~ Abandon Yourself to Grace ~
~*~ Day 1 ~*~
8 Again, the devil took [Jesus] up on an exceedingly high mountain,
and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
9 And he said to Him,
“All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
Have you ever bowed down to Satan...? Have you ever worshiped him?
No, I wouldn't have said I had, either. But then God gave me the following picture:
- Satan was standing before God. They were facing one another. God's expression was unreadable - but I felt His sorrow. Satan had a smirk on his face while saying to God, "I got you, didn't I. I'm hurting you, aren't I." And he was very pleased with himself. And there I was, on my knees in worship, facing Satan, saying, "You're right. I'm not worthy..." Satan had used me to hurt God - and I was helping him - by agreeing with him.
Isn't that a great word: Berate. It means to scold or criticize angrily. And that's what I do, and have done - to myself - since I was very young. Actually, the older I got, and the more sin I committed, the more mistakes I made, the more wrong I did, the greater disappointment I found in myself, reactions and behaviour, the easier it was to berate myself. In fact, even now, several years later, I still find myself behaving as I did in the scenario God set before me - as noted above.
It's easy for me to damn myself. It's as natural to me as breathing. I was in my 40s (I am presently 49) when God finally convinced me to stop looking in a mirror and thinking, "I hate you..."
It's not easy for me to think good of myself. That does not come naturally. I find it difficult to accept a compliment and had, for most of my life, looked upon a compliment or praise as one would an insult. I would turn from it. I found no comfort in a compliment. So, as you can imagine, accepting God's love, mercy, grace and all the good things He has for me and says of me was/is extremely difficult.
It is only by knowing God's goodness, His beautiful heart and great love, that I have been able to open my heart to any level of love from Him - while still holding on to the desire to damn myself.
As I stated in the opening of this section of my blogs, Abandon Yourself to Grace, I arrived at a place the other night where I just could not take the condemnation (for me, from me) any longer, and as soon as I stood up against it and said, "Enough's enough" and quoted Scripture at the negativity, God said (from His heart to mine), "Abandon yourself to grace." So, today, I have a choice. Actually, I've always had the choice, but only now have I dared to act upon it. I can either deny God spoke to my heart and carry on with life as normal, stuck here beneath the weight of condemnation, feeding on hopelessness, self-pity and fear, or I can get up and do as God desires me to.
Hmmm...what to do... ;)
I choose grace.
No matter how much I mess up, and even if I give in to temptation, I am determined to let myself be covered by grace.
We live under the FREEDOM of God's grace. The freedom of... Freedom. I like that. I want it...so I'm going to follow the promptings given by the Holy Spirit. I am going to do as I believe God has invited me to. I am going to abandon myself to grace. :)
I have this picture in my head, ay: I am standing on nothing, way up in the sky. I close my eyes, I lift my face to the heavens, imagining God before me, I open my arms wide and I fall backwards, into grace... *sigh* I could fall, crash and die :) but I know my Father is waiting to catch me. I know He is waiting and willing to catch all of us.
Today, I choose not to berate myself. :) I choose to accept and receive and lose myself in the arms of grace. I am turning my back on the enemy and I am abandoning me. I am freefalling into the goodness of our Heavenly Father, and I know that I know that I know He will cause this to benefit me somehow.
Wanna join me...? :) I hope you do. xxx