Hi everyone, Rob here.
It’s the time of year where we do our staff reviews, beginning with mine. It’s a challenging time for me. Like many, the first things that come to mind are the shortcomings; the areas where I haven’t done that well. Why is that? Why is it that people can tell us ten positive things and one negative thing and it’s the negative thing that we’ll dwell on? Why are we so quick to condemn ourselves and so slow to believe that we have a contribution to make? I think there are two reasons. One is unbelief and the other is the presence of the enemy.
In Romans 8:1-2 Paul writes that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Do we believe this verse? Do we actually live by it and how can we do that? I’ve been using a prayer lately whereby I ‘take my place in Christ.’ I take my place in the cross of Christ and receive the forgiveness and mercy offered to me through Christ’s atoning death. I take my place in Christ’s resurrection and receive the life that has conquered death and defeated Satan’s claims of triumph. I then take my place in Christ’s ascension; that is his rule and reign as Lord and King right now. By taking my place in these three aspects of Christ’s work and in his person I’m choosing to believe that in Christ I am forgiven, in Christ I am alive and free and in Christ I belong to his kingdom and pledge my allegiance to him. Whenever I pray this prayer condemnation falls by the wayside. I choose to believe the truth that in Christ I am free and not condemned in any way, shape or form.
But there are times when I forget to pray. There are times when self-condemnation fills my mind. These are the times that Satan is all over. Satan loves our self-condemnation. He loves it when we’re trying to do life in our own strength. He gets busy trying to keep us in a place of struggle and failure. He wants us to make an agreement with him that we are failures, we are hopeless and we are not worthy to be called children of God! When we make that agreement we will hide ourselves from God’s grace and love just as Adam and Eve hid from God in the garden. We will stop believing that God is good so we’ll refuse to trust him with our lives and our hearts.
So we’re left with a two-fold solution. Let’s take our place in Jesus Christ and the fullness of his work. And let’s also renounce any agreement that we’ve made with the enemy that we’re no good, lack worth, have nothing to contribute, don’t have what it takes, aren’t good disciples, should be condemned and so and so on. Anything that accuses us or diminishes our worth in Christ is an agreement that needs breaking. Simply come before Jesus and say,
Jesus, in your name I renounce this agreement that I’ve made that… (I’m no good, am a failure etc – use your own words here and be as specific as possible) and I now take my place in your cross, resurrection and rule. I receive your mercy, life and I give my life back to you. I choose to believe that in you, Jesus, I am not condemned and I am free. I now pray that freedom over my heart and my life in the name of Christ Jesus my Lord and my King, Amen.
I also encourage you to pray this verse from 1 John 3:1 over your life today.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
Ok, time to do the review. God is smiling over me!