Have you ever felt like you were portrayed as someone you knew in your bones you were not? It feels as though you’re being seen through dirty glasses. Yes, it looks in a way like you, but lines are fuzzy, images smudged, details misinterpreted. You long to be seen with clarity and honesty. To have the depths of you and the intentions of your actions known. But the person perceiving you cannot see you in such a way. They are looking at you through dirty glasses.
If we were to be painfully honest with ourselves, we often look at ourselves through dirty glasses. Skewed by the enemy working through the options and words of others, we begin to see an extremely inaccurate view of ourselves. Sometimes this means we think of ourselves as greater than what we are. I have been there far more often than I would like to admit. But in this blog, I’m going to address the other end of the spectrum: seeing ourselves as less than the beautiful, talented, chosen children of God that we were created to be.
In Matthew 4:1-11, the devil met Jesus in the wilderness to question his identity and tempt him while he was in a weakened state. I believe he does the same to you and me.
This past weekend I celebrated my marriage to my husband with our friends and family. Though this was a joyous time, I was in a weakened state. Unfortunately, I truly only started planning this great event that I did most of the work for and hosted at my house approximately 1-2 months beforehand. I also for the past 2 weeks had been averaging 4 hours of sleep a night. I was premenstrual and unknowingly coming down with a virus. Physically, mentally, and emotionally I was at the edge of me. I was at a weakened state. And satan saw his opportunity and struck.
I would love to say I stood firm on my Rock, but I am still a work in progress. I allowed my glasses to be muddied for a few day. But I praise the Lord for his radical movement in my life over the past couple years because unlike the Rachel before, I did not wallow in my fuzzy vision for months and years on end. Through his word, prayer, and a fierce woman of God named Hannah, I handed my glasses over to be washed anew.
As God teaches me such monumental life lessons, I cannot help but share as my heart is bursting with gratitude. Here are the three main things I have have learned over the past week:
1. I am easily influenced.
As my readers, you are probably having an initial reaction to what I had when I first realized this: “oh no, she’s a follower. She has a weak personality.” But God revealed something to me today that is quite contrary to those thoughts!
In Ezekiel 36:26, it says “…I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” God has created in me a soft heart: an easily influenced heart. So though it may be easy to hand over my glasses to the devil for him to drag through the mud, because of the new, soft heart God has given me, I can equally surrender my glasses over to Him who made me to be washed so that I might see with clarity. The joy of this surrender and the influence Christ has on me overwhelms me!
2. Satan is the master of synonyms.
We each have God given gifts and talents. We know this because he says so in Ephesians 2:10 which states, “for we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Jesus Christ, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” God made us special and gifted us and we must become aware of it because the devil most definitely is aware of it.
Though the enemy will definitely boldfaced deny our gifts and talents to us, he also is tricky in that he agrees with our gift, but tells us them in negative ways. For example, I know God has blessed me with decisiveness, leadership, attention to detail, strong will, and many other things. But satan whispered those attributes in my ear and spoke of them behind my back in other words. “You’re a bridezilla. B*tch. OCD much? You’re too bossy.” I began to question my gifts. I began to back down from them. Actually for the majority of my life I’ve let these synonyms deter me from leadership opportunities and positions to serve Christ.
Will someone today stand with me and say, “no more!” to this sly wording that if s keeping us from the good things planned for us?
3. Set your identity on the Rock.
If you get nothing else, get this point. It is the underling force of all the other points.
As I mentioned in point 2, Paul says in Ephesians we are God’s masterpiece. John 1:12 says those who receive and believe him are children of God. Genesis 1:27 says we are created in the very image of God. 1 Peter 2:9 says we are chosen. I could go on and on.
We in and of ourselves are nothing. Jesus himself said in Mark 10:18, “‘why do you call me good?’ Jesus answered. ‘No one is good, except God alone.'” In this he is saying the humanity portion of us and of him is not good. But we as Christians can rejoice in knowing God lives in us and through us therefore we are made good!
We must set our foundation firmly on the Rock that is Christ so that we may be empowered knowing who we are and able to withstand satan questioning our identity when we are weakened. In Deuteronomy, the Israelites were encouraged to tie the word of God to them, memorize it, and keep it close by. We should today approach it with the same zeal so that our vision might not become blurred.
We also should surround ourselves with people who are firm in their identities and push us towards clearer vision. As easily as others can smudge our glasses, the righteous children of God can also hand us a wipe to help us clean our glasses. Our circle of who we let influence us is so important. Be easily influenced, but only by the correct synonyms that are set on the foundation of the Rock.
With this, I’m going to leave you with a word of encouragement that God used through my friend Hannah to inspire this post:
“You are motivational.
You are inspirational.
You are kind.
You are honest.
Remember, other people’s opinions of you are none of your business.”