Wednesday, January 15, 2014

overcome the lie.

i was contacted last month by the ashley from overcome the lie to participate in their january blog tour. i have been a fan of this website since it launched, so it was an easy YES. she asked me to share a lie that i have overcame or am in the process of overcoming. here goes.

i was raised in the church. my daddy was a deacon and mama was the treasurer. (both still are.) God has always been a part of my life. i knew what His Word said about this and that, but it didn't stop me from going off track after i graduated from high school. i was eighteen. an 'adult' in the eyes of the law. i could make my own choices and do what i wanted. at that age, i thought i knew everything.

fast forward to a few months before i turned twenty-one. i had spent those previous years chasing almost every avenue of fleeting happiness. none of these temporary fills were God, so in essence, i was running away from Him. but He met me right where i was - in my brokenness and sin - and saved my soul. i gave my life to Him on june 24, 2007, and that choice was and will always be the best decision.

as i began to walk with Christ, the sins and shortcomings from my past started creeping into my thoughts. before too long, i started to dwell on my mistakes. i was so consumed with guilt and shame that i didn't see how God could have possibly forgiven me.

the lie that i wasn't really forgiven haunted me for years. i would confess sin, and then turn around and ask for forgiveness a week later because maybe God didn't hear me or what if the sin was so bad that He didn't care? it was an exhausting cycle of sorrow and remorse. i let it eat away at me. it caused me to doubt my salvation and wonder if God could really love me.

it wasn't until i started digging into God's Word that i realized i had it all wrong. God is Holy and Almighty and Righteous and Just. He isn't sitting up in heaven scribbling down every single misstep i take onto a notepad [or two]. He isn't a fickle deity that is surprised by my sin. He is God.

He is the same God who spoke creation into existence.
He is the same God who knit me in the womb and knew me before i was born.
He is the same God who sent His Son to die in my place.

now if He did all that and so much more, then He wouldn't just leave me here to sit and wallow in my wrongdoing would He? the answer is a resounding NO, echoed in Jesus' last words on the Cross as He died in my place for my sins. it is finished. three days later, He conquered the grave. death could not hold Him. when Jesus stepped out of that tomb, He brought with Him hope, love, grace, and salvation. 

all those years i spent regretting my past were just feelings. and feelings lie. i'll say it again, FEELINGS LIE. but God's Word does not. believing that one lie - that i wasn't truly forgiven - led to doubts and questions and even more lies. my disbelief was a stumbling block. in my search, i found Truth - His Word disproves any lie the enemy throws my way.

"so now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus." romans 8:1.

"for God's will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time." hebrews 10:10. verse 12 goes on to say that "our High Priest offered Himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time."

once for all time. good for all time.

what Jesus did only needed to be done once. it wasn't a temporary fix; it was eternal. glory, hallelujah! i don't have to keep asking for forgiveness for the past because i am forgiven. once i've confessed my sins to Him, the bible says:

"...He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." 1 john 1:9.

BOOM. that verse right there. it changed me and my thought process and the way i viewed His forgiveness. i can try to be perfect and earn God's favor, but i am still a sinner this side of heaven. i cannot change that. what i did in the past is in the past. when i confessed that sin, He removed it as far from me as the east if from the west. nothing i do will atone for my sins. not a thing. no matter how many times i try to offer sacrifices, the blood of the Lamb washes them all away. for good.

it's relieving actually. striving for perfection while combating past sins was exhausting. my best efforts can't measure up to His love and forgiveness. His grace is overwhelming. it washes over me like a never-ending spring rainstorm. nothing i have done [or not done] deems me worthy of it, but He still offers it freely. oh, how He does loves me.

we weren't created to live in the past or guilt or shame or whatever lie the enemy leads us to try to believe. His Truth wins every time. and that's just what overcome the lie is about. i love what they said here:
"overcome the lie, as a movement, is raising the bar; we are lifting the standard and we are going after what Jesus did to say boldly, we are not a positive thinking movement, we are a Jesus-did-it movement. That is how we are going to begin our mornings and that is how we are going to end our evenings."
PREACH. that's what i'm talking about. Jesus came so we could have life and have it abundantly. that's why i am passionate about this movement. it isn't about fluff or - as mentioned above - positive thoughts. it's about the life-changing Gospel. sugar-coating is for candy, not the Good News of Jesus. i encourage y'all to check out their sites and read their articles. let's be a generation [and an example] of women who overcome the lies because Jesus overcame the grave.

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