The Lord is offering us more freedom, more truth, and greater impact in the world around us. He is offering to help us embrace who we are, to truly be free.
The enemy is a thief who wants to steal our peace, our joy and our fulfillment by attacking our identity. He wants to stop the work of the Lord by lying to us, limiting us, and holding us back.
God - our Designer and Maker - knows exactly who we are. As we're surrendering to the Lord and giving all to Jesus, we need to embrace who He made us to be. To fully carry out the work that God has for us, we must accept ourselves, every part. Let's listen for His thoughts, His plans, His voice...
Psalm 100:3-5 says:
"Know this: the Eternal One Himself is the True God. He is the One who made us; we have not made ourselves; we are His people, like sheep grazing in His fields.
Go through His gates, giving thanks; walk through His courts, giving praise. Offer Him your gratitude and praise His holy name.
The Eternal is good, His loyal love and mercy will never end, and His truth will last throughout all generations" (The Voice).
Psalm 139:6 says, "It is the most amazing feeling to know how deeply You know me, inside and out; the realization of it is so great that I cannot comprehend it."
Verses 13-17 continue: "For You shaped me, inside and out. You knitted me together in my mother's womb long before I took my first breath. I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe.
You have approached even the smallest details with excellence; You works are wonderful; I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.
You see all things; nothing about me was hidden from You as I took shape in secret, carefully crafted in the heart of the earth before I was born from its womb.
You see all things; You saw me growing, changing in my mother's womb;
Every detail of my life was already written in Your book; You established the length of my life before I ever tasted the sweetness of it.
Your thoughts and plans are treasures to me, O God! I cherish each and every one of them!"
Let me be clear to explain that when I talk about embracing ourselves, I'm not talking about making excuses for inconsiderate behavior, or saying things like, 'This is just the way I am", or "I've always been this way", or "I'm too old to change." There is always room for learning and growing no matter our age! And we want to be aware of how we're treating others and consider what it's like for others to be around us. But we also need to know deep down that the original way the Lord designed us is just right. I'm talking about embracing all the parts of ourselves that make us who we are.
There's purpose in our design and our personality fits perfectly with the plan that God has for our life!
To learn to embrace ourselves we must open our heart fully to the Lord and learn to fear Him instead of man. We must love Him and want to please Him more than anyone else.
Proverbs 9:10 says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (NASB).
We've all experienced pressure from others to conform to their ideas and be who they want us to be. The problem is, people change their minds and they let us down. Our God, on the other hand, is only good; He's never-changing, everlasting, and worthy of our trust.
James 1:17 tells us: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no change or shadow of turning" (MEV).
1 John 1:5 says, "This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all" (NASB).
Let's read that truth again: "...and in Him there is no darkness at all."
The opinions of others, their expectations, and the hurts and disappointments we've experienced become like heavy weights around our necks. Our good Father wants to help us remove them so we can be free.
Isaiah 52:2 says: "So brush off any dust and dirt; rise, take your place of honor, Jerusalem. Loose the chains from your neck and raise your head in freedom, captive children of Zion" (The Voice).
As I share some of my story of loosing chains, embracing all of who God made me to be, and becoming free, I want you to ask Holy Spirit if there is any part of you that has been held captive because of hurt, disappointment, or rejection of man.
A Bit of My Story
I'm a sensitive person. I've been this way since I was a little girl. I feel things deeply, see clues and pick up on what's going on inside of others, and often sense what they are feeling. Growing up, it was sometimes overwhelming and I often didn't know what to do with the big feelings I felt. When people responded negatively to my highly-sensitized emotions, I began to dislike that part of me. I grew to believe that being sensitive made me look weak. I believed it made me 'too much' for other people, so I grew to disdain that part of me and even reject that part of who I was.
Many years passed, and a few years ago, Holy Spirit reminded me of a prophetic word that I had received when I was sixteen. He'd been speaking to me through the typed-out message for nearly a year, reminding me of who I was. The part that Holy Spirit wanted to highlight said, "You've said to Me, 'I don't like what I feel and what I see, and if this is the way it's gonna be, I don't know if I want it for me.'" It was time to address how I had rejected a part of me that the Father had made.
At sixteen, when I originally received the word, I remember sensing the Lord's presence so strongly while the woman was speaking that I was overcome and all I could do was bow my head and cry. I didn't understand all that the Lord was saying on that day, but when He brought it back thirty years later, it all started to make sense. Although I'd never spoken to anyone about my overwhelming feelings and the uncertainty of what to do with the things I felt, the Lord knew. He understood perfectly, because He'd designed me with sensitivity. He put this part of me in me - from the very beginning.
The Holy Spirit showed me that I had rejected this part of myself for years, pretending that it wasn't there. This revelation of understanding inspired a deep grieving over what had been lost during those years. Responding with repentance, I asked the Lord to forgive me.
And because I was growing to care more for what He thought about me than anyone else, I wanted to surrender all - all of my living, my thinking, and my limited understanding, and truly yield all of myself to the Lord and allow Him to awaken me into His design.
His love, kindness, and faithfulness helped me trust Him and embrace myself, sensitivity and all. With time, I began to see that the sensitive part of me was by His design. I began to see it was important to the Lord, that He loved that part of me, and it held eternal purpose. A few more years farther now, I can see that it's because of my sensitivity that I am able to walk around honest with myself, with others, and before the Lord who made me. The result is a beautiful honesty before God, a closer nearness with Him, peace with myself, and a greater ability to connect with, love, and minister to others. God is teaching me that He has purpose in my sensitivity. Holy Spirit is teaching me to pray - to take what I see and feel to the Lord, and sometimes, to pray with the one He wants to reach through me.
Embracing all of the daughter that God made me to be - freed me to be me. I am no longer held back by worrying so much about what others might think. Yes, insecurity still tries to raise itself up at times, but it no longer has a hold on me. I am truly free to be all of me. And I'm free to walk in all of God's plans for me!
I want YOU to be FREE.
I want you to be TRULY free!
Free from man's expectations and limitations.
Free from heavy chains holding you back.
Free to be the delightful daughter or son of God that you truly are.
Free to walk honestly, confidently and boldly in the plans He has for you.
Perhaps someone you looked up to - your mother or father, teacher or friend spoke something over you that broke your spirit and caused you to reject part of who you are. Maybe it seemed like a part of you was too much and people didn't know what to do with you. Maybe you've sensed a negative response from others, or outright rejection, and you altered who you truly are by rejecting part of yourself, like I had done. Maybe you don't know what to do with that part of who you are.
The Lord has healing and restoration and direction for you today!
Proverbs 17:22 says, "A happy heart is good medicine and works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones" (AMPC).
We want to be healthy, whole, and free! We want to care more about what our beautiful Savior thinks than what anyone else might think.
John 12:42-43 refers to a time when many people saw the miracles that Jesus was doing and they believed, yet they held themselves back from living out their belief because they were afraid of what others might think.
The scripture says, "Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn't admit if for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God" (NLT).
When we don't embrace who we are and wish that we were different, we miss living in peace. We miss the joy and freedom of expressing who we truly are. We miss the gift of taking our place and fulfilling the Kingdom-plans that God has planned for you and me, plans that impact eternity!
Let's not allow the fear of man to hold us back any longer. Let's no longer hold ourselves back. We are living in the last days and now is the time for us to be free!
In my book Becoming Living Stones I share about how it doesn't give God glory to remain small, or held-back. It doesn't honor God or the life He's given to stay hidden in shame or false humility. We don't glorify the Lord when we minimize our place, our purpose, and our freedom in Christ.
We honor the Lord by trusting Him to tell us who we are and by allowing Him to grow us into who He made us to be. We honor Him and give God glory by confidently taking our place - humbly and with gratitude - and by boldly doing our part!
Jesus has the amazing ability to show us beauty and purpose in who we are, weakness and all. It's very likely He's planted great purpose within the parts of us that have made us feel different or weak, to fulfill the greater work that He wants us to do. When we rely on Him, His Holy Spirit will teach us how to work with our gifting. He will help us learn how to know our Shepherd's voice and follow His lead.
As we embrace who we are, we honor the Lord, we honor the gift of life that He's given, and we are better equipped to take His love into the world - uniquely, beautifully, and purposefully!
In closing, let's meditate on Proverbs 3:5-8:
"Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on Him to guide you, and He will lead you in every decision you make. Become intimate with Him in whatever you do, and He will lead you wherever you go.
Don't think for a moment that you know it all, for wisdom comes when you adore Him with undivided devotion and avoid everything that's wrong. Then you will find the healing refreshment your body and spirit long for" (TPT).
Embrace who God made you to be!
Have fun with the style, the colors, and the interests that excite you!
Try out new things! Follow the Holy Spirit's leading as you embrace a lifestyle of surrender and become all God's made you to be.
Jesus loves you and I do too!
Questions to Ponder with the Holy Spirit...
Is there any part of you that you've rejected because of the opinion or fear of man?
Is there an opinion that you fear more than the Lord's?
What is holding you back from believing Ephesians 2:10: "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do" (CSB)?
The Voice says it like this, "For we are the product of His hand, heaven's poetry etched on lives, created in the Anointed, Jesus, to accomplish the good works God arranged long ago."
Forgive me for rejecting a part of myself that You have made. I'm sorry for not valuing who You made me to be.
I'm sorry for caring more about what others think than what You think. I open my life to You and surrender all.
Help me know the heights and depths of Your love. Help me trust You with my life.
You know me best and Your way is just right.
I want to live rightly in Your eyes so I can one day stand before You having given my all. Help me, Holy Spirit. Lead me into the work that You have for me to do. Fulfill Your purposes in me and through me. Make me more like Jesus.
Jesus, You are worthy of everything I am and all I have to give! Let me be a beautiful, unique reflection of You!
Thank You for loving me.
I love You too.
In the name of Jesus, Amen.
I am completely loved and accepted in Jesus. Therefore, I will love and honor Him by embracing all of who He made me to be and fulfilling the work He's called me to do!