Like Lice & a Fine-Tooth Comb, Let’s Pull Out Condemnation from the Hairs of (True) Conviction

{By Tammy Hendricksmeyer}

 

“The meaning of our lives is not dependent on what we make of it but of what he (God) is making of us.” Emily P. Freeman, A Million Little Ways–Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live

 

After years of running away from myself, of trying to be this or that or the other, of chasing happiness over contentment, I am here. Stepping into who God created me to be.

 

I’ve been reflecting on what it means to be intentional in our gratitude of sharing life (and words) with each other.

 

There are brave souls, far and wide. Yet how often do we play safe? Hold often do we hold back for fear, or pride, or cynicism, or insecurity, or the whatever? In withholding, we not only withdraw the blessing from others, but from our selves as well.

 

Last year, I came across a website on spiritual warfare. So I read. And I read. And I clicked to the next article and the next, because spiritual truth captivated me by what I knew to be true for myself as well.

 

Spiritual warfare can be many things, even a paper-thin difference between condemnation and conviction. On the one hand, condemnation throws grenades in our battlefield minds. And hunkering beside us in our foxholes, deception pretends to be our battle-buddy, a spy in our ranks. The enemy’s message seeps into our conscience (or soul) in a slow, poisonous vapor.

 

Even though we know, intellectually, that the enemy stands as our most vehement accuser, we do not really know it. He comes to us on his belly, low and hidden.

 

Condemnation remains subtle or not so subtle, even unrecognizable at times, as the enemy deceives even the root of the lie. We rush head long into it, turning ourselves in as guilty, unworthy prisoners of war before anyone in our lives has a chance to sentence us. See, we imagine everyone is condemning us, every day.

 

On the other hand, there’s true conviction. It’s the shovel that digs us up, weeping with sorrowful repentance, and sets us free. Our captive minds are released. Our heart skips in childish abandon. Even in our deliverance, we never give up the good way of dying to self, of taking up our cross. In fact, we gladly wrap our arms around the wooden beam we once held in our eye and carry it to our Golgotha’s. Our lowly state is but an afterthought as our twinkling eyes are brightened in His gaze.

 

IMG_0757

 

“Before God can fill us with Himself, we must first be emptied of ourselves.” AW Tozer, Keys to the Deeper Life

 

But there is another way, a sore way of our sorrowful convictions which spirals beyond Godliness and turns into condemnation, where self-loathing consumes us. We berate ourselves and mentally whip our souls. We become murderers of the Self, never allowing our new life to emerge, the crime scene repeated over and over again. Our God-given gifts and talents are buried inside the tomb of the old man. Condemnation demands from us, “Murder, murder, murder!” But if we listened closely or not so closely, we’d feel the enemy’s withering breath on our earlobe.

 

Oh how the enemy loves it. Condemnation sticks it to us, our volatile thought life dragging us away from our new life in Christ.

 

However, we are made in His image. It’s no wonder the enemy seeks to destroy us. And for those in Christ, we bear the marks of ones called according to His purpose. We are written on His hands, worth as much as the precious Son we’ve made Lord of our lives, because His Spirit has now made a Home. We are a temple. We’ve stepped inside the torn curtain. We became vessels ready to be filled with His glory.

 

“Almost all Christians want to be full of the Spirit. Only a few want to be filled with the Spirit.” AW Tozer, Keys to the Deeper Life

 

We need more than Jesus stickers and scripture verses on t-shirts. We need more than a Jesus ticket stub and crosses hanging off our bracelets. We need to be empowered by the Spiritual life. We can be humble without denying what He’s given us. Our gifts and talents are continually at risk of sabotage, because they are God’s.

 

Condemnation wants to bury us inside our self and deny others the opportunity to see God’s handiwork. But we can be intentional. We can recognize spiritual warfare when it arrives. We can discern conviction and humility from condemnation and self-hatred. We can be empowered by the Holy Spirit. We can choose to not be afraid for ourselves, but instead, step into who God has made us to be.

 

And we can rise up in His truth.

 

_________________________________________________

 

{In October, I’m contemplating what it means to be Empowered by the Spiritual Life, in a 31 day series. I will consider how we go about such a life, what it could look like, why we need it, what fears it brings up, where my spiritual journey has taken me, and attempt to re-invigorate our valleys and deserts in search of more of God’s Holy Spirit. What are some things you’ve learned? Was there a time you experienced a shift in your spiritual life? What caused it? Was there a time the Bible finally made sense to you, like your eyes were opened?}

 

_________________________________________________

 

Copy of Copy of Copy (2) of DSC_0183Tammy has discovered writing is the rawest, scariest, frustratingly glorious, rewarding, and essential way to process life. She’s a renaissance woman who’s scattered pigeons at Notre Dame, swam the coral reefs of Okinawa, scaled fortresses in Nuremburg, viewed the Eiffel Tower safely from the ground, and occasionally drives an old John Deere tractor in tim-buck-two. She’s a fighter for others to see their redemptive purpose, beauty, worth, and connection to a supernatural God. She’s the Founder and Curator for Outside The City Gates where she’s also a Co-Conspirator with a team of other writers. Her faith journey is found on her personal blog, or connect with her on  Facebook and Twitter.

Advertisements

What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: