are all well and staying close to Jesus. I miss the Narrow Gate fellowship very much, as I am sure all of you do also. Believe me, we are working hard to get something up and running for Narrow Gate. As of right now, I have no definite details to pass along. In the meantime, keep praying. I pray for you all everyday, please know this.
It has been a long time since we've been together. Soon, very soon, I am going to write about our need for fellowship, community, and what it means for us to be a member of the body of Christ. But first, over these next two weeks, I want to speak about condemnation. Specifically, I want to talk about how there is no condemnation for us as believers. My life verse, John 3:17, is all about this. Can you recite John 3:17? Most of us know John 3:16 by heart, but not everybody remembers John 3:17, here from the NIV.
"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
Jesus will judge all of us, but not yet. That's the work of Christ to be yet fulfilled during his second advent. The first advent, Jesus came as our Savior, not judge, as our sacrifice, not our accuser. In fact, Satan is The Accuser. Jesus is at the right hand of God pleading our case to God, as our Savior, beseeching God for those of us that need more time for salvation. That is the love of of Christ.
God knows that this world doesn't need any more condemnation. Whether before Jesus, or during his lifetime, or now, 2000 years after Christ, the earth is filled with condemnation. God knew that Jesus didn't need to bring condemnation. The world has been and is full of condemnation.The Father sent Jesus to bring save not condemn.
We condemn ourselves enough. Do you realize that each of us has a self talk soundtrack that plays constantly in our head? We talk to ourselves all the time. Many of us do so in the most derogatory manner. Is this you? I know it is for many of my homeless friends. We speak self-condemnation to ourselves daily, constantly, like elevator music in an elevator. This is the background music in our heads, all the time.
Only, instead of music, we call ourselves names, terrible names, or descriptives like loser, worthless, or failure. I know this is another one of the reasons why Jesus didn't bring any condemnation. If what I am describing is what you do please admit it to yourself. The next few paragraphs can change your life.
If you are in this pattern of self-condemnation these past few months have probably been a great burden for you. Isolation can enhance self-condemnation and negative self-talk. Let me talk you through some Christian logic to help change your self talk.
If you are a willing participant in your own self-condemnation please realize this:
* Hook, line and sinker you are buying the ultimate lie of Satan that he uses on all of us. That you're not good enough for Jesus. The secret that should not be a secret is this: None of us are good enough. We all need the blood of Christ, every human ever born needs the blood covering of Christ for atonement. Stop singling yourself out for self torment. Somewhere in your life this negative self talk began and led you to feel worthless and unforgivable. But this just is not the case.
In Genesis 1:26 and 9:6 the Bible tells us that we all have worth because we are made in the image of God. 1 John 4:10 tells us that God loves us despite our rebellion. 1 John 1:9 says that as God's children, we are forgiven. In Romans 8:12-14 Paul teaches us that the Holy Spirit will enable us to obey and glorify God.
Do this. If you are self-condemning, read these scriptures daily for a month, several times daily. It will help to change your negative self talk. Stop believing Satan's lie and begin to believe, really believe God's truth.
If you want to hear from God, you have to read. I mean this, as funny as it sounds. God does not speak to me like a prophet. I wish he did, but he doesn't. If I want to hear from God I have to dig into His word. Most of us are like this. So, unless you are a prophet, read these scriptures and believe God's word for what it is, The Truth.
* In a way, you are focusing on what you believe are your negatives (taken from Satan) instead of focusing on Christ. Remember John 3:17, if you hear condemnation, it's not from Jesus, so it must be from ..., that's right, Satan. Stop listening to Satan!
* Christ's work on the cross is a finished product. He has already paid the price for all of mankind's sin. By believing Satan's lies, we are in a way, denying his sacrifice, trying to pay it through our suffering. We can never pay this bill with enough suffering. I hope that you can see this. Why suffer needlessly when you can live victoriously.
Whenever the negative self talk begins, learn to recognize that as Satan's voice. Saying the same condemning things over and over and over. Speak scripture when you hear that voice, and he will ultimately leave you. Then you will know that you have broken down one of his strongholds. God's Spirit is here to help you with this as well. Speak with God's Spirit and listen, learn to recognize the Spirit's voice as the voice of truth.
John 3:17, from the Phillips' translation, "You must understand that God has not sent his Son into the world to pass sentence upon it, but to save it--through him."
Do you believe this? If you said yes, do you believe what you just said you believe? Then it's time to stop with the self-condemnation. Pray, read your Bible, pray again and listen for God and his Spirit.
You are not alone on this journey. Let me know if you need help.
Do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God.
and Harmony UMC