One of the biggest challenges we face in living the abundant life God created us for is learning to see ourselves and others through God’s eyes instead of our own. Upon accepting Jesus into our lives, even though we are immediately saved and sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13), often times we hold onto unforgiveness of others and most often of ourselves. This can keep us from living and experiencing all God has for us because we still are allowing our identity to be made by how we see ourselves and how the world sees and responds to us. We are clearly instructed in God’s word to forgive time and again, and this includes not only forgiving others, but also forgiving ourselves.
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:14-15
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – Colossians 3:13
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32
IF YOU REFUSE TO FORGIVE, YOU AND GOD ARE NOT ON THE SAME PAGE.
While forgiveness is a key step in experiencing true freedom in Christ, we must also live with the revelation that our identity is found solely in Him and that we become an entirely new creation upon Him entering our lives:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
As we begin to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, we see ourselves and others the way God sees us (Romans 12:2). We also become liberated of the fear of what others think of us and realize that God’s opinion of us is more important than the opinion of any person, no matter who they are.
Getting to the point where we don’t care what others think of us can be much more challenging for some than others, but freedom from fear is one of the most glorious promises the Bible offers us. If we wish to live the abundant life that Jesus said He came to give us, we must learn to constantly study the Bible and allow it to be the only mirror that reflects back who we truly are.
WE MUST LEARN TO TAKE WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS AS THE ULTIMATE TRUTH ABOUT WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE ARE CAPABLE OF. THESE TRUTHS MUST TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER OUR INTELLECT, OUR THOUGHTS, OUR FEELINGS AND OUR EMOTIONS.
I recently heard someone say there are approximately 3,000 promises made in the Bible and God doesn’t place them in our hands, but He does place them within our reach. These are just a few of my favorite promises God makes for His children:
‘ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’ ” – Jeremiah 29:11
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19
“But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.” – Proverbs 1:33
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” – John 14:27
“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 8:37-39
If these promises can’t get you excited, you need a check up from the neck up! This may sound overly simple but when you begin to live your life choosing to believe what the Bible says about you instead of what you or others have said about yourself, you are on the path to living an abundant life of joy, peace, significance and lasting fulfillment.
How do you feel when your identity is based on how you see yourself and how others respond to you versus what the God’s word says about you? How can you more fully embrace your new identity in Christ?
(This was an excerpt taken from my ebook “7 Steps to Realizing Your Life Purpose” available for free download at www.elevate2great.com)