I was doing some studying this evening and came across this picture I have in my Bible of my sister and me. We were at my Grandpa and Granny Hobson's house...the house my dad grew up in. It makes me think of a time when life was so easy, honest, true and simple. It was a time when, for the most part, people were people of their word. God was respected, and reverenced, in our society. It was a time of peace and safety.
I am flooded with memories of a great childhood right now. I was raised by godly parents who lived out their faith in front of my sister and me. Such a great gift of a heritage of faith my parents have given me. It makes me ask myself though, what am I doing with that heritage. Am I now living out my faith in front of others?
I, like all of us, have to choose how I am going to live my life. I can talk all I want about the heritage my parents have given me, but if I choose to disregard it and go after the things that are contrary to that heritage of faith in God, then my demise is on me. But, if I choose to pursue a path of faith in Christ, regardless of what is going on around me, then I have chosen to have the blessings of God in my life.
When I look at the faces in this picture, I see innocence, happiness and a peacefulness as only a child’s face can express. In these faces I see a confidence, or faith, to accept and believe what the trusted adults in their life says to them. Those promises are viewed as rock solid truth. That’s the same way we need to have faith and trust in our Heavenly Father.
Unfortunately life happens though. As I grew up, just like everyone reading this, and life began to happen, that childlike innocence, faith and trust have taken some hits.
I have experienced the hurts that life can bring. I have experienced the fact that not everyone I have come in contact with has had my best interests in mind. I know what it is to fall and make mistakes, but I have also learned to run into the mercy and grace of a Heavenly Father.
I have experienced events in my life where I was the victim of harm, hurt, spitefulness and just plain old human meanness. My heart and spirit have been wounded, and those wounds hurt deeply. We've all been there, haven't we?
It's in those places I had to choose how to respond to those things.
I can choose to be a victim and wear the garment of a victim, insisting it gives me the right to make bad choices based on what happened to me. Or, I can choose to live out that godly heritage given to me by putting on a robe of His righteousness and a garment of praise unto the God of Heaven, as I declare, “In Jesus I am a Victor!”
We live in a day and hour where so many don't want to take responsibility for their own actions. Many live under the idea that they're justified in their bad choices and behaviors. But here’s the reality. We are not responsible for what victimized us, but we are responsible for how we choose to respond to it. Victimization is not a justification, or license, to live in ungodly choices just because we were hurt.
I see so many who choose to live their life as a victim and my heart breaks for them. I don’t judge or condemn them. I’ve been there and, “but for the grace of God,” I’d still be there. The Word of God clearly tells us we can be a Victor not a Victim when we abide and dwell in Him.
Some may ask, “so the past hurts are just gone and don’t bother you anymore?” That’s not what I am saying at all. Sure there are times when those things come at me and try to bring me down, an honestly, if I have not consistently poured the Word of God into myself and kept myself covered in prayer, they can creep back in and I catch myself trying to put on the garment of a victim again. Satan is very tricky like that. Thank God though for the wisdom His Word and the Holy Spirit bring to us as He speaks to us and saying, “What are doing? That’s not who you are! You, child, are more than a conqueror in Me, Christ Jesus! You are a new creation in me! You are my beloved, the apple of my eye! Wear my garment and stand strong!”
As I think on these things and write this, it is in humility. I am not a perfect Christian. I have lived as a victim and have made bad choices, but thank the Lord, HE is merciful to us, and leads us into those paths of righteousness, where we are restored, renewed and REDEEMED as only Jesus can do.
Will you join me now and commit to looking into the Perfect Word of God and allow it to define who you are in Christ? I do hope so, because living a life that is defined by Him brings so much peace and contentment to the heart, mind and soul.
Scriptures to meditate on:
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 7:1
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.